The Gloucester Candlestick

The Gloucester Candlestick

Returns home to Gloucester Cathedral

After 800 years the Gloucester Candlestick has returned to its original home at Gloucester Cathedral through the creation of two 3D replicas. 

Considered to be one of the most significant examples of Romanesque art in Europe, the original is held at the Victoria & Albert Museum. It was made around 1110, commissioned by Abbot Peter for St Peter’s Abbey, Gloucester. 

An inscription winding round the candlestick records the making of the candlestick for Gloucester Abbey, 'The devotion of Abbot Peter and his gentle flock gave me to the Church of St Peter of Gloucester'.  The circumstances of how it left Gloucester are shrouded in mystery, but eventually travelled to Le Mans Cathedral.  Winged dragons support the drip pan, apes clamber along the stem and hybrid animals bite, grab and pull for position among foliage and flowers along the base. Among the dragons and beasts, the symbols of the four evangelists can be found at the knop. Such metalwork was commonly melted down and reused, its survival is both remarkable and significant, showcasing techniques and craftsmanship in the Romanesque style which might otherwise have been lost.

Replicas make it possible to share the beauty of this object with visitors to the Cathedral. These replicas have been made using modern methods of scanning and 3D printing by Gloucestershire engineering company Renishaw. The candlestick is the earliest object in the V&A collections that has been reproduced in this way to date.

The replicas, and the fascinating story of their creation, will be launched digitally through online content on the Gloucester History Festival 2020 website as part of their 'City Voices' section. Talk times and dates will be publicised shortly.

Future plans are in place for one replica candlestick to be held in the Tribune Gallery chapel (from early to mid 2021 dependent on visitor safety guidelines) with engaging interpretation and one will be on display in the Treasury to enable access to all (when restrictions on visitor numbers in small spaces are lifted),

How can you help?

With your help, we can share the Candlestick here in Gloucester for visitors to enjoy, by raising £11,000 to cover the costs of:

  • Installation, lighting and a secure enclosure for replica in the Tribune Chapel
  • Interpretation for visitors telling the story of the candlestick and the making of the replicas

To make a donation to the Gloucester Candlestick Appeal, simply send your donation to:

Gloucester Candlestick Appeal, Gloucester Cathedral, 12 College Green, Gloucester, GL1 2LX

Cheques should be made payable to: Chapter of Gloucester Cathedral

Alternatively, you can make a donation online here

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