Award Recognition for Skilled Stonemason

Lincoln Cathedral Mason, Rachael Wragg, has received an award highlighting the high quality of her work.

Rachael, who has worked at Lincoln Cathedral since 2018, received a Highly Commended certificate in the Duke of Gloucester Awards at an event in December at Mercers’ Hall in London. As well as the certificate, Rachael received a cheque for £300.

The Duke of Gloucester Awards take place every two years and were introduced to encourage high standards in all aspects of the craft of stonemasonry. They are supported by the Masons’ Livery Company. Rachael’s award in Category 1 is awarded to masons with between two and ten years’ experience post qualification, who demonstrate ‘high craft skills overall and the potential to grow as their careers progress.’

His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, who was recently announced as the new patron of Lincoln Cathedral, is a passionate supporter of heritage, conservation and the built environment, having previously practised as an architect.

For the award Rachael presented work which was part of the Lincoln Cathedral Chapter House project; a three-year conservation project to repair and maintain the historic building which has played host to three parliaments in the 1300s. Rachael undertook template making, casting, and sketching of the ball flower carvings for replacement quatrefoil panels.

Speaking after receiving the award, Rachael said she was delighted to receive recognition for her work. “It was an enormous privilege to receive the Duke of Gloucester award from the HRH the Duke of Gloucester and the Worshipful Company of Masons. Working as a stonemason at a building like Lincoln Cathedral is a humbling experience when you think that your work sits alongside that of masons from hundreds of years ago. It was such a huge honour to have my work recognised in this way and to be joined at the event by so many amazing fellow masons.”

Rachael completed her apprenticeship with Lincoln Cathedral in 2021 and has since gone on to complete the Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship foundation degree in historic building conservation and repair.

As the only Cathedral on Historic England’s ‘At Risk’ register, Lincoln Cathedral is committed to supporting heritage skills and training new generations of craftspeople to ensure that vital conservation work can continue.