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Visit Southwell Minster and the world-renowned Leaves of Southwell

After being closed for over a year whilst undergoing significant conservation work, The Leaves of Southwell can once again be seen in all their exquisite glory, thanks to a £2.2m National Lottery Heritage Funded project.

The fluid carvings of plants, animals and ‘green men’ found within the Chapter House – known collectively as The Leaves of Southwell – are of quite exceptional quality. Regarded as the best example of 13th century naturalistic carving in the United Kingdom, and indeed Europe, they are of significant global importance and are perfectly set inside the glorious Chapter House of Southwell Minster, the Cathedral church of Nottinghamshire.

As a direct result of the funding, we have been able to implement and deliver works to protect, interpret, and better present these beautiful and historic medieval carvings for future generations.

A cantilever lift has also been installed to allow improved accessibility whilst new lighting has been put in place, both inside and outside.


New interpretive materials and signage across the site have been produced to raise awareness and increase understanding of the Leaves of Southwell, other foliage carvings in the Cathedral and the masons who carved them.



The Archbishop’s Palace, once home to Cardinal Wolsey, is situated next door and includes the serene Palace Gardens, home to an abundance of flowers, plants and wildlife and is the perfect place to sit and relax after a busy day. Upstairs in the Palace, the grand State Chamber is adorned by paintings of numerous historical figures, all of whom had associations with Southwell, including King James VI, and Charles I who surrendered here to Scottish forces, hastening the end of the first Civil War.


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We have a Refectory on site offering a delicious range of meals, snacks and drinks, whilst our Cathedral Shop (closed Mondays) boasts a huge array of gifts and souvenirs.

Southwell Minster is open 365 days per year.


Situated in the heart of rural Nottinghamshire, in the picturesque Georgian market town of Southwell, just 8 miles from the A1, there’s never been a better time to visit.


Coach drop-off directly outside the Cathedral, with free long-term coach parking available nearby.

For group booking enquiries, please contact

Please keep an eye out at for opening times and closure notices.

We look forward to welcoming you soon!

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