A MAN who bet his friend he could lick all the Anglican cathedrals in the UK is nearing the end of his challenge.
Lawrence Edmonds, 27, originally from York but now living in London, set about his quest to lick all 64 cathedrals over two years after being challenged by his friend – and if he were to fail he agreed to run naked around York Minster as a forfeit.
He has now only has three left to lick - Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.
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The English Heritage worker took his first lick earlier this year at Norwich Cathedral, and since then has documented his journey with a blog, describing how each cathedral tastes and what the experience of each building was like.
During his visit to Ripon Cathedral, Mr Edmonds recalls an earlier visit after he had accepted his challenge but let the opportunity to lick it lapse, so he felt triumphant at finally completing the lick.
In his blog he wrote: “The stone was tongue-piercingly cold and would soon give me a splitting headache.
“I kept my tongue in contact longer than planned, in sudden fear that I would lose a chunk of it to the freezing wall when I pulled away. Thankfully it peeled off safely enough and I went to find a cup of tea to thaw it out.”
At Durham Cathedral he blogged about its magnificence, but was disappointed that it beat his beloved York Minster in an online poll of the UK’s favourite buildings to the top spot.
He wrote about his lick: “Durham Cathedral may be a joy to behold but its taste is disappointingly bland, I’m sorry to say.”
York Minster was Mr Edmonds’ last cathedral to lick in England before embarking on a spree of cathedrals in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Of the cathedral in his home town he said: “The Minster tasted good, really good.”
Mr Edmonds said what started as a bet has refreshed his love of cathedrals and insists it is not just about the licking.
In his blog he celebrates each one with long entries about his experience in every town and city and photographic evidence of each lick.
Follow his journey at www.cathedrallicking.wordpress.com.
Lawrence Edmonds’ Cathedral Taste Test
Lichfield – Tasted the best: the reddened sandstone was beautifully warm.
Wakefield – Tasted foul: sickly sweet flavour with a dash of saltiness.
Bristol - Had very salty-tasting stonework.
Perth - Tasted a little gritty.
Worcester – Tasted exceedingly gritty and salty.
Lincoln – Had a very refreshing and mossy taste.
Salisbury – Lingering: It took some time to spit out all the grit and lose the sickening taste.
Newcastle – Had a slight salty taste and a few pieces of grit grinding my teeth.