An apprentice stonemason working on Durham Cathedral has won a top award.

Jed Williams has been given the Stonemasonry Apprenticeship award, which was delivered in person by the Durham City Freemen.

Durham City Apprenticeship Awards are a newly forged partnership, embracing the city’s Freemen, New College Durham, Durham University and Durham Cathedral.

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The first awards ceremony celebrated thirteen young men and women, judged “best in class,” across a range of trade skills. Jed won the apprentice award in the category for Stonemasonry and he received a framed certificate, an engraved crystal trophy and a £50 Amazon voucher.

The Northern Echo: The presentation teamThe presentation team

During their visit to the cathedral, the Durham Freemen were then give a tour of the cathedral’s Works Yard, learning about the traditional methods and historical stonemasons marks that can be spotted throughout the cathedral from centuries of stonemasons. There was then a high level tour, viewing the cathedral from the RAF window which provides a unique view looking straight down the Nave of the Cathedral.

Canon Michael Everitt said: “As a trustee of the Durham Freemen and a member of the Cathedral chapter it was a joy to bring both areas of my ministry together in celebration of all our staff at the cathedral, especially the apprentices. Congratulations to Jed for his excellent achievement.’

The Northern Echo: Monks Garden wall archMonks Garden wall arch

The Northern Echo: Jed WilliamsJed Williams

Jed has been an apprentice stonemason since joining Durham Cathedral in November 2021, he was nominated by fellow Stonemason Steve Mann for his work on restoring the 17th century Monks Garden Wall.

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Jed said: ‘I really enjoy the variety of work and unique experiences working at Durham Cathedral provides. Learning on the job has enabled me to produce work of a high standard in short time frames. I am very proud of the arch stones I produced for the Monks Garden Wall. They are the most complicated pieces I have produced for the cathedral.’

Durham Cathedral is only one of a few cathedrals in the country that has an onsite team of stonemasons. This enables heritage skills in craftsmen and women to be developed and passed on to future generations.