York Minster stonemason Victoria Darley has won a national award recognising excellence in her craft.

Victoria was presented with the Duke of Gloucester Award for Excellence in Stonemasonry by His Royal Highness at an awards ceremony in London on 4 October.

The bi-annual award was introduced in 2007 to encourage high standards in all aspects of stonemasonry.

Victoria joined the Minster as an apprentice seven years ago and has recently completed her first carving for the cathedral, a figure of King Solomon which was returned to a pinnacle on the South Quire Aisle last month.

Assessors for the award, which Victoria jointly won with Tom Francis from Chichester Stoneworks, said the quality of submissions for the awards 10th anniversary year had been exceptionally high.

Dr Dick Reid, assessor for the award, said: “Victoria’s development, experience and achievement can only be described as outstanding.”

The awards are jointly supported by the Worshipful Company of Masons and the Stone Federation of Great Britain and are open to stonemasons with between two and nine years post-qualification experience who have shown high standards in all aspects of stonemasonry and have a portfolio of projects which illustrates their work.

They were introduced in 2007 in honour of HRH the Duke of Gloucester, who has been a liveryman of The Masons’ Company since 1975 and an honorary member of its Court since 1995. The Duke, through his architectural background, has a keen interest in the construction industry, our national heritage and in the training of craftsmen in the industry.