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Symbolic York ledger stone leaves for New York

6 Feb, 2024

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A ledger stone created by York Minster masons to commemorate the long-standing historic links between the cities of York and New York has officially started its journey to the American city.

A special dinner was recently held at the York Minster Refectory to mark the event and was attended by senior representatives from York Minster, the Lord Mayor of York, West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and St. George’s Society of New York.

The ledger stone, an inscribed stone slab usually laid into the floor of a church, has been specially crafted by York Minster masons as a gift from York to New York to celebrate their historic connection. The ledger stone was designed by Richard Bossons, who was responsible for creating York Minster’s statue of Queen Elizabeth II.

Not only do the two cities have an unbreakable link through the history of their names – dating back to 1664 when New York was named – but in 1924, New York presented the city of York with a bronze plaque, which is currently housed in the York Guildhall. The new ledger stone marks the centenary of this gift.

The stone was unveiled by HRH Duke of Gloucester, Patron of the St George’s Society New York on July 11th last year, a date that also signified the formal affiliation of the Company of the Merchant Adventurers of the City of York and the St George’s Society of New York.

The stone will now head transatlantic and will be formally unveiled during a special evensong and civic reception at the Church of St Thomas in New York on 5th May 2024. York Minster shares a close relationship with St Thomas’ Church through its liturgy and music.

The Very Revd Dominic Barrington, Dean of York, said: “York and New York have a deeply rooted history, and continue to remain connected in many ways, from education, business, and culture. We’re extremely excited that we’ve reached the next step in the programme of celebration marking the centenary of this historic moment as we look to further develop connections between the two cities.

“It also comes at a time where work on our Centre of Excellence is well underway, a project that will establish the York Minster Precinct as a world class campus facility for heritage craft skills, so we’re delighted to be able to showcase the talent of our stonemasons and the scheme on an international scale through this gift.”

Alongside the unveiling of the stone, the West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce will be visiting New York as part of a wider trade mission to highlight the many tourism, business, travel, and education and skills opportunities that North Yorkshire has to offer.

James Mason, Chief Executive of West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This visit to New York creates an opportunity to open up new trade relationships between York and North Yorkshire businesses and new audiences in North America. As a collective group of North Yorkshire representatives across many sectors it will enable us to shine a light on the region for people to think about visiting, studying and travelling to North Yorkshire whether for business or pleasure.

“This is a self-funded trip with all organisations covering their own costs. Here at the Chamber, we are using our global reach and contacts to facilitate the trip at low cost with big impact. For example, on 2nd May we will be staging a Great Yorkshire show event at the British Consulate in Manhattan and hope to plan other trips dependent on its success. Our aim as always is to support our members and has certainly caught the imagination of businesses within our region who are thinking big and further afield to grow their own organisations.”

Sarah Czarnecki, President of York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, added: “I am delighted and excited to be working with my wonderful colleagues at York Minster to send the Centenary Ledger Stone on its way to New York.  The visit to unveil the stone in May presents a fantastic opportunity for York Minster, The Chamber of Commerce and our partners to represent York, Yorkshire and Britain and will be a fitting tribute to mark this historic landmark occasion.”

Mark Aiston, 2nd Vice President of St. George’s Society of New York and Owner of Aiston Fine Art Services, who is sponsoring the shipment of the stone and travelled to York especially to accompany the stone back to New York, added: “I am thrilled to be a part of such an important project for both the City of York and for New York City, particularly as it marks the 100th anniversary of a similar event for which the City of York was then the recipient. I hope many other visitors from York add this to their list of things to see in Manhattan too!”

The Centre of Excellence is a first-of-its-kind project which will see the creation of a world-class campus facility for research, education and training in the traditional craft skills required to preserve and maintain the Minster for future generations. It will also establish the Minster as an international example of best practice in managing complex heritage estates.

Find out more about the Centre of Excellence HERE.


Photo- L-R: Mark Aiston, Aiston Fine Art and representing the St George’s Society of New York; The Very Revd Dominic Barrington; Richard Bossons – York Minster Stonemason


Photo- L-R: James Mason – Chief Executive, York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce; Adam Sinclaire – Andrew Jackson Solicitors; Sarah Czarnecki – President, York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce; Mark Aiston, Aiston Fine Art and representing the St George’s Society of New York ; The Very Revd Dominic Barrington – Dean of York; David Colthup – Chapter Steward, York Minster; Alex McCallion – Director of Works & Precinct, York Minster; Richard Bossons – York Minster Stonemason; Daniel Sowden – BHP; Louise Barnaby – BHP

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