New Mappa Mundi Exhibition at Hereford Cathedral

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After three years of planning a new Mappa Mundi exhibition will open at Hereford Cathedral on Monday 4 April. Working in co-operation with cathedral staff a team from Haley Sharpe Design of Leicester has spent the last three weeks removing the old exhibition and installing the new one.

Paying tribute to members of the cathedral staff for their hard work Canon Chris Pullin, the cathedral’s chancellor, said ‘They are a great team. They’ve thrown themselves into this heart and soul. We’ve been very lucky to be working with world-class designers Haley Sharpe, who brought years of experience and flair to the project.’

The Mappa Mundi exhibition first opened in 1996 following the completion of the New Library Building. In recent times the original exhibition had become in need of an update. ‘Putting the Mappa Mundi in a better lit case and letting people get closer was a real priority,’ said Canon Pullin, ‘and including more interactive elements for people to use.’

The new exhibition includes a ‘turning the pages’ interactive screen for people to explore some of the cathedral’s ancient books. Also new is a brass rubbing station and an audio visual presentation about the Mappa Mundi.

Funding came from the Mappa Mundi Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, The Pilgrim Trust and Lord Gavron (whose Folio Society recently marketed a facsimile of the Mappa Mundi) in partnership with Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust. Mappa Mundi Trust chairman Simon Arbuthnott said ‘The Mappa is a national treasure which we are hugely proud to have in Hereford, and people come from all over the world to see it. Our new exhibition will give our many visitors a much fuller, more enjoyable and more meaningful experience.’

Dean of the cathedral, the Very Revd Michael Tavinor, said. “The Hereford Mappa Mundi has a vital place in the life and ministry of the cathedral and this new interpretation will unlock more of its secrets to our many visitors and pilgrims. I especially hope that local people will take this opportunity of seeing the new exhibition. Sometimes we don’t realise the treasures we have on our very doorstep!”

The exhibition is open daily Monday – Saturday 10 am to 5 pm (last admission at 4.30 pm).

Source: Hereford Cathedral

Sharan Newman