Trowel and error for historic York property

Long history… Bedern Hall
13 Aug 2013 @ 8.53 pm
| History
Long history… Bedern Hall
Long history… Bedern Hall

Bedern Hall is part of York’s hidden history, tucked away from the main tourist routes. But it has a long and important history, tied closely to the Minster – and now part of its heritage has gone missing.

Thirty years ago, on October 29, 1983, Sir Peter Shepherd of Huntington-based Shepherd Building Group, took up a trowel to lay a new foundation stone.

The ceremony took place on behalf of the Guilds of York, and marked the work to extend and restore and preserve the building for the city.

While hall and stone are still going strong, the specially commissioned silver trowel used in the ceremony has gone missing.

Its disappearance was discovered during research for the Bedern Hall Foundation Inaugural Dinner which will mark the anniversary of the ceremony.

Now an appeal has gone out for its safe return.

The original Yorkshire Evening Press photograph of the foundation stone ceremony in October, 1983
The original Yorkshire Evening Press photograph of the foundation stone ceremony in October, 1983. Sir Peter Shepherd is holding the missing trowel

Ted Howland is a member of both the Guild of Building and the Bedern Hall Company board. He said the 1983 restoration enabled the hall to be used “for the benefit of the people of York and for visitors attending events from around the world”.

He added: “We wanted to present the original silver trowel at the dinner but now no one knows where it is.

“The missing silver trowel has caused a bit of a stir and we hope that someone will come forward and own up to having it.”

The Bedern Hall Foundation is being launched to secure Bedern Hall’s next 30 years and beyond with a new vision for the building that encompasses education, preservation and accessibility.

The foundation’s inaugural dinner is to be held on Thursday, October 31 at the Cedar Court Grand Hotel and Spa.

Lady Cobham, chairman of VisitEngland, will speak about the importance of Britain’s built heritage and its value to the visitor economy.


  • If you have any information about the missing trowel or would further information on the dinner, please email Roger Lee, call 01904 653698 or contact him at Bedern Hall, St Andrewgate, Bedern, York YO1 7AL