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Spectacular dragon lands at Rochester Cathedral

Updated: Jun 7

A spectacular dragon will be making its home at Rochester Cathedral throughout the summer. Draco Roffensis: The Rochester Dragon celebrates 900 years since the creation of Textus Roffensis, the Cathedral’s most significant contribution to medieval writing.

Draco Roffensis: The Rochester Dragon has been inspired by illuminated artwork found within the pages of Textus Roffensis. He was designed and created by celebrated artist Wendy Daws. Made of gold, silver and copper foil sewn onto wire panels, it has been suspended above the Nave allowing services and events to continue underneath. Approximately 12,500 scales cover the dragon. These gold, silver and copper scales have been embossed by visitors and members of the local community. The underside of his wings features quotes from Textus Roffensis.

Artist Wendy Daws says; “I am truly honoured to receive this commission to celebrate Draco Roffensis and delighted for the opportunity to create an artwork for Rochester Cathedral to mark this special occasion. I’m excited to work together with so many different communities, to help create the embossed foil scales, an integral part of the design that will bring the dragon sculpture alive!”

Alongside Draco Roffensis is a programme of events celebrating Textus Roffensis. These include live performances and lectures. The programme will culminate with the premiere of a new lightshow by Luxmuralis inspired by manuscripts, illustrations and the culture from the Dark Ages through to the early Middle Ages.

Textus Roffensis is one of the most important Medieval manuscripts in England. It was written in Rochester in the 1120s by monks at the Priory of St Andrews.  Amongst its contents are the earliest English laws recorded dating all the way back to the 7th century. In 2022 Textus Roffensis was added to the prestigious UNESCO Memory of the World UK Register.

Draco Roffensis: The Rochester Dragon is open until the 21st September. Admission is free and the artwork is viewable during Cathedral opening hours. More information can be found on Rochester Cathedral’s website

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