Soaring High; the Peregrines Nesting Above the Heart of Yorkshire
February 11, 20212 min read
A Bird's Eye View
One of our most loved collections is our Heart of Yorkshire range, based on the central motif of the stunning Great West Window. The intricate heart design inspired us to recreate the romantic tracery in sterling silver and 9ct gold.
In 2016 we opened a new store in York, on the historic street of Low Petergate, in the shadow of the cathedral. We became intrigued by the captivating window, and resolved to create a jewellery collection that reflected this local heritage.
The awe-inspiring triumph of Medieval stained glass and stonework tracery is stunning to behold from below, but what must it look like up close? If only we could fly up to view it in detail. This might not be possible for us, but another York resident gets a close-up view every day.
Since 2014 a pair of peregrine falcons have taken up residence, often roosting above the Heart of Yorkshire on the west front of the Minster, or on the north bell tower of the west transept.
The Happy Couple
Peregrine falcons have been observed at York Minster since 2014. A local group of bird enthusiasts have monitored and observed the birds on a daily basis since then and have affectionately named the resident pair as Mr and Mrs Minster. In 2017 the falcons successfully bred for the first time, rearing two chicks. Each year since then the birds have fledged four chicks.
Dean's Park on the north side of the Minster affords a good view of the birds - it is a great test of your eyesight to decide whether you are looking at an historical Minster grotesque, or a stationary bird of prey observing his territory!
The birds are most regularly seen on the north face of the north-west bell tower and have a nest box on the balcony on that side of the cathedral. The nest box was installed in 2016 to encourage the birds to breed.
It is not unknown on the streets of York to be confronted with a falcon having dramatically dived upon its pigeon prey, or even a fledgling chick crash-landed. You can read more about one encounter here, by local artist Robert Fuller: York Peregrine Fledgling Rescue
Birds of a Feather
As well as our Heart of Yorkshire collection in tribute to the architecture of the Minster, our designs also encompass a choice of feather jewellery in celebration of our feathered friends.
Our 'Hope' collection recreates delicate symbolic feathers in polished sterling silver. Each feather is highly detailed, displaying soft curves in each individual spine, and a flowing shape throughout.