Dean’s Verger welcomes HM The Queen with new verge
Wednesday, 16th October 2019
The Dean’s Verger at Westminster Abbey, Martin Castledine, carried a new silver verge marking the 750th anniversary of the building of Henry III’s Abbey as the Dean welcomed Her Majesty The Queen to the Abbey yesterday.
The Dean's Verger leads the Dean, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, to the West Gate to welcome the Monarch when she visits.
From the Latin virga meaning 'rod' the verge is the wand of office of a verger. At Westminster Abbey Martin Castledine leads a team of nine vergers who assist clergy during a service and who also look after the vestments and plate. They also offer visitors tours of the medieval church.
Martin Castledine said:
I thought that a new silver verge would be a wonderful way to mark our 750th anniversary, and the Dean agreed.
Julia Skilton at the Goldsmiths’ Centre put us in touch with three silversmiths and we selected Ottewill Silversmiths and Jewellers from Ashford in Kent. They in turn offered three designs and we chose elements from each.
One of our stipulations was that the piece should be made by an apprentice. So Stephen Ottewill gave the work to one of his apprentices, William Sullivan, who made the verge in its entirety and who will take it to Goldsmiths’ Hall at the end of this month as an example of the work he has completed during his apprenticeship.