Durham's unique nativity set

At first glance, the display looks like any other, but the nativity at Durham Cathedral is a special one.

Here in Durham, we have a long standing connection with the local communities and the heritage of the area. Our partnership with the Durham Miners' Association is something we're proud of and we mark in many ways, including through the annual Miners' Gala. Another way in which we show our connection is through the nativity display.

Carved by a local miner, Michael Doyle, specifically for Durham Cathedral, the scene includes some unusual figures you won't see in most nativity sets.

Instead of an innkeeper, the display contains a miner holding a lamp and water bottle. There is no donkey at the display, but there is a pit pony in full harness. In this nativity set, the baby Jesus doesn't lie in a manger, but in a choppy box, which is where the pit ponies ate from.

The wood itself also has links to the local area. The display is made from seasoned oak from the local Raby Estate, donated by Lord Barnard.

Watch Durham Cathedral's Exhibition Officer discuss the unique nativity scene here