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Southwark Cathedral prepares for royal visit

A traditional Mohegan memorial boulder has been lifted into Southwark Cathedral's churchyard.

Southwark Cathedral prepares for royal visit

Work on placing the stone in the churchyard's south-east corner began shortly after first light on Tuesday. The carved boulder had been wrapped in blankets and brought overnight from Devon to Borough Market.

Supervised by the sculptor Peter Randall-Page, the stone was gently uncovered and slowly hoisted over the cathedral railing in an operation which took over an hour. Rolling the stone into place inch by inch took a further hour of painstaking direction.

The entire transfer of the stone from the heavy vehicle in the Green Market to the newly laid lawn in the cathedral grounds was filmed for distribution to American television networks.

The memorial commemorates Sachem Mahomet Weyonomon, Chief of the Mohegan tribe of North America, who is buried in the churchyard. His death occurred in 1736 when he died of smallpox whilst on a visit to meet George II.

The burial took place late at night and without a permanant marker being provided. 270 years later this traditional memorial carved from America stone will at last record Mohamet's visit and tragic death.

The Queen is due visit the spot on Wednesday 22 November to unveil the memorial after attending a service at 11am inside the cathedral. Tribal chairman Bruce Two Dogs Bozsum and other members are flying in from America for the commemoration.

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