Mystery as Santa hats appear on 160ft statues at historic Cambridge chapel at St John’s College

Mystery as Santa hats appear on 160ft statues at historic


Mystery as Santa hats appear on 160ft statues at historic Cambridge chapel at St Johns College: ‘Rascal student’ using DRONE or ‘night-climbers’ are among suspects after festive high jinks

  • The culprit is believed to have used a drone or scaled the building for the prank
  • They had nestle the three items on the stone carvings at St John’s College chapel
  • The festive attire was first spotted by photographer Martin Bond 11am Monday
  • He claimed whoever placed them there must have climbed the walls of church










A ‘rascal student’ is believed to have hung Christmas hats on statues and gargoyles 163ft above the ground at Cambridge University.

The culprit is thought to have used a drone or scaled the building and nestle the three items on the stone carvings at St John’s College chapel.

The festive attire was first spotted by photographer Martin Bond at about 11am on Monday.

He said whoever placed them there must have climbed the walls of the colossal church because a porter told him no key had been signed out.

The culprit is thought to have used a drone or scaled the building and nestle the three items on the stone carvings at St John's College chapel

The culprit is thought to have used a drone or scaled the building and nestle the three items on the stone carvings at St John’s College chapel

The festive attire was first spotted by photographer Martin Bond at about 11am on Monday

The festive attire was first spotted by photographer Martin Bond at about 11am on Monday

He said whoever placed them there must have climbed the walls of the colossal church because a porter told him no key had been signed out

He said whoever placed them there must have climbed the walls of the colossal church because a porter told him no key had been signed out

He said whoever placed them there must have climbed the walls of the colossal church because a porter told him no key had been signed out

He told the BBC: ‘Some people believe they were placed by a drone, but they definitely climbed up there.

‘I was told by a porter no key had been signed out, so they weren’t placed inside, it was done from the outside.’

He added: ‘A rascal student has placed a Santa hat on the heads of figures on St John’s College Chapel – so why is it my picture of the day? Ask yourself – how?’

Mr Bond spotted the three hats during his daily photograph of the city for his A Cambridge Diary series, which he has done for ten years.

His find led to widespread speculation on how the daring prankster could have managed it.

Mr Bond spotted the three hats during his daily photograph of Cambridge for his A Cambridge Diary series, which he has done for ten years

Mr Bond spotted the three hats during his daily photograph of Cambridge for his A Cambridge Diary series, which he has done for ten years

His find has led to widespread speculation on how the prankster could have managed it

His find has led to widespread speculation on how the prankster could have managed it

Some believe they must have used a drone due to fly the items up due to the sheer height of the building.

Meanwhile others pointed the finger at the work of Cambridge’s ‘night climbers’ – a clandestine group that scales the city’s buildings under cover of darkness.

But some claimed the hats were simply a prank undertaken by daring students overnight.

St John’s College chapel was erected in the 1860s in replace of a smaller church that stood there from the 1200s.

Some believe they must have used a drone due to fly the items up due to the sheer height of the building

Some believe they must have used a drone due to fly the items up due to the sheer height of the building

Meanwhile others pointed the finger at the work of Cambridge's 'night climbers' - a clandestine group that scales the city's buildings under cover of darkness

Meanwhile others pointed the finger at the work of Cambridge’s ‘night climbers’ – a clandestine group that scales the city’s buildings under cover of darkness

It was created by the renown Gothic architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, who had just finished a similar one at Exeter College, Oxford.

The outside of the building has three tabernacles, which hold statues to famous alumni including Sir William Cecil, Archbishop of York and Thomas Wentworth.

The hats this week are not the first time Cambridge’s towering buildings have been used for pranks.

Four Father Christmas hats were strapped to the pinnacles of King’s College Chapel in November 2009 by a climber who scaled the 80ft exterior wall.

Meanwhile an Austin 7 was put on the roof of Senate House overnight in June 1958.

Cambridge University has been approached for comment.



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