Stone Cleaning

What’s happened?

The nineteenth century reconstruction of Manchester Cathedral by Crowther in 1881 used red sandstone from Delamere in Cheshire. This sandstone was considered to be an appropriate substitute for the local Collyhurst red sandstone from which many of Manchester’s historic buildings were built. The new sandstone whilst remaining crisp in its abundant detail has become very dirty since 1881. Often when daylight is low no detail at all can be made out within the body of the Nave.

The masonry of the Nave above the column capital level in the Nave was cleaned. Use of the column capital as a stopping point was carefully considered to enable the appreciation of the decorative higher level stone work above, without creating the effect of having half cleaned columns below. CleanFilm as manufactured by Stonehealth was used to clean the masonry. This is a natural latex poultice with a small amount of active product Disodium EDTA, a pH 8 chelating agent.

The work began in April 2017 and completed in June 2017.