Repairs to the Cathedral Tower

Published: 23 January 2018

Our Cathedral tower has been shrouded in scaffolding since June 2017. We are pleased to report that the repair works are progressing well, and the upper reaches of the scaffolding will start to come down in mid-February. These are the repair works that are being done:

The solid bronze clock faces are being repaired, re-painted and gilded by a specialist firm in Cumbria and will be reinstated in February.

Deteriorated masonry joints and stone features are being replaced. The high-level scaffolding has enabled us to photograph some of the good quality stone carving, particularly of faces.

Many of the ten inch high stone finials that sat on small copper pegs had failed because the resin that was used to attach them to the work below was damaged by freeze/thaw cycles. All are now being removed and reset. Four of the finials held feeding roosts for the local peregrine falcons.

The slate louvres of the tower were in very poor condition, they are being replaince with new slate louvres from Burlington Stone in Cumbria, a sister quarry to the supplier of the new stone floor in the nave. The contrast of the new slate with the repointed walling stone will give a rejuvenated look to the tower.

Work at the top of the tower is advancing well. The old pitched roof has been removed and is being replaced by a new roof with a shallow pitch. This will allow recycled plastic decking to be laid over the lead roof. This will both protect the lead and give a non-slip, durable and flat surface for visitors.

At the very end of the project, the bell frame will be brought back into use.

These works have attracted a £500,000 grant from the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund.

Photographs taken by the Cathedral Administrator, Stuart Shepherd.

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