These cathedrals have their own in-house teams of crafts people working on a wide range of restoration projects which provide challenging and varied learning and teaching environments for our students.
Please get in touch if you would like to know more about what we do and how you could get involved.
“Canterbury is currently embarked on £24.7 million pounds-worth of Heritage Lottery-Funded projects, known collectively as ‘The Canterbury Journey’. They comprise the re-roofing of the Nave and the Western Towers, the construction of a New Welcome Centre, Interpretation and Exhibition Space, A new Shop, a Community Space and the repair and conservation of the Christ Church Gate. These works are providing jobs for local contractors and the opportunity for four apprenticeships – two stonemasons, a carpenter/joiner and a plumber specialising in leadwork. Running concurrently with the conservation projects are numerous opportunities for Learning and Participation, both inside the Cathedral Precincts and the community at large. Canterbury Journey will take five years to complete, finishing in 2021.”
Heather Newton, Head of Conservation, Canterbury Cathedral.
Chester’s fledgling Works Department is currently engaged on two projects, making the most of the Cathedral being closed to visitors. Our Mason, Tom, is coming to the end of a small programme of repointing in the South Cloister. An unstable niche in the south wall necessitated a rebuild and the first major stone replacements since the department was restarted. The Cathedral Conservator, Naomi, is about to complete the first phase of a major restoration to the floor of the Baptistry, details of which can be found here – chestercathedral.com/about/the-baptistry-mosaic-at-chester-cathedral
The Department is also working on developing its new Works Yard, land for which was acquired on the Cathedral Estate in 2020. You can follow the progress of the department through their Instagram account at ‘the_works_department.’
Ted Comer, Clerk of Works, Chester Cathedral
“At Durham our current work focus is the repair and conservation works to the Belfry Tower, which mainly consist of stonework repair to the upper parapets and bell chamber levels. Other works to be completed include repairs to roof-coverings and rainwater systems, and the renewal of roof-access decking so that visitors can continue to enjoy the magnificent views of Durham offered from the Tower”.
Maya Polenz, Head of Property, Durham Cathedral.
“Exeter is in the final phase of work to the East gable of the quire with a whole new pinnacle being the focus of our attention at the moment which is both rewarding and time consuming due to the level of carved detail. 300+ stones have been replaced in this project and extensive structural attention had to be given to the south east turret. The great East window here has also had isothermal glazing installed to manage and conserve the historic glass content. At the same time we are also working on the first phase of the quire clerestory window bays, again plenty of stone conservation and replacement including carved elements of pinnacles. We have a programme in place for works taking us through to 2027 at present but we all know there is more to do beyond this. We also have a small quarry which we have reopened and operate to provide us with the necessary “Salcombe” stone supply for all of our ongoing works on the Cathedral.”
Chris Sampson, Clerk of Works, Exeter Cathedral.
“At Gloucester the cathedral team work at the moment is part of the HLF funded ‘Pilgrim Project’ which will entirely redevelop the cathedral surrounds , eradicating the existing car park and replacing with a new landscaped design, as well as providing a much improved visitor experience and access . The cathedral masons’ input is primarily on the external repairs of the Lady Chapel as part of the complete refurbishment of this building, internal and external. Part of the project delivery is the training of a young mason who is starting the CWF Foundation degree course in September 2017. We hope that the second phase of this HLF project will also include the provision of an advanced apprenticeship for another young mason”.
Pascal Mychalysin, Master Mason, Gloucester Cathedral.
“Lincoln is a very busy conservation hub at present with many external and internal projects in progress. Lincoln Cathedral Connected, a £16 million NLHF project is drawing to an end, providing a new visitor centre, refectory, retail, discovery and exhibition spaces. The Old Deanery Visitor Centre will transform the visitor experience in the cathedral precinct and is a highly anticipated addition to our facilities and therefore service for the city.
Our masonry and conservation team continue to conserve the 12th century southern Romanesque frieze, 14th Century Gallery of Kings and the central niche of the West Front, including our Romanesque great west door.
A major masonry campaign continues on the north east transept and will continue around the east of the cathedral, on to the highly decorated retro choir and Chapter house. Our glazing team continue their work to the medieval lancets on the south west transept. Many service and facilities projects are underway, both internally and externally. Of course we have over 50 other structures including properties and gateways which are also programmed for works this year and in to the future.
Michael Sheppard, Director of Works and Property, Lincoln Cathedral.
” Salisbury is nearing the end of a 30-year programme of works which commenced in 1985. The Spire and tower were complete by 1995 but it was then found that all the stone work around the building needed urgent attention as did the glazing, timber and lead work, so the Major Repair Programme (MRP) was formulated, dividing the Cathedral up in to 21 manageable sections or Major Repair Areas (MRAs).
West front works took place to the 80 statues between 1995 and 2000 with the top cross being fixed as part of the millennium celebrations. Work has continued clockwise around the building and the area currently being worked on is the East end of the Cathedral, the oldest part and where building work began in April 1220.”
Gary Price, Clerk of the Works, Salisbury Cathedral.
Winchester Cathedral. Recent projects have included the repair and conservation of the presbytery roof, high vaults and roof bosses and 15th-century stained glass plus the redevelopment of the Triforium Gallery as a new exhibition space.
Worcester Cathedral Works Department is working on two major projects:
Repair and restoration to the Great West Window and associated stonework involves a phased restoration to all stained glass panels, also stonework restoration & conservation to the tracery stonework, main window mullions, two main pinnacles and conservation cleaning. This work is funded by the First World War Centenary Repair Fund and is expected to be completed by March 2018.
The restoration and conservation work on Edgar Tower is being undertaken by the Cathedral Works Department. Edgar Tower is one of Worcester’s oldest structures. The impressive gateway to the Cathedral Close was built in the early 1200s by order of King John. The team is currently working on the south/west Turret of the tower.
“York Minster’s Works Department, which maintains and conserves York Minster and the precinct properties currently has a team of over thirty people comprising of stonemasons, joiners, electricians, plumbers, scaffolders, gardeners, labourers and support staff.
Major works being carried out at the moment include an eleven year project to repair and restore stonework on the south elevation of the 14th century Quire, and also the repair and renovation of St William’s College, a 15th century building once used to house the Vicars Choral at York Minster. Completion of the Great East Window glass restoration by the York Glaziers’ Trust is due early in 2018. September 2018 will see the start of a two year project to rebuild the Great Organ”
John David, Master Mason, York Minster.