Only ten Cathedrals in England have a permanent works department. Durham Cathedral has been fortunate to have had a works yard team in one form or another since it was built over 1000 years ago. The Cathedral’s stonemasons have carried out the work to repair and conserve the central tower. The masons used traditional methods and hand tools to preserve heritage skills and produce work visually consistent with the Cathedral’s historic stonework.

Durham is currently our most northern member Cathedral and certainly one of the best examples of Norman architecture in the country.

Meet some Apprentices at Durham Cathedral:

Robin Erskine

“I have just finished a perimeter fence which was a health and safety issue on the estate which was interesting and satisfying. Otherwise, I have been working in the Deanery converting the undercroft into various spaces including a conference room. Putting up new walls and dividing the space has been interesting and I have learnt a lot.”

Jed Williams

“Currently at Durham Cathedral one of the boundary retaining walls is undergoing major restoration. This is an extremely important and interesting project to be involved with, providing many unique challenges and sparking many thought-provoking conversations about the various approaches and techniques used when working on a structure so badly damaged. The work primarily involves the removal of old cement and replacing it with new lime mortar.

Upon further review the original plan has evolved to include over 150 stone replacements to maintain the structural integrity and allow stones to continue shedding water away effectively. I have been heavily involved in both the repointing and stone replacement aspects of the job, having produced numerous new stones for the project and fitted many as well.”