Major Repair Programme
In 1966 the then Clerk of the Works and Cathedral Architect advised the need for comprehensive fabric repairs. Until this time a lack of funding meant the Cathedral could only undertake low-level maintenance work.
Many of the roofs were found to be more than 150 years old and distorted or even cracked by thermal movement; the glazing, some of the finest in the country, was becoming frail and in need of re-leading and cleaning and many of the stones in the walls were blistering, soot encrusted and eroded.
The areas in the worst condition were the spire (through which daylight could be seen in places and some stones were only 2” thick having once been 8”), tower, west front and the roof. Work began on the spire in 1986 following an appeal by the Cathedral Trust that, under the patronage of HRH Prince Charles, raised more than £6million. The work on the spire and tower was completed in 1992, then that on the west front from 1995 to 2000; the work on the roofs, which involved 90% replacement was completed in 2005. The Major Repair Programme was split into Major Repair Areas (MRAs) and is still continuing today; the entire Programme is between 90% and 95% complete and we have a target finish date of 2020.
Our craftsmen and women in the Works Department consider it a great honour and privilege to look after and conserve this great building and we pledge our commitment to the care of conserving this great Cathedral for future generations to enjoy, worship in and visit and you can now come to see them at work on a behind the scenes Stonemasonry Works Yard Tour.