A Canterbury Tale
Working on Canterbury Cathedral.
The restoration of Canterbury Cathedral
The Cathedral has required constant maintenance since it was built in Medieval times, but WWII damage still has to be rectified.
The Cathedral building has had a turbulent history since St Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory the Great, established his seat in Canterbury in 597 AD. The Cathedral has been visited by thousands of pilgrims since the death, in 1170 of Thomas Becket, the then Archbishop.
The 20th century has seen perhaps more damage done to the building than any other period in its history, and now work is underway to repair and restore the Cathedral to its former glory.
The Cathedral employs a large group of skilled artisans how are continually working to maintain the structure of the building.
Heather Newton: Head of Stone Conservation.
In charge of stone conservation and masonry, Heather Newton has worked on the Cathedral for most of her working life. The historic importance of the building is of great interest and Heather and her team work with the Canterbury Archeological Trust, who are with them on site while all work is undertaken.
The outer skin of the building is always subject to repair and renewal to repair damange caused by our wet climate, although some of the original Medieval stonework is still in place.
Ben Swinfield: Apprentice Stone Mason
Ben Sinfield is an apprentice stone mason who is happy working to help restore the limestone outer skin of the building. It may not have been the obvious job for a young man from the city, but his background in the arts and a determination to get himself through his studies has allowed him to start scaling the heights of his chosen profession.
In 2006 a fundraising appeal was launched to raise £50 million to Save Canterbury Cathedral. One of the larger projects is the renewal of the building's roof. Lead roofs usually have a 150 year life span, and the cathedral's has reached its expected replacement age.
David Innes explains how the cathedral survived largely intact the ravages of World War II. In spite of the damge done to the surrounding areas of the city, the Cathedral was largely untouched.
A team of Fire Wardens ensured, through their vigilance, that the largely wooden roof of the building never caught fire.
He explains how the bombs dropped nearby have meant a continuing problem for the Cathedral.
In December 2008, a £500,000 project to repair Canterbury Cathedral's roof involving huge amounts of scaffolding and replacing 30 tonnes of lead neared completion.
last updated: 19/12/2008 at 11:44