Stone 'running out' at Lincoln Cathedral quarry

Lincoln Cathedral Image copyright David Dixon/Geograph
Image caption Lincoln Cathedral is 900 years old

A 900-year-old cathedral is close to running out of stone for vital repairs.

Restoration experts at Lincoln Cathedral said there was an "urgent need" to find new limestone for decorative and structural work.

Works manager Carol Heidschuster said the current quarry at Riseholme Road, Lincoln, has about five years of stone left.

The cathedral's stonemasons use more than 100 tonnes of stone per year for maintenance and repairs.

Head stonemason Paul Booth said stone has always been quarried locally because it must be matched in quality, and colour to the same weather conditions.

Image caption Local stone quarried in the immediate vicinity has always been used for the cathedral

Repairs must last at least 100 years.

"The stone is there, it's just that Lincoln is so developed now that all the best quarry sites have been built on," he said.

"We just have to use our team of geologists and professionals to find the right source."

Image caption Works manager Carol Heidschuster said: "We quarry on this site every two or three years, which keeps our stone going, but we've only got about five years left."
Image caption Lincoln Cathedral's head stonemason, Paul Booth, said the best quarry sites in Lincoln have been built on
Image caption The cathedral's stonemasons carve stone for decorative and structural purposes
Image caption The current cathedral quarry is at Riseholme Road, 1.4 miles from Lincoln Cathedral

Colin Davy of Lincolnshire County Council said: "Both the cathedral and castle are iconic buildings for Lincolnshire and are incredibly important.

"We've got to protect them and make sure we've got the raw materials necessary for those buildings to be repaired in the future."

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