Chichester Cathedral roof: A sneek-peak at the repairs so far

The first phase of £5.8 million restoration works to Chichester Cathedral are complete.

Friday, 30th November 2018, 11:19 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 3:34 am
The eastern part of the Cathedral

Work to replace the roof of the Cathedral began in January and has seen the 900-year-old building partially covered by scaffolding. Copper on the roof has been replaced, on the eastern side, by historically authentic lead and the scaffolding is set to be moved to the north and south parts of the building where the works will continue.

The Dean of Chichester, Stephen Waine, said: "The lead roof has replaced a failed copper roof which was letting in water and damaging the roof timbers underneath so we are delighted at the Cathedral that we have been able to finish the first part of the project and we can start to look at the second part."

Beneath the roof sits a lot of the 13th century roof structure. Roof Appeal Patron Dame Patricia Routledge said: "This is a very important appeal because it concerns everybody in the wider community. It's our history, it's our heritage and it's our meeting place."

The eastern part of the Cathedral

Using techniques similar to the original craftsmen of the 13th century, specialist have repaired, restored and recovered the Quire roof. Repairs have seen decaying medieval timbers repaired using locally sourced Sussex oak and 27 tonnes of lead lifted on to the roof. The 360 panels of lead, each weighing nearly 12 stone have all been secured to the roof by hand.

Appeal chairman Daniel Hodson said: "The generosity of so many individuals and organisations confirms that Chichester Cathedral is a much loved-landmark. The £3.8 million has now been raised for the first two phases of this vital project.

"However, we have a further £2 million still to raise and we must continue with our fundraising effort to ensure 350,000 visitors can continue to come to Chichester each year to explore and be inspired. Every donation is valued and will help us to achieve our target."

Chichester Cathedral's roof was originally covered using lead but replaced with copper in the late 1940s after World War Two when there was a shortage of lead. Once completed, the lead roof will return the Cathedral to how it used to look.

The southern trancept
The torch light the area where 13th century wood has been replaced by Sussex oak
Part of the new lead roof looking up to the spire