Chester Cathedral celebrates the start of the first whole-building maintenance programme with huge playful artwork.
Chester Cathedral are marking the start of their first whole building maintenance programme in over 100 years with a huge, illustrated artwork depicting the exciting heritage work which is taking place and represented the different types of heritage on show in their work.
Starting later this year, the Works Department at Chester Cathedral will be carrying out maintenance of the exterior stonework on the south side of the building. As the first phase in a multi-year project, work taking place includes full checks on each section of the building, raking out and repointing and replacing masonry where required and will ensure that the friable Cheshire red sandstone that the building is made of will remain intact for years to come.
The scaffolding wrap was designed by Chester’s own Graham Boyd – who also created the staircase artwork for Chester’s New Market car park – and executed by the Cathedral working with Leftfield Marketing. On it, visitors get to see a fabricated ‘x-ray’ view behind the scenes of the work taking place. They can spot the welcoming Dean and Bishop of Chester, stonemasons at work, choristers practising for services and concerts, a tour taking place, cheeky characters, and many more.
This exciting project also addresses the ever-increasing need for heritage skills training, particularly in the north west of England. With the nearest skills training centre for stonemasonry located in York – and few opportunities to develop other types of skills such as heritage carpentry, joinery, or conservation in the UK – Chester Cathedral is leading heritage skills training in this part of the country. The maintenance work starting on the south side of the Nave is an exciting opportunity for the public to ‘see’ and hear more of the essential work being done at Chester.
The Very Revd Dr Tim Stratford
Chester Cathedral’s Works Department – the in-house team of heritage professionals carrying out this essential maintenance work – is made up of the Clerk of Works, two stonemasons, a conservator, a heritage conservation operative, and a collections manager. Together, they are the first in-house works team of the Cathedral for 100 years and carry out essential maintenance works to the Grade I listed building, host exciting events like the recent Heritage Discovery Day in October 2022, and inform on best practice in the sector. Two members of the Works Department are graciously funded by the Hamish Ogston Foundation via the Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship.
The work starting on the south side of the building this year will provide opportunities for further training and engagement and – with the scaffolding wrap erected – entertainment and enjoyment for visitors to Chester.
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