Maintaining Worcester Cathedral takes a lot of skilled work and the Cathedral has a dedicated team of highly talented stonemasons to carry out the task all year round. However from time to time the decision has to be made to bring in specialists to help carry out work.
Recently the working at height specialist company Heritage Stone Access have been working outside the Cathedral to take down a damaged pinnacle at the northwest end. The pinnacle which had been installed in Victorian times has been damaged from a possible lighting strike as well as natural weathering.
The Cathedral Stone Mason Emily Draper (who is acting team leader) said “As part of our current programme of repair and conservation to the Great West Window it became apparent that we needed to remove and repair the very top section of the North West Pinnacle. From the vantage point of the scaffold we could see that the top stones of the pinnacle needed some attention. Due to the specialist nature of the access requirements to reach the stonework we have brought in Heritage Stone Access who are extremely experienced with work of this nature, to assess, safely remove and replace new stonework to the areas which have failed. It has been a wonderful experience working alongside Richard and the team and I can’t wait to see the new stones being fixed! Having been invited to go up in the crane basket to see the work, it was a privilege to see such a wonderful view of our beautiful Cathedral and the intricate Victorian stonework of the Pinnacle itself.”
Richard Martin from Heritage Stone Access, who carried out the high level work said “Having been a former apprentice at Worcester Cathedral, carrying out specialist work like this stems from the experience I’ve had at working not only here but at other Cathedrals across the country. I feel really positive about the end result and being involved in the whole process of the job, from initial inspection and providing a defect report, to removal, working the stone, re-fixing and the conservation project on the rest of the pinnacle.”
The Heritage Stone Access team will return within the next couple of months to install four large new carved stone sections within the Pinnacle.