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The Nave: nearly there!

11 March 2021

Lindy Gilliland, the Cathedral’s Common Ground in Sacred Space Project Manager, writes:

The Nave looks (and feels) very different to what it did a few months ago, with most of the underfloor heating having now been laid and over half of the new paving in place.

This video shows some of the progress that has been made over the last few weeks…

You will have seen from the video that the grey medieval limestone font has recently been dissembled and moved. This is to allow for conservation by Skillington Workshop Ltd.

However, once the font was chipped away from the dais (which took an entire morning to do), it was already split into these three distinct segments: the stem, the bowl and the foot.

(The story goes that, in 1640, quick-thinking stonemason Cuthbert Maxwell dismantled and hid the font to save it from being damaged or destroyed by the Scottish Parliamentarian army during the English Civil Wars.)

Away from the font, it’s been fascinating to watch the precision taken with laser beams to align levels and paving patterns. Although the stone is still drying out, the Cathedral already feels lighter and brighter. The overall effect is going to be stunning.

We’re conscious of the effect of winter weather and high humidity on the fabric of the building and artefacts within. Both the organ and Raemaekers’ cartoon of ‘St George and the Dragon’ have had health checks recently.

The new visitor facilities and volunteers’ space underneath Cathedral Hall are starting to look more like rooms now! Plasterers are busy alongside electricians and boiler men are grappling with new radiators and heating circuits. We’re hoping that our current volunteers and new ones too will feel safe enough to return in May to support the Cathedral’s visitor offer. Lucy Cooke, Volunteer Coordinator, would love to hear from you!


The Cathedral’s National Lottery Heritage Fund project, Common Ground in Sacred Space, is due for completion in summer 2021.

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