Photo: Marking the completion of the renovation work are, from left, Pete Ashcroft, project manager for East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Roger Lewis, chair of Friends of Beverley Minster, Andy Burrell, architect from Carden & Godfrey, Tim Carlisle, project director for Beverley Minster, and Martin Needler, chair of Beverley Minster Old Fund.
Crucial work to restore part of Beverley Minster’s crumbling fabric has been completed thanks to a grant of £406,700 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, which is part of a project to tell its remarkable story of Sanctuary.
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on the Minster’s Lesser South Transept. The works have involved re-leading the roof, repairing the roof timbers, conserving crumbling stonework and improving the lead gutters.
The previous lead is thought to have been over 200 years old and was leaking thereby causing, amongst other things, decay to the roof structure. The timbers have been repaired and strengthened where necessary, the gutters renewed and the roof recovered, all under the cover of a temporary roof to protect the Minster’s precious interior. The building restoration work has been carried out by Messenger Construction.
The old lead was melted down and re-formed back into lead bays for re-use, with The total weight of the new lead is 16 tonnes (more than the weight of a double decker bus), and it took four men 10 weeks to install.
Whilst the extensive scaffold was in place, the Lesser South Transept’s stonework was also renovated using stone from a quarry in Tadcaster where the original stone was from. The façade was surveyed and severely eroded stones at the higher levels were cut out and replaced to ensure that all the weathering features were functioning correctly.
Supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Sanctuary project will help tell afresh to the present generation the Minster’s historic and nationally significant story of providing a right of sanctuary to those who could be, in those days, subject to mob justice or family vengeance (see notes below).
Commenting on the progress with the work, Reverend Canon Jonathan Baker, vicar of Beverley Minster, said “Caring for the fabric of this important historic building is a big responsibility and so we are delighted to see the completion of the restoration work to the Lesser South Transept’s roof and stonework. We are thrilled to have received this support
“Thanks to National Lottery players, the Beverley Minster Old Fund and the Friends of Beverley Minster. We are confident the Sanctuary project will help people appreciate the building’s heritage and raise awareness of the Minster’s role in sanctuary both in past and present times.”
David Renwick, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, added: “It’s great to see that the work to restore this part of Beverley Minster’s fabric to its former glory has been completed. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this heritage treasure of the North now boasts a wonderful new roof and renovated stonework, and can continue sharing the historic and nationally significant story of providing a right of sanctuary with its community and beyond.”