Cathedral’s £90,000 boost to fix roofs

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PORTSMOUTH Cathedral has received £90,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards an exciting project to conserve and repair its medieval roofs.

The work on the roofs – which form the oldest and historically most important part of the cathedral – will start in September and should be complete by the end of the year.

As well as the conservation, the project will include guided tours and seminars about the cathedral, which will be available for visitors, members of the congregation, the Friends of Old Portsmouth Association, local schools and the University of Portsmouth.

A documentary film will also be made to record the conservation work.

Commenting on the lottery award, The Dean of Portsmouth, The Very Reverend David Brindley, said: ‘We are delighted to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and are confident that the project will not only conserve this important part of the cathedral’s medieval fabric, but will also provide a wide variety of opportunities for the cathedral community and young people ranging from primary school age to students in the architecture department of Portsmouth University to learn about this unique aspect of their heritage.’

The cathedral is a Grade I listed building, which dates back to the 12th century.

The exterior of the cathedral is buffeted by strong salt-laden rain and wind and the roof finishes are deteriorating so much that they need remedial action, particularly because they are so exposed.

The roofs requiring repair are in the most important historically and architecturally significant areas of the cathedral, being the earliest part of the building, which dates from mediaeval times.

These need to be urgently repaired on a like-for-like basis to provide a long lasting durable finish.

Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in the south east, Stuart McLeod, said: ‘This project will enable vital repairs to one of the city’s most important and historic buildings to be undertaken.’