Carlisle Cathedral


The Dean and Chapter of Carlisle Cathedral



Contract Period:

30 weeks

Contract Sum:

£ 178000


The Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity was begun in 1122 as an Augustinian priory and became Carlisle Cathedral in 1133. The red sandstone building is a mix of Norman and Gothic styles as the building has been refurbished and renewed a number of times, the latest being between 1853 and 1870. Lambert Walker Limited were appointed to undertake a programme of conservation and restoration works to the south transept of this Grade I listed cathedral.

As a result of the removal of the adjoining chapter house and cloisters, large buttresses were added to the south transept. A richly sculptured arched doorway with an integral rose window was added in 1856 and became the main entrance to the cathedral. The pierced, carved stonework of this doorway has significantly deteriorated, requiring the replacement of voussoir, mouldings and capitals.

Initially, silicon reverse moulds were taken of the existing inner and outer arch carvings. From these, full scale plaster cast moulds of arch carvings were made and ‘restored’ for inspection and approval, before they were used as a template for newly carved stonework. The carving of each new arch voussoir was then undertaken by our stonemasons and sculptors, with the same sculptor responsible for all the ornate carving of each arch to maintain quality and uniformity.

With scaffolding to the south transept, the completed new masonry of the archway was then carefully fixed in position. Ashlar masonry across the south elevation was also repaired or replaced as required and full repointing works were carried out using a traditional lime mortar to match existing pointing. Masonry works included taking off and rebedding coping stones on a new lead damp proof course on the gable above the doorway. To further resist the detrimental effects of weathering, new lead work will also include the installation of spitters over gargoyles to discharge rainwater clear of the building.