Lincoln Cathedral Connected – restoration and conservation work continues


The first phase in a long line of restoration and renovation works to Lincoln Cathedral is progressing well as part of Lincoln Cathedral Connected; a project to radically improve the Cathedral’s setting and visitor experience by offering more engaging and dynamic spaces.

Restoration work includes repair work to the north Cloister wall and the internationally important Romanesque Frieze. The north Cloister wall which forms the outer part of the Wren Library has undergone substantial piecing in of new stone, and the removal of iron ties to the north and west wall. Work is progressing well on the south Romanesque Frieze. The Frieze has been covered since the late 1980s for preservation due to the disintegration of the attached gothic sculptures. Thanks to the funding from the Connected project, careful conservation work of the now delicate carvings which date back from approximately 1123-114, is underway.

Anne Irving, programme manager of Lincoln Cathedral Connected, said:

“It’s extremely important that we preserve the rich heritage of the Cathedral which has stood proudly over Lincoln for the last 900 years and we want to ensure it stands for at least another 900 years. By restoring it and improving the visitor experience with new and improved facilities we can further secure its future. The restoration work on the Cloister wall and the Romanesque Frieze is just the beginning of five years of important works to the Cathedral.”

Replicas of the carvings on the south Romanesque Frieze, which show biblical scenes including Daniel in the lions’ den and Noah building of the Ark will be created and put on display in the new visitor centre, which is being built as part of the Connected project and will be complete in 2020.

The Norman-era sculptures which form the Romanesque Frieze, haven’t been worked on since 1960 and will be removed from the wall so that expert conservators can examine and clean them. The Frieze is due for completion in 2022. These restoration works are being led by Manchester-based Buttress; an architectural practice with a specialism in heritage and conservation. Director Nicholas Rank, said: “Working on the south Romanesque Frieze is particularly challenging because it is regarded as one of the most sensitive conservation projects on medieval carving that’s currently active in the whole of the country.

“We have to make sure that when we clean the carvings, which is done partially with lasers, and get down to the original stone, that we do not damage it and avoid losing original fragments of these beautiful carvings. The Frieze is also 30 ft above the ground, which provides further challenges and will entail creating specially designed scaffolding to allow us to work on it. I’m extremely proud to be working with the Lincoln Cathedral Connected team and to have the opportunity to be part of the renovation of such a prestigious landmark.”