Historic tower set for facelift after £69k gift

Worcester News: GATEWAY: The cathedral’s 14th century Edgar Tower, to undergo restoration. Picture: Paul Jackson. 5013477301 GATEWAY: The cathedral’s 14th century Edgar Tower, to undergo restoration. Picture: Paul Jackson. 5013477301

ONE of the main entrances to Worcester Cathedral is set to undergo a facelift after receiving a funding boost.

The Edgar Tower gateway is the main entrance to the south side of the cathedral precinct and is set to get a facelift thanks to a £69,500 grant from the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England.

It is in need of urgent repair, with some of the exterior stonework now seriously eroded and in very poor condition, and the money will be used to complete a renovation project.

The Dean of Worcester, the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, said: “This grant is wonderful news for the cathedral.

“The work on Edgar Tower is one of the last significant repair projects after the completion of the cathedral’s major restoration programme in 2011, and it is vital, both in terms of the historic significance of the tower, and in terms of keeping one of our main entrances open to the public.”

Nick Drew, the cathedral’s director of fund-raising, said the grant was only a part of the cash needed to complete the work.

“We’re obviously delighted and very grateful to the commission for their generous support,” he said.

“However, this grant only takes us part of the way to the total we will need for this project, so we will be exploring other avenues to find the remainder of the money that we need.”

The majority of the renovation works will be undertaken by the cathedral’s in-house stonemasons, to a high level of craftsmanship and using authentic stone which will be brought from Highley in Shropshire – as was the original stone.

It is hoped the repairs, which will begin in the summer of 2014, will ensure no further work is needed on the tower for at least 50 years.

The present tower dates from the 14th century but was originally built on King John's orders from wood and stone of the best quality.

The rooms in the tower are still in use by the King’s School, making them some of the oldest schoolrooms in continuous use in Europe.


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