Essential restoration and renovation works are set to begin on the West Front of Lincoln Cathedral this week
A specially designed steel podium deck is being erected to create a workshop seven metres above the ground to enable conservators access to the stone and rare carvings that are being restored.
The cathedral will remain open as usual throughout the duration of the works.
The work is being undertaken as part of Lincoln Cathedral Connected, a heritage lottery-backed project to improve the Cathedral’s setting and visitor experience.
Anne Irving, programme manager of Lincoln Cathedral Connected, said: “We are really excited to see the significant work to the West Front commence, which is essential in allowing us to continue to protect the cathedral.”
The work involves the conservation of the 14th Century ‘Gallery of Kings’ - the carvings of eleven kings sitting above the largest door of the Cathedral, the conservation of the gable at the top of the West Front, and conservation works to the 12th Century Romanesque Frieze.
Ms Irving continued: “The Romanesque Frieze on the West Front has been covered for many, many years so this work to unveil the carving and stone work has been a long time coming and I can’t wait to see what we refer to as the ‘workshop in the sky’ in place.
“It’s an exciting time for the cathedral and it is fantastic that we have the funds available to do these necessary and important works.”
Some initial conservation work began to the West Front back in 1983, which left the southern run of the Romanesque Frieze covered to protect the Romanesque sculptures, which date back to 1123-1148.
The platform will allow the Cathedral’s Works Department to access and remove the covering boxes and to unveil part of the Romanesque Frieze for the first time in nearly 35 years.
The West Front conservation and repair work is expected to reach completion in 2023.
Other upcoming works as part of the Connected project involve the landscaping of Dean’s Green to create a public space; the new visitor centre, to include a larger café and shop; new toilets and an interpretation centre to display some of the cathedral’s treasures.