Canterbury Cathedral Gates To Be Restored
It seems that Oak restoration and repairs are the order of the week with the Canterbury Cathedral now up for repair. The huge oak wooden gates which visitors have to pass through to enter the cathedral have recently been removed for conservation work. The Christ Church Gate, which was built in 1517, acts as the main entrance for visitors wishing to visit Canterbury Cathedral.
The oak gates are carved with the arms of the Kent landmark, and were replaced in 1616 after the original ones were damaged. These were then removed and repaired 80 years ago, but whilst they have survived this long the elements have still taken there toll.
These signs of deterioration have been expressed by John Burton, surveyor to the Fabric of Canterbury Cathedral, as he states that “Fixings have rusted and split the woodwork, and brass plates in the bottom of the gates have collected water, causing the timber to rot. All we can do is slow down the process”.
The oak gates were removed on Tuesday, in a delicate and long operation which went well into the night. Engineers then carried the gates vertically, using a fort-lift truck, round the cathedral to the north side, where they were hung on specially constructed scaffolding bearing hinge pins to replicate the gateway. This process is designed to protect the timber as it is keeping them in the same environment as before.
All of the conservation work is to be carried out by master craftsmen Houghtons of York, with work expecting to take around three to four months. An official ceremony is planned for early in the New Year to mark the official return of the gates. Special thanks to the Idle Speculations blog for the above image.