Crucial work to restore part of Beverley Minster’s crumbling fabric has been completed thanks to a grant of £406,700 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, which is part of a project to tell its remarkable story of Sanctuary.
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on the Minster’s Lesser South Transept. The works have involved re-leading the roof, repairing the roof timbers, conserving crumbling stonework and improving the lead gutters.
The previous lead is thought to have been over 200 years old and was leaking thereby causing, amongst other things, decay to the roof structure. The timbers have been repaired and strengthened where necessary, the gutters renewed and the roof recovered, all under the cover of a temporary roof to protect the Minster’s precious interior. The building restoration work has been carried out by Messenger Construction.
The old lead was melted down and re-formed back into lead bays for re-use, with The total weight of the new lead is 16 tonnes (more than the weight of a double decker bus), and it took four men 10 weeks to install.
Whilst the extensive scaffold was in place, the Lesser South Transept’s stonework was also renovated using stone from a quarry in Tadcaster where the original stone was from. The façade was surveyed and severely eroded stones at the higher levels were cut out and replaced to ensure that all the weathering features were functioning correctly.
Supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Sanctuary project will help tell afresh to the present generation the Minster’s historic and nationally significant story of providing a right of sanctuary to those who could be, in those days, subject to mob justice or family vengeance.