Beverley Minster's National Lottery Sanctuary project reaches key stage

Wed 10th June 2020
Beverley Minster Scaffolding 2 Jpg

Crucial work is underway at Beverley Minster to restore part of its crumbling fabric and tell its remarkable story of Sanctuary thanks to a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £406,700 awarded last year.  

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on the Minster’s Lesser South Transept with the works involving re-leading the roof, repairing the roof timbers, restoring crumbling stonework and improving the guttering. 

The building conservation work has reached a crucial stage with the completion of the erection of the huge scaffolding and creation of a temporary roof.  The scaffolding has:

  • used almost 18,000 scaffold fittings weighing 22.3 tonnes
  • installed scaffold boards that, end to end, would stretch about 4.7 miles
  • fitted 63,000 feet of scaffold tubes - the distance from Beverley to Market Weighton.

The total weight of the scaffolding is 154.5 tonnes (the weight of 22 'Great Johns' – the Minster’s largest bell that rings each hour), and it took 3,300 worker hours to erect this scaffolding - all completed within the government’s social distancing guidelines for construction work.

Now the scaffold is complete, the re-roofing and works to the timbers, stonework and gutters can start.

The building restoration work is being carried out by Messenger Construction and is expected to be completed in November 2020.

Supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project will also 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 (see notes below).

Commenting on the progress with the work, Reverend Canon Jonathan Baker, vicar of Beverley Minster, said “Caring for the fabric of this important historic building is a big responsibility and so we are delighted to see the completion of this enormous scaffold. 

"The restoration work to the Lesser South Transept can now commence, which will secure the heritage for years to come. 

"We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and are confident the project will support people to appreciate the building’s heritage and raise awareness of the Minster’s role in sanctuary both in past and present times.”

Just Beverley