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Stunning drone shots show workers with a head for heights at Ely Cathedral



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It is not work for the faint-hearted, as these drone photographs show.

Repairs on the Lantern Tower at Ely Cathedral. Picture: Geoff Robinson Photography
Repairs on the Lantern Tower at Ely Cathedral. Picture: Geoff Robinson Photography

Scaffolding was erected to enable work on the Lantern Tower at Ely Cathedral, as part of a series of repairs. Built in 1334, the 43-metre tall octagon-shaped tower is considered a great feat of engineering from the Middle Ages.

Damage to the lead roof cladding was recently found. In some areas, it had completely corroded, exposing the underlying timber structure. This led to significant leaks and internal erosion to the area underneath, which included the principal altar and Octagon floor – both of which had to be kept covered to protect them from rainwater leaking through the roof.

Repairs on the Lantern Tower (circled) at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire which was built in 1334. Scaffolding has been put up around the 43-metre-tall historic tower, which is seen as one of the greatest engineering feats of the Middle Ages. Picture: Geoff Robinson Photography
Repairs on the Lantern Tower (circled) at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire which was built in 1334. Scaffolding has been put up around the 43-metre-tall historic tower, which is seen as one of the greatest engineering feats of the Middle Ages. Picture: Geoff Robinson Photography

The work, due to be finished in March, has been funded by the government’s Culture Recovery Fund. The cathedral is one of 445 heritage organisations sharing £103m for maintenance.

The dean of Ely, the Very Revd Mark Bonney, said: “We cannot express how grateful we are to the government, Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the funding. As the custodians of this magnificent building, we have a duty to ensure it remain standing for future generations.”

Repairs on the Lantern Tower at Ely Cathedral. Picture: Geoff Robinson Photography
Repairs on the Lantern Tower at Ely Cathedral. Picture: Geoff Robinson Photography

“This has been a challenging year for many in the heritage sector and it is heartening to know that steps are being taken to ensure their survival and recovery.”

The work has been funded by the government’s Culture Recovery Fund. The cathedral is one of 445 heritage organisations sharing £103m to help restart reconstruction work and maintenance.

This boost is part of the £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund to help sites through the pandemic.

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