Published: 14:15, 28 September 2009
| Updated: 14:16, 28 September 2009
by Katie Alston
Expensive work to repair Canterbury Cathedral’s Great South Window has started.
The job which is estimated to cost £500,000 came as a massive blow to experts who are in the middle of a £50 million restoration project of the historical building.
Cracks were discovered in the stone work surrounding the 12th century stain glass panels back in July, forcing specialists to add the urgent job to their 'to do’ list and delay other planned projects.
Splits in the stone are thought to have been caused by the expansion and contraction, during spells of very hot weather, of the metal bars within that help to absorb wind pressure. This has affected the strength of the window, which has now become a priority to fix. Experts have ruled out other restoration work as a cause for the damage to the stonework and structure which surrounds what is described as arguably the most important stain glass in the country.
Scaffolding is being put up both inside and out to hold the wait of the window while the repairs, which could take up to 18 months to complete are carried out.
During conservation work, the glass will be removed and safely stored, although there are hopes that some of it may be put on display for visitors to be able to take a closer look.
Most of the restorations will be carried out by the Cathedral’s own stonemasons and stained glass conservators, with funding to come from the Canterbury Cathedral Appeal.
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