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Two Abseilers Seen Going Down York Minster

York Minster Abseiling 210314

1:08pm 21st March 2014

Two people have been abseiling down York Minster’s 180 foot tower today.

The abseiling is part of essential maintenance work to inspect and remove weathered pieces of stone from the tower’s east and south faces.

Heritage Stone Access is carrying out the work over the next six weeks on behalf of York Minster, using hammers to test and remove stones by hand and pinning grotesques which have been identified as having faults.

Rebecca Thompson, Superintendent of Works at York Minster, said: “The team is focusing on the east and south faces as priority areas as these are the sides which experience the worst extremes of the weather. The changes in temperature and process of freezing and then thawing causes the stone to contract and expand, meaning inspections need to be carried out and worn pieces removed.

“We hope to be able to obtain funding next year to complete the north and west sides.”

The current work is being funded through a grant from the Cathedral Fabric Repair Fund, a partnership between the Cathedral Fabric Commission for England, the Wolfson Foundation and the Pilgrim Trust. The fund supports cathedrals carrying out essential and urgent fabric repair works.  

The work on the tower is part of an ongoing maintenance programme at York Minster to conserve and restore its historic - and in places fragile - fabric, which includes the major project to restore and conserve York Minster’s East End.

For more information about conservation work at the cathedral and details of how you can support this vital maintenance, visit www.yorkminster.org.

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