At the end of 2016 we were lucky enough to receive grant funding from the government via the First World War Centenary Cathedrals Repair Fund to allow us to carry out urgent repairs to the stonework on the north east corner of the cathedral.
Phase 2, starting in early 2017, will be building on the successes of phase 1 (forgive the pun) and repairing stonework at the very top of the building. This will include replacing 2 worn gargoyles and much of the stonework supporting the flying buttresses. You may have seen the hoardings going up around the north-east side of the Cathedral, which will create a compound and keep everyone safe.
Do keep an eye on this page for further information as the project develops.
Design a Gargoyle
Long after selfies, Facebook and Twitter have been forgotten, in hundreds of years’ time, people will look up and admire two gargoyles on Ripon Cathedral, pieces of history inspired by schoolchildren in 2017.
Today’s children at primary schools across North and West Yorkshire are being given the opportunity to write themselves into history in a competition launched by the cathedral to design two new gargoyles to replace two severely decayed ones.
Their designs are due to be received by Ripon Cathedral by the end of March. Ten finalists will have their entries displayed as part of a two-week exhibition in mid-April culminating with a public vote in early May to select two winners. Stone carvers will go into the winners’ schools to finalise details of the designs. The gargoyles will then be carved and installed in early September, ready to take their place in history.
Scaffolding went up in January to enable work to start on replacing high level decayed stonework on the north east corner of the cathedral. Stone will also be replaced on the underside of some of the flying buttresses and lead drainpipes will be replaced by wider drainpipes to cope with the heavier downpours we get these days. This work, which will include repointing, will continue throughout the spring and summer as part of the second phase of the cathedral’s stone replacement programme supervised by the architect Oliver Caroe, who is the fabric surveyor for both Ripon Cathedral and St Paul’s Cathedral. It is being funded by a £398,000 grant from the First World War Centenary Repairs Fund.
Last year phase one saw three gargoyles and stonework at a lower level on the north east corner replaced. This work won an award for craftsmanship from Ripon Civic Society.