Canterbury Cathedral Great South Window

Jan Leeming

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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL - Great South Window

Date: 12th March 2014

CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL – SOUTH WINDOW

Up the scaffolding.

Assistants and Guides were offered the opportunity to attend a talk on progress with the South Window followed by a trip up the scaffolding and an explanation of what is being done.

It must be over three years ago that a lump of masonry fell from the South Window and narrowly missed a member of the congregation. On investigation, the volume of work to be done was horrendous. The South Window – which contained all our beautiful ‘Ancestors of Christ’ Stained Glass Windows – was basically falling apart due to Age, foundations and poor repairs in the 18th Century plus a lean outwards of 60 millimetres (I think that is what the Head of Works said).

The repair is a gigantic task and currently there’s a massive hole where the mullions, tracery and stained glass used to be.

I can’t relay to you the finer details of the work because I didn’t understand a lot of it but it was fascinating to climb up the scaffolding and have it all explained to us. Much of the damage to the mullions has been caused by a ‘cancer’ where the old iron beams put in for strength have rusted and corroded the surrounding stone work.

It’s going to be several more years before the repair is complete. The only upside to the problem is that the fabulous 12th and 13th Century stained glass panels are being displayed in the Treasure four at a time and rotated every few months. Where else would you have the opportunity of standing a couple of feet away from such beautiful works of art. I continually marvel at the wonderful work they produced all those centuries ago – the like of which is simply not done today.

As you know I am only able to put in one photo per blog and I’ve so much to catch up on that I haven’t the time to enter more in the gallery, so I chose this one – it’s just some of the tracery stonework from the top of the South Window and which is deemed suitable enough to be used again. When you are standing below the North Window and look at the tracery, it is hard to believe that this pile is only a part of what is needed to restore the South Window tracery – let alone the mullions.

 

CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL - Great South Window

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