Cathedral Restoration Work Continues

The restoration of the Cathedral of St Michael and St John has continued over the winter months, with almost all the 150 year old mortar in the brick work painstakingly removed and replaced, ensuring the original bricks were undamaged.

This has been a very slow process, with the mortar around each brick being cut out and then replaced with new mortar based on that originally used, matching the colour and extending the life of the brick work by another 150 years.

After a long sea journey, the two Cathedral bells have arrived at the Whitechapel Foundry in London, where they were originally cast. The repairs of the hairline crack, chipping and reconstruction of the headstock and ringing mechanism is expected to take eight weeks. The bells will then return to our shores for re-installation in time to ring out as part of the sesquicentenary.

After an extensive search, the sandstone to replace the intricate and ornate carvings that are featured on the external walls of the Cathedral, was shipped from a quarry in Donnybrook, Western Australia. Stone Restorations owner, Ron Lodewijks travelled to the quarry and reviewed each block before having them shipped to Rylstone, to begin the delicate process of shaping and carving the sandstone to match the stonework to be replaced.

The process of replacing the stones is far from straightforward, as the wall above and below the stones must be stabilised to ensure the integrity of the wall remains uncompromised while the damaged stones are removed and the replacement stone put back in their place.