THE FINAL stone in the work to conserve and restore York Minster’s East End – which has been one of the largest projects of its kind in Europe – has been fixed to the cathedral today.
In total, around 2,500 new stones have been cut and fixed by York Minster’s Stoneyard team over the last five years of the project. The project has included work to restore and conserve the Great East Window, which is the largest single expanse of medieval stained glass in the country.
Over the last six weeks, the more than 16 miles of scaffolding which has covered the Minster’s East End for nearly 12 years has been gradually removed, to reveal pristine, newly restored exterior stonework and the restored tracery containing state-of-the art UV glazing panels which will protect the final restored stained glass panels due to be reinstalled in 2018.
The fixing of the final stone marks the beginning of the last stages of the exterior work on the East Front carried out as part of the York Minster Revealed project – the largest restoration project of its kind anywhere in Europe and which is due for completion in March 2016.
Rebecca Thompson, Chapter Steward said: “This has been one of the largest conservation and restoration projects ever undertaken at the Minster. It has provided a unique opportunity to understand 800 years of wear and tear on the building, analyse past repair work and the materials used and to deploy the most up-to-date restoration and conservation technology alongside traditional stone and glass techniques. Every step of the work has been recorded and documented to share with colleagues and interested parties not just in the UK but internationally.
“But most of all I am delighted that we can at last return this magnificent face of the Minster to the City of York and to the many visitors who come to experience this wonderful building.”