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Building works to create a more welcoming entrance to Peterborough Cathedral began on 4th August. The Cathedral will remain open to visitors and worshippers throughout the works, which are being carried out by John Lucas (Peterborough) Ltd.
The landscaping project will level the pathway between the Norman Arch entrance from Cathedral Square, and the main door of the Cathedral. In addition, the railings in the porticos of the West Front will be altered so that they can be opened up and the space used for receiving visitors and holding events. The existing door inside the Cathedral porch will be replaced with glazed, automatic doors, creating a lighter approach and reducing heat loss. This will allow the medieval inner doors, said to be the oldest working doors in England, to be opened up so that visitors can see a glimpse of the dramatic interior of the building.
“There will be short term disruption whilst this work is in progress but, once finished, it will make a tremendous difference to the ease with which people can get into the Cathedral,” said Canon Richard Cattle. “Our aim is to have this phase of the project completed by the end of November, in time for Christmas services and events to take place uninterrupted.”
During the landscaping the Cathedral Café, Coffee & Cookies, will move from its current location to The Becket Chapel (on the left as you enter the Precincts). Its opening hours will be from 10am until 3.30pm, Monday to Saturday. The entrance to the Cathedral will change as the work goes on, but signs in the Precincts will guide visitors to the right door.
The scheme is part of the major project, “Letting it Speak for Itself”, for which a £2.4 million Heritage Lottery grant was awarded to the Cathedral in November 2013. Other parts of the project include creating new interpretation and display materials to present the Cathedral’s faith and history to visitors. Also, number 25 Minster Precincts and the Knights’ Chamber will be conserved and refurbished, then turned into a new Heritage and Education Centre for visitors. A programme of activities is being planned so that new audiences can connect with the Cathedral, its faith and its history.
For more information visit www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/news-archive/items/hlf.html or call 01733 355315.