Canterbury Cathedral

Dean & Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral
  • RICS South East Building Conservation Award 2018
  • Natural Stone Awards 2018

Purcell has supported the Surveyor to the Cathedral's fabric for over twenty years.

Canterbury Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion, and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Originally established in 597AD, the Cathedral and its Precincts are both a Place of Worship and a major part of a World Heritage Site.

The award-winning work to the Corona, shrine of Thomas a Beckett, included a full programme of cleaning and conservation. Works were designed to preserve as much existing fabric as possible while recognising opportunities where introducing subtle detail improvements would increase the lifespan of the in-situ fabric.

Previous works have included the refurbishment of the Grade I-listed Choir House and the Grade II*-listed Old Palace, the installation of under-floor heating to the nave and replacement of the lead roof to the south east transept.

Canterbury Cathedral © Richard Chivers

Our current work is at the forefront of conservation thinking, integrating the latest technological monitoring and surveillance systems with our traditional conservation know-how, including the hand-forging of a new iron ferramenta for the south oculus and the conservation of the Great South Window with its priceless 12th century glass.

Along with repairs and internal alterations, we created a new extension to replace the rudimentary 1960s music practice rooms at the rear of the Grade I-listed Choir House.

The original mouldings and plaster features of the Old Palace were carefully recorded and painstakingly recreated along with a new suite of episcopal offices.

The Great South Window contains stained glass of international importance. The most comprehensive Genealogy of Christ in any mediaeval art form has been exhibited here from 1792 onwards.

The Great South Window suffered substantial structural failure and an extensive investigative programme was undertaken to establish the cause of the failure and inform the works required.

The cathedral’s blacksmith is producing a replica ferramenta to carry the mediaeval glass panels which will hang from the internal elevation of the transept, allowing the old to carry new protective glazing.

In addition to the fabric conservation, we support the cathedral’s dedicated team of masons, glaziers, carpenters and plumbers working on a full range of ecclesiastical and secular buildings and monuments.


Great South Window won a Building Conservation award, RICS South West

National Stone Council (Highly Commended) awarded for Corona South

Location: Canterbury
Client: Dean & Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral
Listing status: Grade I Listed, Scheduled Ancient Monument, UNESCO World Heritage Site