Leicester Cathedral - August 2014
Posted by Yuli Lee / 20th August 2014

Leicester Cathedral - August 2014

Visit to Site - 20th August 2014

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Week 2 - with FWA constructing the hoardings to separate the site area from the cathedral, which needs to keep functioning throughout the works.

At the same time the scaffold is being constructed both sides of the main chancel screen, designed by Sir Charles Nicholson, to allow it to be carefully dismantled and packed for storage off-site whilst the works to the floors are carried out. The few surviving archive drawings which were discovered did not show how it was actually constructed, so the dismantling will be a slow and careful process by the joiners with University of Leicester Archaeological Service (ULAS) recording it and labelling to allow its reconstruction in its new position.



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The chancel floor slabs first laid by Raphael Brandon in the 1860’s and then relaid by Sir Charles Nicholson in the 1920’s are carefully lifted. Having lifted parts of the floor and made some trial holes two things immediately became apparent. Firstly that Nicholson had relaid the Victorian floors in the 1920’s works in cement mortar on a concrete slab (which would explain some rising damp damage to wall stonework) and that this slab had been laid over the top of earlier floor slabs and tiles.

Human remains were immediately discovered in the first trial excavation in the floor. Whilst not unexpected this prompted a full review with Rev’d Pete Hobson, the Canon Missioner responsible for the day-to-day liaison between the cathedral and the project team. FWA’s site staff are reminded by Pete of the process to be followed for all remains - careful investigation, recording by ULAS, storage and then reinterral on site.