Visitors to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral might not realize it looking up, but the ceiling above the nave is not made of stone as it would appear, but of plaster and lathe. This material is fragile and easily damaged, and in the years since the Cathedral’s original construction materials have built up this delicate surface.
So, as part of the roof works, a team is working in the space above the nave ceiling, carefully clearing debris that might cause damage. This involves abseiling down from the beams and removing material by hand. Things which are cleared from the ceiling are assessed to determine if they are of architectural significance before they are discarded. The task is to clear, rather than clean, the space, as we’ve learned from past experience that the dust in the ceiling actually acts as a natural insulator for the Cathedral!
You’ll notice some graffiti on the wall next to the contractor here, a relic from previous work in the roof and not something we expect our current team to do!
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