A medieval building like this requires an enormous amount of care and protection to ensure its continued survival. Since its original construction the Cathedral has survived wars, revolutions, reformations, floods and fires, each event leaving its mark on the building, with several phases of restoration taking place over the centuries. Each restoration has added a new facet to the building’s continuously developing identity.
This generation’s guardians of the building are tasked with maintaining the largest cathedral or church in Ireland, using money raised almost exclusively through tourist visits. Balancing the different requirements of the Cathedral’s worshippers and tourist visitors, with the ongoing conservation needs of the building is the biggest challenge facing the Cathedral today.
Between October 2012 and April 2013 the Lady Chapel at the east end of the Cathedral was closed to the public. A large scale restoration project was undertaken to clean all of the wall and ceiling surfaces, as well as the stonework, monuments, stained glass and floor tiles. A new lighting scheme was also installed. This project gives the Cathedral the opportunity to show its visitors exactly where the money they have generously paid to visit the building goes.
The original Minot Tower was blown down during a storm in 1316, with its replacement being further damaged by fire and wars in the 14th century. More recently, in 2004, the spire was repaired with the stone work of the tower being repointed and cleaned in 2007. (Read about the history of the Tower here)
Replacing the Cathedral roof is the Guinness Restoration project of the twenty-first century and by far the largest project that the current custodians of the building have had to face. Unfortunately, there is no Benjamin Lee Guinness to fund the entire project this time and so the ongoing support of our entire community is greatly appreciated.
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