For some, lockdown is a chance to declutter, clear out the old and renew – and Exeter Cathedral is using this time of social distancing and no visitors to do just that.
Things to do in Lockdown #1
This week the Grade I listed building has become a socially-distanced hive of activity as archaeologists, renovation experts and heritage building specialists set to work on a programme of essential restoration and improvements on its 13th century Chapter House.
The plan is to restore and renew the Chapter House which would typically be in daily use for a variety of events and community initiatives, such as Wednesday Kitchen which provides weekly hot meals to the local homeless community.
The project – supported with a £50,000 grant from funding group Viridor Credits, and additional funding from Exeter-based plastic film materials firm Packexe – will see the existing stone floor lifted to remove the old heating system, giving archaeologists the chance to examine the soil below the floor, known to have once formed part of the Bishop’s garden.
The Dean of Exeter, the Very Revd Jonathan Greener said the Chapter House was a top priority in the Cathedral’s restoration and development plans.
“We wanted to use this time in lockdown to focus on the Chapter House first, because it’s an important asset for the whole community of Exeter, in the very heart of Exeter,’ he said.
Viridor Credits’ General Manager, Alison Salvador, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this work ….
“We feel it will bring real benefit to the people of Exeter, by improving a well-used community hub, and also by preserving an incredibly important and much-loved feature of this city’s fascinating history.”