A five yearly inspection, known as the Quinquennial Inspection, identified the Cathedral's high roofs - comprising the Quire, Nave, North Transept and South Transept roofs - as a priority project.
The Cathedral roof is no ordinary roof - it is of national importance and extremely rare. Beneath the current copper roof covering the Cathedral houses an exceptional example of original medieval timber roofing. In fact, much of the original 13th century medieval roof structure survives for the entire length of the Cathedral from east to west.
Despite ongoing repairs, the copper roof covering is failing and rainwater is able to penetrate the roof vault, damaging the medieval timber roof structure, masonry and ceiling plasterwork. Concern that the fatigued copper panels could break free from their fixings adds to the urgency. Restricted air-flow is also creating an environment for decay and wood boring beetle activity.
The scale of this project is enormous and unprecedented for the Cathedral, which receives no automatic statutory funding, and relies wholly on donations and self-generated income for its restoration needs. This major undertaking has been estimated at a cost of around £5 million.