Work is underway to replace the roof of the Thomlinson Library at Newcastle’s St Nicholas Cathedral.

At the same time, a careful masonry consolidation programme is being carried out on 250 square metres of the Cathedral’s sandstone walls. This restoration work to conserve St Nicholas Cathedral has been made possible by a £150,000 grant from the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund – which is money from Government administered by the Archbishop’s Council.

At St Nicholas Cathedral, hundreds of huge sandstone slabs are now being carefully descaled and cleaned, then repointed with good quality lime mortar to conserve them for future generations.

The first church on the site of St Nicholas Cathedral was built in the late 11th century, almost certainly in wood. This building was rebuilt in stone towards the end of the 12th century, twice damaged by fire but repaired and extended in the following years. By the end of the 15th century, with the addition of the stone crown and tower, the church was in very much the same form as we see today.

The Thomlinson Library was added in 1736 by the nationally known architect James Gibbs and in the Palladian style to house an important collection of books and manuscripts.

Team Force Restoration has already restored around 50 of the North’s historic buildings and landmarks since 2012. We are delighted to be adding St Nicholas Cathedral to our distinguished register.

It is our duty to care for and to restore what we have inherited and to hand it on to future generations. Conservation work on these beautiful old buildings slows down their decay, ensures their safety for visitors, and allows them to be seen for longer by more people.

The Library roof has now been completely replaced and the stone work is beginning to look a lot smarter. More importantly the building is now safeguarded for future years. Most Victorian or earlier buildings were built with lime mortar. Although many builders since the 1920s use cement in repointing mixes because it is much cheaper, this generally causes accelerated decay and damp problems. There is evidence to show that repointing here in the past has been carried out with a cement mix which has accelerated the decay. Mortars containing only lime and sand are not susceptible to this damage. Team Force Restoration always uses a lime mortar for this reason.

Brendan TeasdaleBrendan TeasdaleManaging Director, Team Force Restoration

We are delighted with the work Team Force Restoration is carrying out on the Thomlinson Library extension of the Cathedral – and the professionalism with which they do it. The work has progressed in a very smooth manner, with few hitches, and we would be very happy to recommend them to others! This work is a fitting prelude to Phase Two of our development programme, which will transform the nave of the Cathedral into a light, warm and flexible space where many more activities will take place and in which we want everyone to feel comfortable and at home!

Canon John SadlerCanon John SadlerDevelopment Project Coordinator, St Nicholas Cathedral

Renowned Architects, Purcell, who work on ecclesiastical and heritage architectural projects throughout the UK commissioned Team Force Restoration to carry out the work on behalf of St Nicholas Cathedral because of Team Force’s expertise in the heritage field.

It is very good to see this important addition to the Cathedral back in good order following Team Force Restoration’s careful repairs

Jane KennedyJane KennedyCathedral Architect, Purcell

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