Structural Survey: Canterbury Cathedral

Downland Partnership

Founded in 597 and rebuilt in 1077, Canterbury Cathedral is one of Britain’s oldest and best known ecclesiastical buildings. It is home to the Archbishop of Canterbury, it was the site of Thomas Becket’s murder, and it features in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. By any standards, the Cathedral is exceptionally rich in history and, indeed, it is part of a recognised World Heritage site.

Maintaining such a venerable building is an important and challenging role that is performed by a mix of commercial specialists, artists and craftspeople. Recently involved in its upkeep was one of our regular clients, The Downland Partnership. The company is a surveying specialist with an outstanding record of measuring and recording historic buildings, and producing high quality engineering drawings. In this case, it was required to conduct a detailed structural survey in preparation for restoration work on the towers to either side of the main entrance on the western side.

Recognising that the safest and most cost effective approach would be an aerial photographic survey, it commissioned SUAVE to undertake the necessary work. We duly produced a detailed, high resolution record of the upper levels, and the client was able to use these to assess and prioritise the need for repairs.

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