Iconic cathedral tower out of action while vital repair work carried out

Ely Cathedral's north transept is undergoing repairs.

Ely Cathedral's north transept is undergoing repairs. - Credit: Archant

Tours of Ely’s iconic octagon tower have been cancelled while repair work to Ely Cathedral’s ancient stonework is completed.

Officials announced on Monday that the tower was being closed to the public while vital restoration work is to the north transept is completed.

A spokesman said: “Although not the tallest of Ely’s towers, the octagon crowned by its lantern tower in wood, lead and glass is rightly considered the jewel in the cathedral crown.

“Built in the 1320s in the wake of the collapse of the Norman tower, it is a masterpiece of medieval engineering and a continuing delight to the eye.”

The spokesman said that tours of the west tower would continue as normal.

Craftsmen moved in back in August to begin restoration work on the cathedral’s north transept, which is the earliest surviving part of the building.

Officials say the transept can be traced back to 1080 – when William the Conqueror was on the throne of England.

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No restoration work or conservation has been done on the north transept since the 19th century so Diocese of Ely officials called in craftsmen to work on areas of masonry, copper and steel fittings, along with the stained glass.