Restoration of Abbey church
PUBLISHED: 20:19 11 February 2013 | UPDATED: 22:10 26 February 2013
The first phase of the restoration of Downside Abbey church is underway,
The first phase of the restoration of Downside Abbey church is underway, with the apsidal chapels of Dunn and Hansom's east end and the Lady Chapel now clad in scaffolding.
Visible for miles around on the Somerset landscape, parts of the roof not accessible for some time have unearthed tapered extendable ladders dating back to 1894 when Downside had its own fire-brigade
This is the first part of an extensive multi-million pound restoration of the Abbey Church which is being undertaken in preparation for the celebrations planned for the bicentenary of the arrival of the Benedictine Community at Downside in 1814.
Some 700,000 has been raised through donations and the sale of a property, which has enabled the start of Phase One, the repair of the roof.
This first phase will take approximately a year to complete but will make the building wind and watertight again and halt the on-going damage to the internal stonework. In the meantime fundraising will continue to raise the rest of the 4 million needed to complete the project.