Durham Cathedral tower tours will start again in June 2019 when it opens after a three year restoration project.
Durham Cathedral tower has been closed to visitors since 2015 to carry out conservation on the stonework, as well as some repairs and improvements. The first Durham Cathedral tower tours will take place on June 1.
Making the announcement on Twitter, Durham Cathedral said: "Durham Cathedral's central tower will reopen on Saturday 1st June! Who wants to be one of the first to climb the tower's 325 steps?"
The scaffolding has slowly been disappearing from the top of Durham Cathedral tower after six months of work by conservationists to painstakingly remove it piece by piece. In the meantime, the Durham Cathedral North West Tower tour has been open instead: you can see the view from the top of the tower in ExplorAR's 360 picture below:
Work to remove the Durham Cathedral scaffolding has been ongoing since November 2018 and the conservationists who have been replacing stonework and lead sheeting at the top of the tower have been disassembling the scaffolding structure from the bottom upwards.
Other work has included removing the Victorian-era iron railings from the parapet and replacing them with bronze railings, fixed in place using the medieval technique of hot-poured lead.
Durham Cathedral tower was originally closed back in 2015. The Durham Cathedral scaffolding was needed to enable stonework, which finished in November 2018, after which Durham Cathedral tower repairs moved on to fixing the lead around the top of the roof (the roof-coverings and rainwater systems) and installing a new viewing platform ready for when Durham Cathedral tower tours begin again.
The reopening will be sponsored by Baldwins Accountants.
The focus of the Durham Cathedral tower repairs have been work carried out in response to the issues raised during an architect's inspection, which pointed out some serious tower repairs that had to be undertaken. Work - carried out by Durham Cathedral's own masons - included vital conservation work on the upper parapet, the tower belfry and the outside of the lantern.
The £1.9m project was funded from various groups including Friends of Durham Cathedral, the Alan Evans Memorial Trust, DCMS, the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund and the Sir John Priestman Charity Trust.