Caroe Architecture Ltd (CAL) secured grant funding and delivered this project to repair and replace some of Ripon Cathedral’s oldest surviving stonework (dating from the late 12th century) on the North Transept and North Choir Aisle, which had become badly eroded and decayed. The projected included a competition to commission three UK-based stone carvers to create replacements for gargoyles that had deteriorated beyond conservation repair.
Ripon’s Cathedral Architect Oliver Caroe compiled a successful bid for the full £356,000 of grant funding from the government’s First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund administered by the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (CFCE) to address significant problems with the stonework in the north-east section of Ripon Cathedral. This area was identified in the 2011 Quinquennial Inspection as being of the highest priority on the basis of Essential maintenance and safety requirement, the long-term conservation needs of the cathedral fabric and Structural concerns.
CAL specified and managed the entire project to successfully address the poor condition of stonework and badly eroded gargoyles, some of which required replacing; two in particular whose subjects were no longer distinguishable, another that was beyond conservation repair and a further gargoyle found to be suitable for conservation repair. There was also structural cracking to the north-east end of the cathedral (in St Peter’s Chapel), necessitating the repair of previous pointing to identify any further movement in the near future.
Rather than letting this work to a main contractor, Caroe Architecture Ltd designed the project to harness and develop the skills of Ripon Cathedral’s own masons. CAL also ran a competition to find UK-based stone carvers to create three replacement gargoyles to their own designs, inspired by the relict stones. Caroe Architecture Ltd managed the entire competition process from specification and consents, through shortlisting and judging to installation.