Scaffolding was erected around the chapel of St Andrew and St Catherine (on the North side of the Cathedral) in May 2015 as part of a project to reduce the moisture content in the chapel and its structure, which was hastening the deterioration of the fabric.
This work involved the removal of the 20th century roof (reinforced concrete, covered in asphalt) and the installation of a new, traditional, lead-covered timber truss roof in its place. Plenty of stonework was repaired replaced and re-pointed by the Cathedral’s stonemasons, and the drains that take the rain water away from the Cathedral on the north side were repaired and replaced, having also been in poor condition.
An ancient tiled floor (pictured) described as the ‘finest medieval tile pavement surviving in Devon and Cornwall’ was uncovered during the work. It is in a room above the chapel, which in the Middle Ages was used as the Exchequer and in the 20th century as the Song School for boy choristers. The decorative tiled floor has intricate patterns and was laid in the late 13th century.
Work on the internal masonry of the chapel and the 14th century stained glass window in the adjacent north quire clerestory was also carried out.
The project cost over £280,000 and was part-funded by the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund.