Notice of Decision of Cathedrals Fabric Commission

14 April 2020

FORM 10 (Rule 7)

Section 9 of Care of Cathedrals Measure 2011 Notice of Decision of Cathedrals Fabric Commission

TAKE NOTICE that the Chapter of the Cathedral Church of St Peter in Exeter applied on 12th December 2019 for the approval of the following proposal:
Works to the Chapter House and Chapel of the Holy Ghost.

Summary of the nature of the work and its extent (and materials):
In December 2019 the Commission approved with conditions most elements of an application from Exeter Cathedral for works to the Chapter House and former Chapel of the Holy Ghost, but deferred determination on the following elements pending the receipt of additional information:

  • To remove the existing floor slab and for our archaeologists to excavate a further 100 to 150mm where feasible
  • To remove the existing concrete floor slab and failed heating system
  • To install a new substrate, ‘breathable’ concrete floor slab with underfloor heating and new services integrated within the floor, bridging over tombs as required… a well as ducts for cables to be introduced at a later date for new lighting, sound and data systems
  • To reinstate the existing stone and tile floor, integrating floor boxes as required and access panels for ducts/services and a matwell within the new lobby
  • To undertake a local excavation external to the west wall to investigate ground conditions, install local drainage and breathable external finishes and pointing locally to surface finishes and below ground masonry
  • To re-order the former chapel of the Holy Ghost with associated drainage and services.

Representations in writing in respect of the above proposal were received from:
Historic England (letter received 28 January 2020) raising some objections.

The above proposal and representations were circulated to the members of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission and, based on their comments, on Wednesday 25 March 2020 by Chair’s Action the application was approved subject to the following conditions:

  1. That the Cathedral Archaeologist or his nominated representative should hold a watching brief for the proposed works, and that if anything of archaeological significance is uncovered which would be disturbed or destroyed by the works, works shall stop to allow for consultation with the Cathedral Archaeologist and the Commission and shall not recommence until a mitigation strategy has been agreed by them.
  2. That no excavation of human remains should be undertaken without separate written agreement from the CFCE, and that detailed plans and methodologies should be provided to gain this agreement and justify their removal.
  3. That any proposal to carry out invasive testing on human remains should be the subject of a new application to the Commission which should set out a clear research agenda to justify the proposals, and include detailed plans and methodologies for their storage, retention and reburial.
  4. That the report of the excavation should also be shared with the Commission.

For the following reasons:

  1. To ensure the protection of the archaeological resource
  2. To ensure the proper and respectful treatment of human remains, and
  3. To ensure that the Commission is informed of the results of the excavations.


Becky Clark
Secretary of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission

Dated: 25th March 2020


Within 7 days of receipt of this Notice the administrator of the Cathedral Church is to display a copy of it inside and outside the cathedral where it will be readily visible to the public for a period of not less than 28 days.

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