The welcoming new entrance
Inside the cathedral
History of the Cathedral
The cathedral dates from the middle ages but is a living building which has grown and adapted throughout the centuries. From the 15th century are the chancel and sanctuary, in the east wall of which are stones from the 13th-century church.
After the church became a cathedral Sir Charles Nicholson's design in the 1900s turned the axis at right angles, and foundations dating from the proposals were found during recent work. However, the alignment eventually remained east-west, with the main entrance of the church at the expanded west end added in the 1960s. The Community Resource Centre was built on the north-west corner of the site in 2007.
The Gateway Project
Part of the recent Gateway Project work has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and included a new accessible and welcoming main entrance in place of the 20th century one.
Completely new boiler plant using high efficiency condensing boilers has been installed allowing different parts of the cathedral complex to be heated separately. Controls allow flexible arrangements throughout the week, with the building management system installed for the Community Resource Centre extended to include the whole cathedral.
The pipe organ by N P Mander Ltd had been decommissioned and while waiting for a replacement a digital organ was being used. The Cavaillé-Coll organ from the Parr Hall in Warrington eventually will be located in a new position at the west end, and during the Gateway Project the old Mander organ was removed and all the power and wireways needed for the new one installed.
A completely new lighting scheme created by a specialist designer was incorporated within the electrical work. Scene-set dimmers allow a range of different moods and lighting patterns to be called up from simple user controls.
The floor of the Cathedral was relaid with a beautiful new stone surface and levelled to make the building more accessible to wheelchair users, The underfloor heating, which had started to leak, was renewed and additional insulation included. Electrical wiring for the updated power, lighting and specialist services was concealed within ducts cast into the floor.
Natural ventilation is used to keep the new entrance cool. The extension was extensively modelled to ensure that the new open glazing did not lead to excessive temperatures.