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Get close to conservation at Glasgow Cathedral

12 September 2013

It is the finest building to have survived the medieval period in Scotland and now Historic Scotland is giving a limited number of lucky participants the chance to see the conservation work at Glasgow Cathedral from a very unique vantage point.

Come along and climb the scaffold on the outside of the structure, as our experts talk about the work they are undertaking on one of Glasgow’s most notable landmarks. The tour will not only offer an opportunity to see the conservation work up close but also a bird’s eye view of the city itself.

The work to conserve the cathedral is an intricate, long term project and this behind the scenes tour will take in the challenges our craftsmen face on a daily basis. The tour will  include a visit to the stone masons' yard where stones are carved to marry in with the existing stone work and a chance to learn about the carving and installation of a new gargoyle, window tracery and pinnacles.

Ian Lambie, District Architect said: “Glasgow Cathedral is a unique and glorious structure –  our craftsmen, working on conserving the building are matching the style of medieval masonry as accurately as possible. In doing so, they need to deliberate on how medieval masons would have dealt with movement and shifting in the building and plan for complex shoring to allow for the replacement of massive,  original masonry.”

A short talk will also be given on the history of the cathedral and previous and current works undertaken. The project to restore the cathedral began in 2000 and is ongoing. The conservation works on the East end of the building were completed around three years ago and work is continuing on the main facade and west front.

Glasgow Cathedral was built in the twelfth century and was the only medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland to survive the 1560 Reformation, virtually complete. It is thought to be located where the patron saint of Glasgow, Saint Mungo, built his first church. The tomb of the saint is in the lower crypt.

The tours will take place on the 27th September and 4th October from 10.30am - 12 noon and 1.00pm - 2.30pm (a maximum of 12 people per tour). Tickets are strictly limited, must be booked in advance and are only available to those over 18 years of age. Full personal protection equipment will be provided by Historic Scotland - please read the guidance for participants which will be issued when you purchase a ticket. Tickets cost £20 (£15 for members of Historic Scotland) and are available on our Conservation website.

Notes to editors:

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

  • 2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland, inspiring our people and our visitors to celebrate Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty, landscapes and biodiversity as Scotland prepares to welcome the world in 2014 and beyond. Find out more about Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty at

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For further information

Laura Shaw
Media & PR Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8588 or 07854 366 805