Sunday 22 October 2017

750-year-old chapel open to visitors after €1m revamp

Valerie Loftus

A CHAPEL has been opened to visitors for the first time in its 750-year history following an extensive €1m refurbishment.

The Lady's Chapel in St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin has never been open for general admission to members of the public and was only used for private services.

The chapel will be included in the official tour of the cathedral from now on.

Of the €1m spent on the renovations, €700,000 went on cleaning and restoring the stonework and stained glass windows. The remaining €300,000 was used to repair the roof of the chapel.

The refurbishment was funded mainly by visitors to the cathedral, along with donations from Friends of St Patrick's Cathedral.

The renovations were in various stages of planning for 12 years before work began nine months ago.

Cathedral manager Louis Parminter said they were "very proud" that most of the work involved Irish craftspeople and materials.

More than 40 stonemasons and restorers lent their hands to the renovations, but probably the most daunting task was up to one woman.

Of the 27 stained glass windows in the chapel, the oldest of which were installed in 1865, 25 were cleaned on-site over six months by conservator Bianca Divito.

She told the Irish Independent that each window took an average of four days of painstaking work to complete.

Irish Independent

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