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Re-roofing St John the Baptist Cathedral, Norwich

Lead products used:
40 tonnes of sandcast lead, code 7

Contact:
Carl Bream, Managing Director at Norfolk Sheet Lead

“We have a long history with Midland Lead, having worked with the company since the early 1980s. We know the product is of a high quality and they’re also a really friendly bunch to work with.”

Quick facts

  • Project focus: Re-roofing St John the Baptist Cathedral, Norwich
  • Lead products used: 40 tonnes of Midland Lead’s sandcast lead, code 7
  • Project timings: Work began in July 2015 and completed in early April 2016

The projects

Since its completed construction in 1910, St John the Baptist Cathedral in Norwich has been extended, yet has undergone very few renovations to its original structure.

While the Gothic Revival design by English architect George Gilbert Scott Junior has stood the test of time, in autumn 2015, Norfolk Sheet Lead Ltd was hired to refurbish the Cathedral’s century-old lead roof.

Along with the architects working on the Cathedral, Carl Bream, managing director at Norfolk Sheet Lead, opted to work with Midland Lead on the project.

Carl explains why: “There are very few companies that manufacture sandcast lead in the UK, but we knew we wanted Midland Lead on this job.

“We have a long history with them, having worked with the company since the early 1980s. We know the product is of a high quality and they’re also a really friendly bunch to work with.”

Norwich cathedral_H1A9413_small

The project, which completed in early April this year, saw the Cathedral’s original lead recycled and re-purposed from the building.

Not only ensuring historical continuity, recycling a building’s lead also works to establish great environmental credentials. As such, 40 tonnes of lead was removed from the roof and transported to Midland Lead for recasting.

Using the traditional sandcasting process, with nothing added or taken away, the lead was put back through the kettles and re-moulded to code 7. Re-fitted to the roof by Norfolk Sheet Lead, the Cathedral has maintained its traditional look and the lead given a new lease of life.

While Norfolk Sheet Lead has a wealth of experience in new builds and commercial projects, Carl comments on the prestige that comes with working on a heritage project such as this one: “It was an honour to work on the Cathedral project, especially with a good quality product from Midland Lead. The architects were pleased with the work as were the staff at St John the Baptist Cathedral.”

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