Who Needed our Help?

First opened in 1858, Plymouth Cathedral has survived two World Wars, including the Blitz. However, it has suffered damage and deterioration over time through poor maintenance. As experts in historic building conservation, Taunton-based Corbel Conservation were contracted to carry out essential restoration and weatherproofing. Corbel brought MPC Plastering in to help with both phases of the works.

What did MPC do?

In 2015, Plymouth Cathedral were awarded nearly £400,000 in funding from the WWI Memorial Fund. Conservation architects established that the cathedral was suffering from water penetration. Part of the problem was due to cement repointing in the 1960s, a technique that prevents old buildings from breathing through their mortar joints.

MPC Plastering raked out the damaging cementitious mortar on all facades and repointed with natural hydraulic lime (NHL) mortar mix, restoring the building’s ability to expel water.

In 2017, a second grant of more than £650,000 was awarded for the upkeep of the cathedral. In addition to the external work, MPC Plastering also attended to the interior of the historic building. We removed the original plaster and applied a new lime mix.

How our Client has Benefited

Due to a long history of neglect, the cathedral required a lot of careful work to safeguard the fabric of the building into the future.

By restoring the breathability of the walls, the cathedral will now be protected from the damp. In addition, by removing all of the previous internal plaster, moisture would not get trapped behind the new plaster, protecting the substrate from damage.

In fact, the cathedral should be safe from the elements for the next 150 years.

Why MPC were the Smart Choice

Corbel work with leading heritage specifiers which made MPC Plastering, with our heritage experience, the natural choice for the repointing and plastering work required.

MPC Plastering have an appreciation of the cultural importance of the south west’s historic buildings and we always carry out our work with sensitivity and care. For example, it was important to ensure the historic features such as original timbers and stained glass windows were kept safe during the works.

We are also aware of the need to enable such a busy place of worship to provide its services with minimal disruption.