Fix for Saint Mary’s ageing roof is a ‘100 year solution’

With scaffolding in place workers carry out the much-needed repairs to St Mary’s Cathedral, ensuring the integrity of the roof for another century. Source: G Watman

A revamp is underway on the roof of St Mary’s cathedral, with new slate tiles and a more durable gutter lining being placed on the northern section of the main body.

“This is a 100-hundred year solution with the best quality materials befitting an important heritage building,” says Gary Watman, Facilities Manager for the Sydney Archdiocese.

The slate on the northern section of the cathedral had been re-laid in the past and its original diapered pattern eliminated, though it was still visible in the sacristy roof which was replaced in 2014.

Some of the tiles were cracked or de-laminating and the decision was made to replace them all and reapply the original pattern. The box gutters and the roof’s distinctive domas are being re-lined with lead at the same time.

New Welsh slate tiles will be laid on St Mary’s roof and are expected to last for at least 100 years. Source: G Watman

The cost of the roof project, just short of $500,000, is borne by the Church out of its own resources including donations and fundraising efforts.

The slate, in New Penryhn ‘Heather Blue’ and New Cwt Y Bugail ‘Grey’, comes from the Welsh Slate Mine in Bangor, Wales.

It is in limited supply, but the Archdiocese was able secure priority due to the heritage significance and a good relationship with the quarry.

The essential repairs are part of the ongoing conservation work at the Cathedral which began in the mid-1990s and will take four years to complete.

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