Rochester Cathedral to be transformed after winning £3.55m lottery grant

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By MariaSoleil | Monday, February 04, 2013, 11:36

ROCHESTER Cathedral has won £3.55 million in lottery funding to transform its interior, it was announced today.

The Heritage Lottery Fund's cash will go towards opening up the cathedral's crypt and library to visitors for exhibitions and workshops.

Anglo-Saxon document the Textus Roffensis - once voted England's best hidden treasure - is set to be made the centrepiece of an exhibition of the building's rich collection of treasures and archives.

The changes will be made as part of the "Hidden Treasures, Fresh Expressions" project, towards which £1.3 million has already been raised by the Cathedral Development Trust.

Other building works set to take place in the 6th century building include disabled access throughout the cathedral, renewed flooring, lighting and air control in the crypt.

Repairs will be made to the roof of the 17th century library and more shelves will be added so more books can be displayed.

Dean of Rochester, Mark Beach, said: "I am delighted that the hard work of so many people here at the cathedral has been recognised by this major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

"This will enable us to open up parts of the cathedral which have been inaccessible and to display our treasures in a way that will both preserve them and share them with our visitors."

Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund (South East), Stuart McLeod, said: "As the second oldest cathedral in England, Rochester Cathedral is steeped in history and is an impressive architectural gem in the heart of the town. 

"Through opening up the library, crypt and nationally important collections, and by creating new learning spaces, more people than ever will now be able to explore the cathedral's 'hidden treasures' and learn about the significant role it has played in the lives of many generations of local people. 

"With today's HLF support, new opportunities will also be made available for people from near and far to see for themselves what makes the cathedral such a special place." 

What do you think about the news? Will you visit Rochester Cathedral more after the work is completed? Leave a comment below or tweet us.

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