And Tony Robinson.Seems tailor made for BBC4 mind.
Chichester cathedral is currently having its copper roof replaced with a lead one. I was surprised to learn that the copper roof only replaced a previous lead one as recently as the 1940s. It's also been found that copper is accelerating the decay of the medieval timbers underneath.By chance yesterday I was on a tour around Canterbury Cathedral . Canterbury like Notre Dame is undergoing extensive repairs that will take several years and I suspect that this morning a lot of worried people will be looking very closely again at the safety of the site in the light of yesterday's terrible fire in Paris.
Canterbury itself burned down in the Middle Age and was rebuilt. Many of these ancient great buildings have suffered catastrophic damage over the hundreds of years that they have existed. The collapse of the main tower has not been uncommon as happened at Hereford and Ely and we all remember the recent fire at York caused by lightening. It's very unfortunate when it does happen but its seems almost inevitable that given enough time a 1000 year old buildings will suffer some sort of disaster. Looking at these Cathedrals today the rebuilding work of the past has however now become part of the fabric of the history of the building.
Like York I am sure that the French will repair the damage to Notre Dame. The Cathedral will not be the same as it was before but their work will be the work of their generation of French crafts men and women and that it will last 1000 years and become part of the buildings history
Anyway, Chichester was originally a Norman build but has had lots of Gothic added over the years. It's also collapsed a few times and been rebuilt, including once when the steeple telescoped into the building below in the 1800's. Nobody was hurt thankfully.