The Undercroft

Some of the most significant conservation works have involved stabilising the foundations of the Cathedral, which took almost three years to complete.

Before construction began on the second stage of the Cathedral, the sanctuary of the old church was still in use. It was demolished and some of the bricks were used as land fill under the sanctuary floor of the Cathedral. This created problems of rising damp, poor ventilation and lack of drainage that meant the foundations were often deep in water.

There was no crypt in the original plans for the Cathedral, but tradition has our Bishops interred beneath the sanctuary. Unfortunately for many years, their coffins were found to be floating in knee deep water!

The damage to the foundations became more and more obvious and Fr Laurie Blake PP began the task of planning a major conservation project, which would include excavating and removing all the stone rubble from beneath the sanctuary and underpinning the Cathedral.

This work took almost a decade, and now our Bishops are at glorious rest beneath the Cathedral they all held dear.  

A project of the National Trust of Australia (NSW) and the Sts Peter and Paul’s Old Cathedral Restoration Appeal.

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