Durham Cathedral tower reopens after three-year renovation
Durham Cathedral's central tower has reopened to the public following a three-year renovation project.
The 216ft (66m) structure had been closed since November 2015 to allow for the restoration of stonework and the installation of a viewing platform.
The tower dates back to 1484 in its current form, and much of its sandstone had been heavily weathered and eroded.
The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham, said the reopening marked the "start of a new era".
He described the tower as "more distinctive and characterful than ever".
Work got under way in 2016 and has seen the protective wall at the top of the tower rebuilt, with the stonework of the belfry and bell chamber also repaired.
Rusty 19th Century iron railings have been replaced with bronze ones, while repairs to the tower's lead roof began in March this year.
The work has been done by the cathedral's own team of stonemasons, with specialist contractors also involved.
The erosion of the sandstone was said to be partly as a result of Victorian conservation techniques.
Scaffolding and cladding had covered the tower for much of the three years of the restoration project.
Among the superstitions relating to the cathedral, it is said to be unlucky for Durham University students to climb to the top of the tower before they graduate.
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