Students repairing ancient stone doorway at Great Yarmouth Minster
15:06 01 April 2014
Archant Norfolk © 2014
Conservation students from Estonia have started work to preserve a crumbling medieval stone doorway at Great Yarmouth Minster.
Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust has been commissioned by the church to clean and restore a 15th century lancet arch doorway and work got underway today with the help of five students from the Hiiumaa Vocational College.
The doorway is one of the surviving medieval features of the large church, which was rebuilt following the Second World War after a German air raid left only the Norman tower and walls standing. The ornate stonework depicts a king and a queen. But over the centuries, the limestone has been eroded by freezing weather and acid rain.
The students, from the Hiiumaa island on the western coast of Estonia, have come to Norfolk as part of the preservation trust’s European partnership with their college, which aims to share knowledge about traditional buildings skills and conservation on a pan-European level.
The youngsters will undertake the initial 10 days of conservation under the supervision of preservation trust conservators William Wallace and Kathy Mijatovic, who were previously trainees on the trust’s nationally-acclaimed Cemeteries Project.
Darren Barker, the trust’s project organiser, said: “The preservation trust is developing links with several European countries, and we are delighted with this visit from our Estonian partners.
“The purpose of this partnership working is to develop best practice in delivering traditional skills training and share knowledge about traditional crafts and conservation.
“The extra skilled hands, working on the doorway, will really help to ensure the speedy conservation of this piece of Great Yarmouth’s history, which otherwise would have been lost to future generations.
“Last summer, different students from Hiiumaa Vocational College visited and spent five days working on the Cemeteries Project, during which time they fully repaired two listed chest tombs.
“The preservation trust also has partnerships with the Estonian Academy of Arts, based in the capital, Tallinn, and the Devetaki Plateau Association, a non-governmental organisation from northern Bulgaria.
“We are hoping to build on this by working together to secure funding to undertake research and future employment opportunities.”