NHIG Trainees go behind the scenes at St Paul’s Cathedral

At the end of October the 2nd year Heritage Blackmsith Bursary trainess, along with members of NHIG’s training steering group, were give a rare insight into the ironwork at St Paul’s Cathedral. On a fascinating and informative tour of the site the group was given access to areas normally off limits to the general public.

David James of the NHIG organised the visit with Assistant Surveyor Suzi Pendlebury for the trainees who are on a specialist training course set up by the NHIG as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Skills for the future programme. On their visit the group benefitted from the expert knowledge of Surveyor, Oliver Caroe, Head of Collections, Simon Carter, Senior Conservator, Teresa Hardy and Architectural Archivist, Catherine Angerson.

The group enjoyed looking at some outstanding examples of modern work, by Artist Blacksmiths James Horrobin and Alan Evans, in such an iconic setting, as well as appreciating some of the historic work, in particular the railings on Nelson’s tomb and the Wren Chain. Also of great interest to the trainees were the Tijou gates and screens to the north and south of the Quire as they were able to make direct comparisons with Tijou’s work at Hampton Court which they have been working on. They were all particularly impressed with the high quality of the repoussé work on the Tijou panel grilles and High Altar gates.

An Iron object quiz held in the Attic’s of the cathedral followed, with a great deal of knowledge and expertise being put to use in dating and advising on a few of the several thousands of items held in the Cathedral collection. The visit concluded with a fascinating tour of the archives, which contain many original drawings, and a walk through the Model Aisle, where many objects are displayed, including another fine piece by Tijou.

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