In August 2020, following a drone photogrammetry inspection of Liverpool Cathedral’s tower, external structures and statues, Orb Rope Access were asked to complete a follow-up physical inspection. We were tasked with identifying all underlying faults not picked up by the photogrammetry inspection, that might cause debris to fall and cause damage.
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral is a Grade l listed building. It is Britain’s biggest Cathedral, and the fifth largest cathedral in the world. After the first foundation stone was laid in 1904, it took 74 years to build.
At a height of 101m, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral is also one of the world’s tallest non-spired church buildings and the third-tallest structure in the city of Liverpool.
It’s the kind of building that a rope access company feels honoured to work on! It is also a building that requires considerable TLC and time-served experience in inspecting heritage buildings.
Whilst the photogrammetry inspection was detailed, and able to record, measure and interpret photographic images, it couldn’t assess the intricacies of the damage and the danger it posed.
By using rope access, we were able to access nooks and crannies, identifying areas of concern. Throughout the inspection, whenever an unsafe structure was identified the team rectified it immediately to remove any danger hazards. A full photographic report was given to the client of all findings.
There were two peregrine falcons on site during the inspection, so we consulted an ecologist to ensure we understood and followed the rules and regulations for working in the vicinity of protected birds.
Benefits to the client
Working on the cathedral highlighted the benefits of rope access for such difficult to reach buildings. Had the inspection been completed using scaffolding, the aesthetics of the building would have been compromised for several days, the scaffolding could have potentially damaged the building, the
inspection would have taken much longer with having to erect the scaffolding, and the cost would have been greater.
In contrast, we rigged our ropes daily, and visitors to the cathedral were unaffected by the work being carried out. Most will not have even known we were there!