A cathedral’s 264-year-old golden weathercock has been removed from its spire as part of a restoration project.

A team of conservationists used a rope system to access the feature usually seen atop Norwich Cathedral.

It is thought to be the first time since 1963 that the weathercock has been brought down from the 96m (315ft) spire for maintenance.

The restoration project will also see work done to repoint open joints on the spire and repair stonework.

The weathercock towering over the cathedralImage copyrightSAM MILFORD
Image captionThe weathercock is to be regilded

The weathercock, which has crowned the cathedral since 1756, will be regilded before it returns to its summit.

The Reverend Dr Peter Doll, canon librarian and vice-dean at the cathedral, said: “The towering spire and the golden weathercock that sits on top is such an iconic sight in our fine city.

“The restoration work will help ensure this historic landmark remains part of Norwich’s skyline for generations to come.”

It was removed by father-and-son team Chris and Sam Milford, from Bristol-based historical building conservation specialists WallWalkers.

Sam MilfordImage copyrightCHRIS SKIPPER
Image captionThe cathedral has had three spires over its long history

The cathedral dates back to 1096 and has had three documented spires since its construction, with the current incarnation completed in about 1485.

The first known spire, a timber frame with lead covering, was completed in 1297. It was blown down in a storm in the 1360s. The next spire, also made of timber, was burnt in a fire in 1463 caused by lightning.

Norwich Cathedral
Image captionThe golden weathercock is nearly 100m above the ground

The current spire, which is made of brick and stone, is thought to have been designed by Robert Everard and was built later in the 15th Century.

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