Historian swings into action at Chester Cathedral


Neil Bellis

A UNIQUE presentation from television historian Dr Jonothan Foyle takes place next month.

The BBC presenter will visit the cathedral to take part in a live abseiling event on Saturday, April 12.

In a first for the city and cathedral, he will give a talk about the building while suspended 50ft in the air in the cathedral crossing.

As part of the cathedral’s celebrations for the opening of their new visitor attraction, Cathedral at Height, Foyle will give a talk on the history of climbing great buildings.

The historian of architecture, art and culture is also a climber, archaeologist and an associate curator of royal palaces.

In 2011 he presented a BBC2’s Climbing Great Buildings in which he scaled some of Britain’s most iconic buildings in order to reveal their secrets.

His presentation will take place after he has abseiled out into the cathedral crossing and as he is suspended on wires in front of a large overhead projector.

The talk will be open to the public and free of charge. There will also be a Q&A session following the presentation.

Heritage manager Nick Fry said: “We are delighted to welcome Dr Jonathan Foyle to the cathedral.

“We are very excited about his talk as he is an acknowledged expert on great buildings like ours.

“I’ve worked at the cathedral for a long time – but I’ve never seen anyone abseil out into the cathedral nave, suspended on nothing but wires! It will be a truly spectacular event.”

The Cathedral at Height project, made possible by a grant from Cheshire West and Chester Council, has taken years to plan and seven months onsite to complete and will allow visitors to go behind the scenes at Chester Cathedral via a tour route never before accessed by the public.

Tour groups will be invited to take a journey through 900 years of history, past locked doors and via hidden rooms.

They will enjoy breathtaking views, medieval mysteries, ancient bells and the tale of a defeated king.

Tickets for the tour will be £8 for adults and £6 for children.

Individual bookings can only be made in the cathedral on the day of the tour. For group bookings of six or more people contact Chester Cathedral box office on (01244) 500959.

For more information about the live abseil event or Cathedral at Height visit www.chestercathedral.com.

See full story in the Chester Leader

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