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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 November 2006, 16:15 GMT
Crumbling cathedral gets 300,000
Canterbury Cathedral
Scaffolding is already up in the building with a survey under way
More than 300,000 has been raised in the first month of a campaign to save and restore Canterbury Cathedral.

A 50m fundraising drive was launched last month for the building in Kent which is suffering from "old age and modern pollution".

A cathedral spokesman said more than 300,000 was raised by individual donors alone after the campaign launch.

Previous renovation projects were paid for by fundraising appeals about every 30 years.

The spokesman added a detailed archaeological and condition survey was already under way on part of the cathedral to reveal the full extent of the damage.

War damage

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said he was "deeply moved by the overwhelming response to this vital campaign".

When the campaign was launched, it was revealed that the roof had serious structural problems resulting from repairs after World War II, when supporting beams were encased in concrete.

The building's south side also had a "serious hidden defect" resulting from war damage - a fireball from a bomb dropped in 1942 created a vacuum which pulled out the outer limestone skin of the cathedral and sand and cement used to fill the void were now causing damage.

The materials were the only ones available at the time.

Half the 1m visitors to the cathedral every year pay entrance fees, but they just cover the annual running costs of the building.

Scaffolding is now up at the World Heritage Site as repairs continue.

Trusts and charities have also expressed an interest in getting involved with the fundraising.


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