By Charlotte Neal and Duncan Geddes

A UNIQUE operation to secure 27 tonnes of metal onto the roof of Winchester Cathedral has finally got underway this morning.

One of the largest cranes in Britain has been brought in to lift scaffolding onto the roof of the Norman church as part of a £4 million conservation project.

The first of seven pieces, weighing five tonnes, was secured this morning with the rest expected to be lifted into place throughout the day.

Each section of scaffolding takes around an hour to lift.

The operation was originally planned to start yesterday but was called off after crane workers had to travel to Bristol to collect more counter weights.

The metal will be lifted over the Cathedral Tower to provide temporary cover while 40 workers remove the lead roof, which is broken and leaking.

The lead will then be melted down off-site and recast to last another 150 years.

Hampshire Chronicle:

More than 60 onlookers took pictures and talked to engineers

The £4 million roof works come as part of a £20.5 million conservation project which will restore the 16th century timber vault, stonework and new buildings in the cathedral grounds.

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