South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

Gloucester Cathedral awarded £80,000 from The Wolfson Foundation to secure the future of the North Ambulatory


The Wolfson Foundation has awarded an £80,000 grant to help Gloucester Cathedral secure the future of one of the oldest parts of the building, the North Ambulatory.

Dating back to the very origins of the Norman Abbey, the North Ambulatory contains the tomb of King Edward II, as well as the Memorial Chapel honouring the County’s war dead. After almost 1,000 years, the exterior stonework is at great risk, with significant portions of masonry decaying or missing altogether.


Defined as the Cathedral’s most pressing focus for repair, a £530,000 project was launched in October 2018 to ensure the Ambulatory remains water-tight and weather-proof. Much of the work is being completed by the Cathedral’s skilled team of stonemasons, including designing, carving and installing six new gargoyles and eleven pinnacles – restoring one of Gloucester’s most iconic skylines.

To help generate funds for the project a public campaign titled Living Stones was launched in spring 2019, enabling hundreds of individual donors to sponsor their own stone and raising over £100,000. The Wolfson Foundation Grant brings the total raised to £460,000.


The Very Reverend Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester said: “We are thrilled that The Wolfson Foundation has awarded the Cathedral such a significant grant. Thanks to their generous endorsement - as well as the remarkable support we have received from other donors - we can now complete the project with confidence, ensuring that this extraordinary building remains open for current and future generations.”


Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said: “Gloucester Cathedral is one of the country’s most important buildings. We are particularly delighted to be funding the Romanesque glories of the North Ambulatory. Through the tomb of Edward II, this space also has a direct link to our medieval history. Cathedrals are important, public buildings – and need philanthropic support. We are glad to be part of a partnership with many others through Living Stones.”