First female stonemason appointed

First female stonemason appointed

1st October 2014

Exeter Cathedral has employed its first woman stonemason.

Anna Steinmetzer, 38, previously worked for a conservation consultancy, and has worked on national heritage buildings, including Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London.

Her first job as a stonemason was at Truro Cathedral.

She said: “It’s a great opportunity to work on such a beautiful, historic building as Exeter Cathedral . I really enjoy the hands on work, trying to preserve as much of the historic fabric as possible.”

She is used to working in a male dominated environment - in her previous role she was one of just two women in a team of 100 people.

The Cathedral has grown its team of stonemasons from two to four this year, to cope with the increased demands of looking after the 900 year old building.

Clerk of works at the Cathedral, Chris Sampson, said more women were taking up stonemasonry as a career, and were already working in works departments of many Cathedrals and now here at Exeter.

“We are delighted and thrilled to have Anna on board with us, her experience and skill base will expand our existing capabilities and help the team as a whole to develop and grow.

“We have an ever increasing program of work following the last inspection of the Cathedral by our architect, and that will require our team’s skill and expertise over the coming years to address the problems found.

“The great Cathedrals of Britain are unfortunately buildings that have, and never will be finished, as the cycle of decay is continuous.

“Due to modern building practices the skills for restoring and conserving these buildings are often unique to Cathedral and ecclesiastic styles of architecture and if nobody has the knowledge to pass on these skills then they will soon become lost.”

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