Flooding Emergency at Rochester Cathedral

3rd August 2016

Flooding Emergency at Rochester Cathedral, RVT Group

Towards the end of a major refurbishment programme at Rochester Cathedral, a burst water mains pipe resulted in extensive flooding to the Crypt area underneath the Vestry.

The next day, following an urgent call for help from the onsite contractor, RVT Group evaluated the damage and provided their proposal for an effective drying solution.

Upon approval, RVT Group delivered and installed a drying-out system to the affected areas.

This system involved pulling high volumes of external air into the main vestry area, using large Ventex VF500 axial fans. Air was then forced from the vestry into the Crypt through 600mm square access points using powerful 300mm axial fans to thoroughly dry the entire area.

Rochester Cathedral is the second oldest cathedral in the country, so ensuring this project's success was of huge importance to RVT Group.

The recently flooded Crypt – a stone chamber beneath the floor of a church that typically contains coffins, sarcophagi, or religious relics – holds significant history.

In 2015, the largest archaeological project Rochester had ever seen got underway. The task was to develop the cathedral's crypt. But despite a radar survey, surprises were in store for the excavation team.

Finds unearthed included a skeleton, a Roman building, a gargoyle and a Norman structure – the latter discovery could mean that the cathedral dated even further back than originally thought.

As well as what could be pieces from the original William of Perth shrine, which was destroyed during the Reformation and has remained missing ever since.

Technical sales consultant Vince Crane commented:

"Challenging Projects like this is where we can really demonstrate what over 20 years of experience actually means.

We are really proud to be supporting a project that will ensure the integrity of our English heritage is maintained and cared for."



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