Plans for the installation of a new level access entrance through Christ Church Cathedral have been approved by Oxford City Council. The updates to the building will allow for “step-free” access to the east entrance of the Cathedral. 

The entrance to the cathedral is through a passageway called the Slype which will be refurbished for the use of a dressing room for the choir and as a workspace for the Cathedral embroiderers. The work will include the replacement of a 20th century window with a new door and the addition of a level-access ramp.

According to a statement detailing the planned adjustments, the Cathedral said that the “proposal has been designed to have as minimal impact on the historic building fabric as possible”.  

Oxford City Council granted planning permission subject to a series of conditions in order to “preserve the character and special interest of the building” and “prevent damage to known or suspected elements of the historic environment of the people of Oxford and their visitors, including Late Saxon, medieval and post-medieval remains”. 

A spokesperson for Christ Church Cathedral told Cherwell: “We’re pleased that Oxford City Council has approved our plans to reopen a historic doorway into one of the buildings that makes up the Cathedral complex. The plans form part of the refurbishment of the room, known as the Slype, which serves as a robing room for our Cathedral Choir.” 

They added: “The reinstated doorway will provide an accessible route to the burial ground behind the Cathedral, and is part of our commitment at Christ Church to make our historic buildings as accessible as possible for the benefit of students, staff and visitors. All being well, the work will be carried out over the next few months.”

Image Credit: Mike Peel / CC-BY-SA 4.0

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