7th Century UK Cathedral Installs Solar Panels

November 2, 2016



Gloucester Cathedral in southwest England, built around the year 678 and coronation site for King Henry III (and several Harry Potter movies), is being upgraded with 200 solar panels to cut the church's energy bills by 25 percent.

Located on the south nave roof, about 90 feet above the ground, the panels will be almost impossible to see from the ground and have been challenging to install.

Renewable energy company Mypower is the installation contractor on the project and the firms' managing Partner Ben Harrison said they’ve had to work around twists and spots where the roof has sagged over time. He said they’ve worked closely with the cathedral’s structural engineers and architect to ensure the work is completed correctly. "At times it’s been extremely tight in terms of maneuverability around parts of the site, particularly when the work required us to work just inches away from centuries-old gargoyles, but we put strategies and measures in place to protect the building from any damage.”

Once the installation is complete, the 1,400 year old building will become the oldest cathedral in the UK, and possibly the world, to boast a commercial-sized solar panel PV system.

Hopes are the system will be switched on by November 21. Read more about the project and watch a video from the rooftop here: