The Fratry at Carlisle Cathedral

A new chapter in the 900-year history at Carlisle Cathedral has begun as the Fratry refurbishment is now complete.

The aim of this project was to bring the under utilised space back to life and to enrich the cathedral’s benefits to the wider community. This remarkable project was made possible by funding from Friends of Carlisle Cathedral, generous donations from the public and a significant £2m from The Heritage Lottery Fund.

Carlisle Cathedral enlisted the services of Bob Costello Associates to undertake the mechanical and electrical specification, including the lighting solution for the Fratry.

Feilden Fowles Architects were appointed to conceptualise and design the transformation. FWP oversaw project management.


Carlisle Cathedral were keen to explore an LED solution capable of enhancing the building whilst respecting the original and historic features. In order to achieve the desired results, it was paramount that the luminaires selected could be mounted discreetly.


To successfully meet the brief, Bob Costello Associates felt that track mounted spotlights would be the most unobtrusive solution. The inclusion of spotlights would be beneficial as the luminaires can be repositioned to accentuate the architecture throughout the cathedral and café area.

Steon supplied a selection of standard and DALI dimmable Arris LED spotlights and three circuit tri-track. All spotlights for the café were supplied in a white finish whilst black finish versions were used throughout the existing hall.

The Arris spotlights were supplied with a variety of optics to allow the beam angles to be changed. These optics were selected to focus attention and showcase the various ceremonial and artistically notable features. The spotlights enhanced the interior features and delivered the required illumination levels.

To illuminate the external arches, Steon supplied IP67 rated Zagato® tape which was housed in a recessed mounted robust aluminium extrusion. 


Steon’s lighting solution has highlighted how the latest lighting technology can be adopted to tastefully and discreetly showcase classic interior architecture.

Carlisle Cathedral will also benefit from reduced energy consumption resulting in cost savings. The Arris spotlights have an extended life expectancy in excess of 50,000 hours and require very little maintenance. Advantageous as in existing hall areas the lighting is mounted at height amongst the original wooden trusses.


Images: David Grandorge

Architect: Feilden Fowles

Project Manager & Quantity Surveyor: FWP Ltd.

M&E Design: Bob Costello Associates Ltd. 

Main Contractor: Cubby Construction

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