Automation Opens Doors on 7th Century Cathedral

Yorkshire, UK-Motorizing a huge medieval door at Ripon Cathedral in North Yorkshire required as much architectural finesse and historic sensitivity as it did technical excellence. Using a motor from Rotor UK Ltd, a Regal company, design engineers from Drive Lines Technologies Ltd. developed a discrete and sensitive solution with project engineer Nigel Carter from NCTS Mechanical Engineering Services.

Visitors to the Cathedral Church of St Wilfrid in Ripon can now admire its stunning medieval interior in greater comfort, following the installation of the Narthex porch into the main frontage. A great work of art in itself, the porch is fully glazed to let in as much light as possible with double doors to keep out wind and rain.

"The Narthex Porch opens the interior of the Cathedral to passers-by, visitors and worshipers alike," said The Dean of Ripon, The Very Reverend Keith Jukes.

Drive Lines Technologies Ltd, a company with over 25 years of application experience, supplied geared motors for the outer oak door opening system. 

"The arch-shaped doors are five meters tall and over two meters wide, made of ancient oak and hung on what may be the original hinges," recalls drives engineer Patrick Logue. "The load was considerable and we also had to allow for possible wind load too, but above all, we had to respect the antiquity and solemnity of the site and come up with a solution that was compact, quiet, discrete and which could handle the doors gently."

The renovation project for the cathedral, which dates back to 672 AD, began in January 2012. It includes a beautiful bronze framework structure with large glass panels. The panels, above each of the three doors, are embellished with etchings by popular artist Sally Scott and depict the life of Saint Wilfrid, founder of the Cathedral. It officially opens later this year. "This church was founded over 1300 years ago by St Wilfrid, but it's not all about the past. Ripon Cathedral is a vibrant center at the heart of the local community and across the region. The Cathedral's busy life includes an ongoing duty of hospitality to all our visitors and stands witness to the activity of our faith throughout the centuries of its existence," said Jukes.

For further information on motors, gearboxes and other unique motor control solutions, contact or log on to, telephone 01234 360689. 


For more information on the application or to discuss an architectural project contact NCTS Ltd at