St. Peter and Paul’s Old Cathedral, Goulburn

Constructed in 1871, the heritage-listed Saint Peter and Paul's Old Cathedral in Goulburn is a unique landmark as Australia's only greenstone (diorite porphyrite) cathedral. It is also currently under application to be recognised as one of only six Catholic minor basilicas in the country. Recently, a decades-long restoration project has successfully completed its final phase, encompassing enhancements to its structure, interior, and external grounds. Northrop provided civil, fire and structural engineering services to help deliver these works.

The cathedral was in need of critical repairs due to significant water damage and foundation movement causing cracking in the walls. Our primary objectives were to address these issues and stabilise the building. To achieve this, we formalised the drainage system and conducted site investigations to assess the building's stability.

We designed underpinning for portions of the building to stop movement, and recommended minor strengthening to the roof for improved lateral stability. We also created a design for the complex glass and steel narthex at the main entry to the cathedral. Additionally, we provided advice in relation to remediating the fleche on the roof and our fire team reviewed the fire systems to ensure compliance. 

A relatively unusual project for the team, we were challenged to work from first principles to work with the complexities involved in this large and intricate cathedral structure. Our effective partnership with the builder and subcontractors enabled us to provide added value to the project and swiftly address any site issues. We certainly feel privileged to have been able to contribute to the renewal of this significant historical building.

If you want to hear more about this project, contact Rodney Pratt - Principal | Structural Engineer on (02) 4226 3333, 

Images kindly supplied by Urban Cam | Creative Image and Project Strategies Australia 

Client Name
Project Strategies Australia Pty Ltd/ St Peter & Paul’s Old Cathedral, Goulburn
Construction Value
$5 million

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