LENS caps can now be officially removed allowing keen photographers the chance to capture on camera the full majesty of a North-East architectural landmark.

Durham Cathedral’s dean and chapter has lifted the ban on public photography in the main body of the 900-year-old Norman-built shrine to St Cuthbert.

Keen ‘snappers’ were eager to take advantage of the new policy, with all manner of cameras, smart phones and tablets being used round the cathedral on day one of the new relaxed ruling coming into force.

Among them was Northern Echo Camera Club member Vivien Fawcett, who said: “I live here in Durham, so when I heard about it, I thought it was a great opportunity to get some good photographs.”

She pledged to post some of her images on the club’s pages.

Photography tutor Jayne Renwick also thought it was too good a chance to miss and brought a party of students from Newcastle City Camera Club, at Gosforth Library, for the day.

“They are all on the Royal Photographic Society advanced level course and feel very privileged to be here today, able to practice their photography skills in this great building.”

The driving force behind the initiative was Canon Charlie Allen, Canon Chancellor at the cathedral since last summer.

“We’ve been looking at the welcome and hospitality we offer, to improve the visitor experience, and in the social media age, the one area we were perhaps seen to be lacking was regarding photography in the cathedral.”

She said the decision was made ahead of the 2020 pilgrimage drive, when increased visitor numbers are expected.

Caveats to the new rule include no flash or tripods being permitted and no photography should take place during services or in the Gregory Chapel, which is reserved for quiet reflection.