August 27, 2019

Weekly Focus: St Albans Cathedral

St. Albans Cathedral

St. Albans Cathedral is one of the oldest cathedrals in the UK, with architecture dating back to Norman times. 

The team at St. Albans Cathedral first reached out to Axiomatic in late 2014. They had an existing beam break visitor counting system in place, but were unhappy at its continued below-expectations performance. They wanted a solution that was more accurate and reliable.

After initial conversations, and reviewing photos and plans of the main entrance points to the cathedral, Axiomatic recommended the use of Irisys thermal people counters. These units would be ideal in this scenario due to their high levels of accuracy and, most importantly, their ability to continue operating in low light conditions without a drop in performance.

There were to be 4 automated visitor counters in total, covering each entrance/exit. Each device would be connected to a central server via a Cat5 PoE cable. Axiomatic’s software would be installed on this server to enable the staff at the cathedral to see their footfall figures and run custom reports. St. Albans employed their own technicians to physically install each device to take advantage of their prior knowledge of the site. Minimal disruption was required and great care to be taken, as St. Albans Cathedral is a Grade 1 listed building.


4 years later, in 2018, the team at St. Albans got in touch again. They explained details of refurbishment plans that were scheduled to commence in 2019. They wanted advice and assistance with ensuring the smooth transition of their visitor counting system to the new cathedral layout.

Axiomatic sent down a member of our sales team, as well as an installation technician, to perform a  site survey. This allowed Axiomatic to assess the planned changes to the site, and act accordingly, ensuring minimal disruption to cathedral’s data.

As initially thought, counters had to be moved, recalibrated, and infrastructure such as cabling needed adapting. In some cases, counters were upgraded to offer better performance over the older models currently in operation.

When the changes and timetable were agreed, St. Albans used their own on-site technicians to carry out the works, advised by Axiomatic’s installations team at our head office. As with 4 years prior, they took advantage of their site knowledge and expertise to conduct the works with minimal impact on the Grade 1 listed site.

As with the initial system, each counting device would be connected to a central server via a Cat5 PoE cable. Axiomatic’s reporting software would be installed on this server to enable the staff at the cathedral to see their footfall figures and run custom reports.

The refurbishments were finished in summer 2019. The new Welcome Centre, containing the cathedral shop, was to become the new main entrance to the site.