Climbing Salisbury Cathedral

Allchurches Trust recently had the opportunity to join representatives from the First World War Centenary Repairs Fund and stone funders in climbing the scaffolding currently encasing the east face of Salisbury Cathedral.

Clerk of the works, Gary Price, head stonemason, Lee Andrews, and development manager, Jillian Wright, supported the group to explore an area of the cathedral only ever seen up close by a handful of people.

Founded in 1220 and currently home to the Magna Carta, Salisbury Cathedral will soon be celebrating its 800th anniversary. However, centuries of weathering and pollution have taken their toll on the magnificent building. The damage is now so bad that areas around the base of the cathedral have had to be roped off due to the risk of falling stone.

But a plan of action is in place to stop the decay of one of England’s 42 beautiful cathedrals, with the £1.9million project having been boosted by an Allchurches Trust grant of £20,000.

Restoration and repair began at the end of 2016 to the Cathedrals most damaged east face and work is being undertaken by a team of specialist glaziers, sawyers and stonemasons; some of which the group met on their climb.

The specialist workforce will be replacing stone blocks too eroded for repair, clearing Victorian soot crust from the stones and trying to eradicate sulphation around the windows, among other repairs.

Hannah Filmer from Allchurches Trust, who attended the climb, said: “It was fascinating to see the exterior of such an amazing building in close detail, and great to see and hear the passion of the people restoring it first-hand.”

Now the public can help raise funds too by taking part in Salisbury Cathedral’s sponsor a stone campaign. To find out more, visit their website www.salisburycathedral.org.uk

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