Salisbury Cathedral

Safety Circle steps used in this project
Salisbury Cathedral

The client

Salisbury Cathedral has the tallest spire in Britain! The main body of the cathedral was completed in only 38 years, from 1220 to 1258. Since 1549, the cathedral has had the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom, at 404 feet (123m).

Visitors can take the "Tower Tour" where the interior of the hollow spire, with its ancient wood scaffolding, can be viewed. The cathedral also has the largest cloister and the largest cathedral close in Britain at 80 acres. It contains a clock which is among the oldest working clocks in the world and has the best surviving of the four original copies of the Magna Carta.

The requirement

The cathedral’s estate department contacted Eurosafe to replace ropes and provide a safe working environment inside the spire, which measures 123 metres high.

Although scaffolding was already permanently installed at the site, the fact it dates back to 1365 presented a unique set of challenges that had to be overcome. The spire already contained several rigging ropes, these had to be replaced to a high standard to ensure the safety of anyone scaling the inside of the spire.

The solutions

Much of the existing scaffolding was made from old ships and oak beams. Eurosafe decided that the best approach would be to use rope access techniques to provide the safest solution, whilst providing minimum disturbance in order to retain the integrity of the spire. Because Eurosafe has more than 20 years of experience in providing rope access solutions, this did not present a problem.

My colleague and I were tasked with installing a rope-based safety system to provide site maintenance personnel safe access as they climb up internal ladders within the spire of the Cathedral.
As experienced rope access technicians, we applied a rope access methodology to overcome on-site issues, such as a lack of direct anchorage and a structure built long before safety requirements were as strict as they are now. Working on such an iconic structure is a pleasure as you get to see the behind the scenes areas the public don't ever see.

~ Ian Shore, Rope Access Manager

As well as designing and installing a comprehensive range of fall protection systems, Eurosafe also provides a dedicated test and inspection service. The company offers total project management to ensure that fall protection systems on a building are compliant with the latest regulations, minimising risks to operatives and providing peace of mind to building owners.

For more information on this project or solutions applied please contact...

Ian Shore

Rope Access Manager, Contracting

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