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Man climbs to top of Salisbury Cathedral’s spire

Posted on 28th February 2013

Salisbury Cathedral is one of the most popular attractions visited by those enjoying Wiltshire cottage holidays and its spire in particular makes the cathedral one of the most recognisable in the UK. A new clerk at the cathedral hit the headlines recently when he climbed to the top of the Salisbury Cathedral spire.

Salisbury Cathedral

The spire is the tallest in the UK at 123 metres high and hundreds of thousands of people visit it each year, climbing up the ancient wood scaffolding in the hollow wooden spire to enjoy fantastic views of Salisbury and the beautiful countryside. However, most visitors don’t get to reach the very top of the spire.

Gary Price, the new clerk of works at Salisbury Cathedral, got to head to the very peak of the spire last week and was ecstatic to have the opportunity to do so, saying that his “lifelong dream has at last become reality”. Although the climb was something that he has always wanted to do, the top of the spire needed to be inspected anyway in preparation for the installation of a new digital weather instrument.

Knowing what the weather conditions are like is essential for ensuring that the popular Tower Tours can go ahead, and the wind speed meter which currently sits atop the spire is the method which is currently used to make sure that visitors only go up the tower when it is safe to do so.

The wind speed meter relays information back down to the cathedral floor and is a point of interest for visitors, but a new digital anemometer which will soon be installed will be able to give even more accurate information, relaying both wind speed and temperature information down to the main cathedral.

The Tower Tour sees visitors climb five spiral staircases which take them about halfway up the spire and 68.5 metres from the ground. In order to reach the top of the great spire, Gary Price needed to climb a further 56 metres to reach the very tip, using a mixture of ladders and ropes.

The results of this climb have meant that the new equipment will be installed later this year, and those staying in holiday cottages in Wiltshire who visit Salisbury Cathedral will be able to see the data gathered in the vestry and on the cathedral floor as well as on the cathedral’s website and social media profiles.

Image Credit: Matthew Black (flickr.com)