Diver Bill
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The man who saved Winchester Cathedral

A century ago Winchester Cathedral was saved by the heroic work of Portsmouth dockyard diver, William Walker.

The cathedral had been in imminent danger of collapse as it was sinking slowly into the ground, which consisted of peat.

Known as 'Diver Bill' he was employed to descend into the murky water of 235 pits, each about 6m deep, to temporarily shore up the walls by putting concrete underneath them.

He worked from 1906 until 1911 supporting the cathedral using more than 25,000 bags of concrete, 115,000 concrete blocks and 900,000 bricks.