Wiltshire

Salisbury Cathedral: Breathtaking video from tallest spire

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Media captionConservators filmed themselves repairing weather meter hundreds of feet up

Spectacular video has been captured by conservators working at the top of Britain's tallest spire.

Two men filmed themselves climbing 404ft (123m) to the capstone of Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire to replace a faulty weather meter.

The footage shows the breathtaking views only usually experienced by the Cathedral's peregrine falcons.

Clerk of Works Gary Price described it as a "heart in your mouth" experience which heightens the senses.

Image copyright Ash Mills
Image caption The cathedral spire is the tallest in Britain at 404ft (123m)
Image copyright Ash Mills
Image caption Workers use a weather door to exit the spire before scaling the final 49ft (15m) outside
Image copyright Salisbury Cathedral
Image caption The purpose of the work was to replace a faulty weather meter

"When you climb out of the weather door it's quite wide, but the higher you go the more narrow it gets - and that is when you question if it'll take your weight, but it will," he said.

"It's quite exposed because you can see all the way around you.

"If there's two or three of you up there, and one of you moves, you can feel the spire slightly swaying. Not a massive amount but enough to notice that it is moving with the wind."

Mr Price was joined in the work by two architectural conservators and rope access specialists.

To access the top they climbed 332 steps through the cathedral's roof spaces, then a further 144ft (44m) up ladders inside the spire before climbing out of a weather door and scaling the final 49ft (15m) outside using metal hoops in the spire's masonry.

The purpose of the work was to replace a faulty anemometer, which was working intermittently, and also plug a leak discovered after the September storms.


Salisbury Cathedral

  • A 750-year-old medieval cathedral
  • Tallest in England since the late 16th century
  • It took 38 years to construct the main building
  • 250,000 visitors each year
  • Combined force of 700 clergy, staff and volunteers
  • A cross replaced the weather vane at the top of the spire in 1921
  • Mother church of the Salisbury Diocese

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