For the first time since 1986, all the scaffolding has been removed from the public side of Salisbury Cathedral as a thirty-two year long, planned programme of renovation reaches its final stage.
Overlooked by the pristine medieval building, donors who took part in the Cathedral’s innovative Sponsor-a-Stone scheme celebrated this milestone with the Cathedral’s Development and Works teams at a reception hosted by the Dean of Salisbury Cathedral in the Deanery.
Gary Price, the Cathedral’s Clerk of Works said: “When I came up idea that donors could sponsor a stone and have their initials carved into that stone and entered into the fabric archive record for future generations to see, I had no idea if it would work and how generous donors would be – but the response has been fantastic.”
The 2014 Sponsor a Stone scheme raised around £50,000 towards the renovations, with sponsors paying between £500 and £5000 per stone. In all 300 stones were removed from the Cathedral’s North East side as part of the scheme and hand carved replacements were substituted.
The cathedral is now within two-and-a-half years of completing what has so far been a nearly 30-year renovation programme.
The Very Revd. June Osborne, Dean of Salisbury Cathedral said: “We are now into the last phase of what has been one of the longest repair programmes of any medieval cathedral and one that has been very challenging. The support we have, particularly from individual donors, has been a significant part of our success.
“It is marvellous that, in this Magna Carta 800th Anniversary year, we can finally see the building as it once was and as it deserves to be seen.”
The Dean went on to commend the craftsmen and women who worked so hard conserving and repairing the building
Reflecting on the job so far, Clerk of Works Gary Price, who began his working life cutting stones for the Cathedral’s 'Save our Spire' appeal nearly three decades ago, said “The milestone reached today is a lifelong achievement from my point of view. I started here nearly 30 year ago! Not many people can say that they have been in same trade for 30 years…and I still love coming to work.”
The final stage of the restoration work will be on the Cathedral’s South side and the Development team, led by Jilly Wright, has issued brochures outlining this year’s Sponsor a Stone scheme. If you would like to know more click here.