Salisbury has a multi-disciplined team made up of talented stonemasons, glaziers, labourers,a joiner, a plumber, and a technician, all lead by the Clerk of Works. Without them, Salisbury Cathedral would not be the same today. Their expert work in maintaining and restoring this historic building is invaluable. As part of the Major Repair Programme (MRP), the works team have addressed many of the main areas of the Cathedral, including the spire, tower and west front.

The craftspeople in our Works Department consider it a great honour and privilege to look after and conserve this great building.

Meet an Apprentice at Salisbury Cathedral:

Joe O’Connell

“I’m currently working on a bird bath, which is one of several training pieces I’m expected to produce over the course of my apprenticeship. This project is an excellent introduction to the various stages of a stonemasonry job, and an opportunity to develop the skills required to produce a finished product from scratch.

My first task was to design the bird bath and create the technical drawings. I really enjoyed learning more about geometry and how I could use different techniques to create the right shapes and curves. I carefully transferred the drawings onto plastic templates for working the stone. The first component I produced was the top piece, which will hold the water for the birds. I was given a very hard piece of Chicksgrove stone as it needed to be as non-porous as possible. This was my first time working a cyma reversa mould, and it was really satisfying to see how the cavetto flowed into the ovolo.

Following this, I produced the sub-plinth and I’m now moving onto the baluster, which will be a complicated piece incorporating multiple mouldings and symmetrical at either end.”