Rope Access - Canterbury Cathedral - Sylvana Alta
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At the Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral- Heritage Stone Access

At the Cathedral

New techniques to help old monuments

Rope access is all about adapting to your environment. The ropes provide the means to access areas inaccessible to others and with this access we are required to adapt to the structure at hand and carry out the required work. Often these environments come with awkward, grimy, physically demanding ‘challenges’ however on occasion there is a job that presents itself that makes all these experiences worth the effort and Canterbury Cathedral was one of them.

It took me several days to relax into the work of inspecting the cathedral and I was convinced I might damage the stone carvings or put a foot through one of the £2 million stained glass windows!! Luckily the cathedral has endured more than our tentative padding down the walls over the years and I could appreciate the finer details of such an incredible building.

These inspections carried out by Heritage Stone Access are a way of monitoring the building’s integrity and condition and thus future conservation. It was a great example how rope access can be used as a low impact, mobile and flexible tool for sensitive works in unusual environments.

It’s easy to separate industrial climbing from anything to do with the natural world however a historic stone building such as this is in itself a natural environment lending itself to numerous plants, birds and insects within the structure itself.

It was a privilege in itself to work on such a spectacular and iconic building and the next time I find myself on a cramped, dark and awkward abseiling job this is where I’ll go in my head!

For further information on the work carried out at the cathedral please visit