Treadwheel crane on Salisbury Cathedral - England
Treadwheel on Salisbury Cathedral is from the 13th century (1220-1320.) And has the tallest tower in the UK, 123 meters (404 feet). The wheel crane is the original one used in construction. The same as the existing scaffolding on the spire tower. As the tower approached completion, the removal of the wheel crane was considered. This was quite common, as the crane can be dismantled and reused on another site. It also adds weight to the structure. But it turns out that because the crane was leaning, so much wooden shoring was added to it that it prevented its total removal. It was also partially dismantled and in its original location under the roof.
TreadWheel Crane Details
In the 18th century lightning damaged the tower, so the wheel crane is reassembled for repair work. So it remained until today. They say the crane is empty (no rope or load) so well balanced that it can be moved with just one finger. The axis, in the 18th century was reinforced (8), adding four additional minor axes. Planks were placed on the inside circumference of the Wheel, providing a surface for the crane operators.
The 3.3 meter (10 feet 10.5 inch) diameter of the wheel makes walking inside the wheel hoist torture for the operator. Even for a person of short stature. You had to walk in a stooped position, the only way to operate the crane. According to the Cathedral staff, although it is not used, the wheel crane is in operating condition
Curiosities of the CathedralThe cathedral remains undamaged to this day. And it is because it was one of the few cathedrals, in the south of England, not to be attacked by the Luftwaffe. This was during the Battle of Britain in WWII. As the story goes, the residents of Salisburys during the war were astonished because in the areas adjacent to the cathedral, far fewer bombs fell than in the rest of the city.
They were probably convinced that the cathedral should protect them. It turns out that, after the war, a Luftwaffe officer reported that all pilots received strict instructions never to bombard the cathedral, as its spire was so tall and unique that it served as a perfect landmark for the aircraft they sought. orientation. The cathedral also has the oldest and best-preserved copy of the Magna Carta. This document apparently can be seen but not photographed.