First new build at Salisbury Cathedral for 650 years!

17th December 2013

The first permanent new build at Salisbury Cathedral since the fifteenth century has opened. A purpose-designed building providing new toilet facilities and storage space, it marks a significant milestone for the cathedral as it looks to deliver a long term programme of improved facilities for its congregation and visitors to the Cathedral and surrounding Close.

The building combines timber, glass and stone to blend perfectly with the historic environment around it, and has minimal impact on the fabric. It replaces temporary toilets, enhancing the appearance of the south side of the building and simultaneously returning the south cloister, which had become an overflow storage area, to its original beautiful and reflective space. The project has been made possible through donations, legacies and pledges from the Friends of Salisbury Cathedral and other generous supporters.

The Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd June Osborne, said “This new building between the Cathedral and the Chapter House has long been an ambition and I’m truly delighted that it has finally come to fruition enabling us to provide a better welcome to congregation and visitors alike. Its design harmonizes beautifully with the Cathedral. I’d like to express my sincere thanks to Alex Durtnell, whose company R Durtnell & Sons Limited in Farnborough, fulfilled the contract, and to the Friends of Salisbury Cathedral and all our funders.”

Alex Durtnell, chairman of R Durtnell & Sons Limited, said “R Durtnell & Sons Ltd are delighted to have been involved with the Little Paradise project at Salisbury Cathedral. From start to finish, we have all enjoyed working closely with the Cathedral and the professional team creating a new important facility. Working in such beautiful surroundings was a real treat for all our staff and sub-contractors and was an experience we will not forget. We wish the Cathedral, its staff and congregation all the best for the future and hope that Little Paradise is well received.”
This important new build, together with the recently completed restoration work on the north cloister, continues the Cathedral’s preparations for Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary in 2015 when it expects to welcome many thousands of people to see the finest of the four surviving 1215 exemplars.

Little Paradise is accessed through an existing doorway in the east cloister.