What is a Steeplejack?

A steeplejack is a crafts person whose job involves scaling difficult to access or very high structures like steeples or industrial chimneys for their construction, maintenance, or safe demolition.

Steeplejacks erect high ladders, build scaffolding, on tall structures like church spires, bell towers, industrial chimneys, cooling towers, clock towers, radio antennas, airport control towers, suspension bridges, lighthouses, windmills and silos.

If required, scaffolding can be started (kicked off) from an elevated position on the structure using fixed anchors in the wall (concrete, stone, brick, steel).

Steeplejacks can be called upon to build and maintain tall structures where access is considered difficult or requires personnel trained in safety procedures needed for working at great heights. Steeplejacks carry out all maintenance required by tall structures like repairs of weather damaged masonry, masonry cleaning (eg. sand blasting), painting, carpentry and roof repairs. Steeplejacks may also be required to carryout close inspection and surveys of tall structures that have potentially been damaged by storms or severe weather.

Trained steeplejacks also install and maintain lightning protection systems for tall or difficult to access structures that need it most.

One of the most well known steeplejacks is Fred Dibnah from Bolton England. First filmed by a regional BBC news crew while repairing Bolton Town Hall, he later went on to make a award-winning documentary and to become a much liked TV presenter television.