RECREATING Salisbury’s cathedral out of matchsticks is no easy task, but that is what one city resident intends to do.

Security guard Barry King estimates it will take him about 15 years to complete his matchstick mission, which will be 12ft long and up to 9ft wide. And he is hoping to break a world record in the process.

Mr King came up with the idea last summer.

After finding a map of the floor plan on the cathedral’s website and taking photos, he spent three weeks drawing up plans before he started putting the matches together. He has started with the West Front and has already used 8,000 matches.

He is hoping to finish the West Front within two years, to coincide with the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

“I’ve always been into art and drawing,”

he said. “I should have gone to art college or into design really, but I never did. I always wanted to do something unique, art-wise, that I can be named for.”

Mr King has never worked with matchsticks before and has chosen a daunting challenge for his first foray into using them to make a model.

The current record for the biggest matchstick model was set by David Reynolds, from Southampton, in 2009. He spent 15 years and £5,000 creating a replica of the Brent Bravo oil rig using 4.75 million matches.

Mr King said: “Once I’ve done the cathedral, if it’s not quite enough to beat the record I’m going to do the walls around it as well, and then I want to put it on display.”