He has also painstakingly recreated the central gable with its four lancet windows and two quatrefoil windows. Picture: YouTube.com

London - One day back in 2013, Barry King set himself quite a challenge -  to create the world’s biggest matchstick model.

Six very fiddly years, 750 000 matches, 40 litres of glue, around £6 000 (about R108 000) and one relationship later, his replica of Salisbury Cathedral is really taking shape.

He has finished the west front, including details such as the niches containing statues of priests and worthies connected with the 13th century cathedral.

He has also painstakingly recreated the central gable with its four lancet windows and two quatrefoil windows.

The maintenance man, 49, estimates he will complete his task sometime in 2028, by when he will have used six million matchsticks.

That would make him a Guinness world record holder – taking him past David Reynolds of Southampton, who finished his replica of a North Sea oil rig in 2009 after 15 years and 4.75 million matchsticks.

King, from Amesbury, Wiltshire, said: "I started in earnest six years ago and progress was good to start with.

"But when I got into a relationship I found I wasn’t able to devote a lot of time to it. Since the relationship ended, I can now spend my weekends and a few hours every evening on it."

He uses tweezers and a craft knife to whittle the matchsticks to the right size and shape them as he replicates the cathedral’s intricate details.

The actual cathedral took slightly longer to build, its main body being completed in 38 years from 1220 to 1258 – 23 years longer than King hopes his model will take.

The model, which will measure 15ft by 9ft when complete, is on show at the Salisbury Guildhall later this month in a charity fundraiser.

"It’s always been something I want to be known for doing," King said.

Daily Mail