Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire

This morning we visited Salisbury Cathedral which ranks as one of Britain’s most beautiful and important ecclesiastical buildings. Location is about ninety miles S.W. of London.

The building dates from 1220 when foundation stones were first laid. Thereafter, construction progressed using limestone from Tisbury, 18 miles away, and  Purbeck stone from Isle of Purbeck. Other key facts:

  • For 25 years construction was supervised by Elias of Dereham, a canon who may also have been the building’s architect.
  • The Cathedral canons built their own houses in the vicinity resulting in the largest cathedral close in England.
  • Construction was fast by standards of the day with quire, transepts and nave completed in 1258- just 38 years.
  • The ornate west front was finished in 1265.
  • The present tower and spire were added in the 14th century.
  • Constructed uniformly in the Early English Gothic style.
  • The octagonal spire is the tallest (404 ft. above ground) in Britain. May also rank as the most elegant.

Inside Salisbury Cathedral.

Memorial effigies inside Salisbury Cathedral

Within the Cathedral’s Chapter House can be found one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta, an early ‘bill of rights’ dating from 1215 which guarantees personal liberties.

Inside Salisbury Cathedral.

Inside Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury and its Cathedral have inspired various writers and authors including Thomas Hardy, Anthony Trollope, Susan Howatch and William Golding.

Images below show street scenes of Salisbury.

Poultry Cross, Salisbury.

Guildhall, Salisbury.

Market Place, Salisbury.

This afternoon, most members of the tour group availed of an excursion to visit the Mary Rose in Plymouth.

The Mary Rose is a carrack-type warship of the navy of King Henry VIII. In 1545, at age 42 years the vessel sank whilst in action against the French and laid undisturbed until discovered in 1971. The vessel was raised in 1982 by the Mary Rose Trust, in one of the most complex and expensive projects in the history of maritime archaeology. The vessel, along with it’s time capsule of Tudor era artefacts, was preserved and placed on public display where it remains.

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