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Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire, England

This evening, I am focusing on Salisbury Cathedral, 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.

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.

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

Altar, Salisbury Cathedral, England

Reflections inside Salisbury Cathedral, England

Inside Salisbury Cathedral, England

Inside Salisbury Cathedral, England

Inside Salisbury Cathedral, England

Spire of Salisbury Cathedral, England

Ludlow Castle, Shropshire, England

This evening, I am posting information on Ludlow Castle in Shropshire, close to the English-Welsh border. Location is about 45 miles west of Birmingham.

Ludlow Castle is a substantive ruin with a long history, as summarised below.

  • Origins date from the late 11th century as a border stronghold of Walter de Lacy, a Marcher Lord. Walter was followed by his sons Roger and Hugh who were also engaged in the castle’s construction.
  • Enlarged early 14th century by Richard, Duke of York.
  • Played a role in the Wars of the Roses (1455-1485).
  • Used as a Royal Palace by Edward IV (1442-1483).  Also a seat of Government for Wales and the Border Counties. The ‘Princes in the Tower’ (Prince of Wales and his brother) were sent to live at the castle. The two princes disappeared in 1483.
  • During the 16th century was destination of various royals:
    • Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon on honeymoon in 1501.
    • Mary Tudor (Queen of England, between 1553 and 1558) spent three winters here from 1525-1528.
  • British Army regiment, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, were founded at the castle in 1689.
  • Castle was abandoned from  late 17th century and fell into decay.
  • Ruins purchased by 2nd Earl of Powis in 1811 in which family ownership remains.

Ludlow Castle is situated on the edge of the town of Ludlow (pop 11,000) wherein can be seen a range of interesting architecture, including from the Tudor period.

Round Chapel, Ludlow Castle, England

Main entrance to Ludlow Castle, England

Inside Ludlow Castle, Shropshire, England

View of Ludlow from atop Ludlow Castle

Ludlow architecture, England

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shottery, England

This evening, I am providing information on an excellent visitor attraction, namely Anne Hathaway’s Cottage in Shottery, about two miles west of Stratford-upon-Avon in central England.

The property name is a misnomer, devised for marketing purposes, as Anne Hathaway never owned the property but grew up and lived there until marriage with William Shakespeare at age 26 years in 1582.

This substantial property allows visitors to connect with the tenor of life in the 16th century and complements the other Shakespeare properties in and around Stratford which include Mary Arden’s Farm, Halls Croft, New Place and Shakespeare’s Birthplace.

The twelve roomed property is set in 9 acres of grounds within which can be found:

  • Willow arbour.
  • Music note willow sculpture.
  • Woodlands walk.
  • Butterfly conservation border.
  • Picnic area and traditional orchard.
  • Lavender maze.
  • Miss Wilmott’s garden.
  • Sculpture trail and arboretum.
  • Yew circle.
  • Well maintained and colourful gardens.

Anne Hathaway;s Cottage, Shottery, England

Summer Garden at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shottery

Spring Garden at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, England

Bedroom, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shottery, England

Bedroom, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shottery

Bedroom, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shottery