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Salisbury Cathedral

Location

Wiltshire Map

OS Ref: SU 142 295

Last Visited: 2015

The Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral

Iʼm sure that Salisbury must come near the top of anyoneʼs list of the most beautiful cathedrals.

This is largely due to the fact that it is architecturally all of a piece, having been built in a relatively short period between 1220 and about 1258.

The only significant additions are the glorious tower and spire which were added in 1310-30, a chantry chapel and some additional strengthening of the crossing carried out in the fifteenth century.

The Quire and the Nave

The Quire and the Nave

Up to the end of the twelfth century the cathedral, and indeed Salisbury itself, had been located on the summit of the chalk hill to the north of the city now known as Old Sarum.

Sandwiched between the Norman castle and the walls of the old Iron Age hill fort, the constant disputes with the military, the lack of housing for the canons, and winds so strong that "the clerks can hardly hear one another sing", the old cathedral was becoming increasingly unsatisfactory.

The Crossing

The Crossing

Then in 1197 the Dean of Old Sarum, Richard Poore (who was born in Tarrant Crawford and eventually became Bishop of Durham), decided to lay out a new town on land that he and his brother, the Bishop, owned down by the river.

When his brother died in 1217, Poore was appointed Bishop of Salisbury in his place, and was granted permission to re-site the cathedral to his new town. He laid of the foundation stone on 28th April 1220.

For opening times, admission prices, etc. please see the Cathedralʼs official site detailed below.

The cathedral contains many treasures, not least one of the best copies of Magna Carta to survive. Among the more photogenic are:

The Nave

The Nave

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Salisbury Cathedral
      Click Menu > Visit > Plan Your Visit for information on opening times, 'recommended' donations, etc. Ignore the 'Visiting' link lower down the page.
      http://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk

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The Close

Houses in the Close

Houses in the Close

As well as one of the most beautiful cathedrals, Salisbury also boasts one of the finest cathedral closes in the country. Like Canterbury it retains its gates, and is still closed off from the city at nights.

Several of the houses are open to the public: Mompesson House, Arundells, Kingʼs House (home of the Salisbury Museum) and The Wardrobe (home of The Rifles (Berkshire and Wiltshire) Museum).

In addition the Medieval Hall is occasionally open to pre-booked groups.


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Mompesson House

Location

Wiltshire Map

OS Ref: SU 142 296

Last Visited: 2014

Mompesson House

Mompesson House

Mompesson House was constructed in the Queen Anne style for Sir Thomas Mompesson, who was MP for Salisbury at the end of the 17th century.

The closest the house ever came to having a famous resident is Miss Barbara Townsend, a flamboyant artist. She lived there for the whole of her 96 years, dieing in 1936.

For opening times, admission prices, etc. please see the National Trustʼs official site detailed below.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Mompesson House
      National Trust Handbook entry detailing opening times, ticket prices, facilities, etc.
      https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mompesson-house

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