Subject: Salisbury Cathedral

The following is a set of notes from Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire which I visited last Thursday. It took us around two hours to drive to Salisbury from South-West London although there are trains from London main stations. Within two miles of Salisbury is Old Sarrum (an English Heritage site) which is the original site of Salisbury but amounts to little more than ruins these days. A further six miles is Stonehenge (also and English Heritage site) about which I probably need say nothing on account of its established fame.

Salisbury has a very medieval-England old town with a world-class cathedral. In cathedral building terms, Salisbury Cathedral was built remarkably quickly, taking only 38 years, commencing in 1220 and finishing in 1258, and is almost entirely in one architectural style - Early English Gothic.

In the North Transept, there is a tomb. The tomb has roses engrave around the top - each one identical. When facing the tomb, examine the roses before heading to the left of the tomb and looking where the last rose should be. It is the face of a man, who is holding a pair of shears cutting the stem that holds each of the roses together!

At 404 feet, the Cathederals spire is the tallest in England. When it was placed on the on the cathederal, the central point of the central point of the cathedral the Cathedrals columns bowed. When this was realised, the scissor arches were added as was the flying butresses, which proved to be more effective.

In the Quire, the cielings were repainted during the Victorian period. They were repainted in what the Victorians believed to be the Gothic style of painting. When in the Choir, look back to the cieling of the nave. At each point, there appears to be a piece of triangular damp on either side. Now, observe the cieling above the Choir - at each point a Victorian painting in the Gothic style.

In the Chapter house adjoing the cathedrals cloister is Salisburys copy of Magna Carta. Only four copies of the Magna Carta survive and the Magna Carta at Salisbury is the best preserved of those that were faithfully copied and distributed after King John signed his concessions to the Barons in 1215 at meadow in Runnymede.

Salisbury is also home to Europes oldest working clock, which was built in 1386. It has no face but is a mechanism which strikes at on the hour. It was designed this way in order to allow people (who might not be able to read a clock) to be aware of what time it was - e.g. time for church, time for work.

The Audley Chapel, located on the North Side of the High Altar, was defaced during The Reformation (which was the period of seperation of the Roman Church and the Church of England.) The symbol of one of Henry VIII (sadly, I forget which one) wives was the pomygranite. After their seperation, Henry VIII order the destruction of her symbole from all property in England. On the roof of the interior of Audley chapel, remain some pomygranites which were missed by Henrys men.

The cathedral is primarly constructed from Jurassic limestone and the pillars from marble.

Salisbury also boasts the largest complete set of choir stalls in Britan as well as the Britains largest set of Cathedral cloisters.

Related websites: - The Salisbury Tourist Board - Salisbury Cathedral - English Heritage

Mark Zurich