Wednesday, September 04, 2013
A Day in Salisbury
On the August Bank holiday Monday we went to Salisbury. The day turned warm and sunny. The crowds were enjoying the weather and the day off. There were lots of tourists like ourselves, but there were also the locals out and about.
We visited the old city where the cathedral is located. It's easy to find, even if there weren't signs everywhere. Just look the the huge spire in the sky! It is the tallest spire in Britain at 123 meters, or 404 feet. The cathedral was consecrated in 1258, taking only 38 years to build. Most of these old buildings took centuries. This explains why it is all in one style instead of evolving over time.
The interior is splendid. Full of stained glass windows, tombs, carvings on the floor and walls, regimental colors and dedications. There are also volunteer guides everywhere to answer any questions you may have. One man, seeing me reading the tomb engravings on the floor, took me to one of his favorites. It was the tomb of a child, with the birth listed in April and the death in February of the same year. When I looked confused, he laughed. This is a Church of England cathedral. The old church calendar ran from April to March, instead of January to December. The tax year in England still runs from April to March each year. would never have known this without him freely sharing his knowledge.
There are the largest medieval cloisters in Britain here as well as the Chapter House, which houses the finest of only four surviving original Magna Carta, from 1215. Pictures were not allowed in the Chapter House.
Outside the cathedral, the surrounding city is of a fitting old style.