Monday, September 28, 2015

Salisbury


When walking from the city centre to Salisbury Cathedral we passed under this arch.  It is known as the North Gate, one of four within the walls which surrounded the cathedral in days gone by. It was built between 1327 and 1342.  Keeping up old traditions, it is still closed every evening at 2300hours, and reopened at 0600hrs. 

Salisbury Cathedral was built between 1220 and 1258, in a style now called Early English Gothic. This style emphasized height and light, and there surely is that.  It has been referred to as 'the single most beautiful structure in England, and the Close around it the most beautiful space'.  It has quite a few claims to fame, including Britain's finest 13th century Gothic Cathedral and Britain's tallest spire at 123 metres (404 feet), it houses the oldest working clock in Europe (1326),  the best preserved of only 4 original copies of the Magna Carta from 1215 A.D. and the largest Cathedral Close in the UK at 80 acres.

 That's me and the other ant like creatures, dwarfed by the cathedral.

 
Another angle.  Viewed from any angle it's an impressive sight.

 One of the smaller doors



One of the side chapels, that of Saint Margaret of Scotland 

As we toured the cathedral, clergy and staff were preparing for a wedding, guests were arriving as tour groups wandered around and amongst them.  

 The ushers comparing notes, trying to ignore the tourists and their cameras.


I can see my brother in this photo following the tour group.  He will remember nearly everything of what we were told by the guide.  And probably be able to give you a few facts in a year or two from now.  He was paying attention.  It's easy to see why the nuns despaired of ever teaching me anything, I am so easily distracted.  Peter, on the other hand, is an attentive learner and has a great head for historic facts.

 A very important personage sends me a dirty look for daring to linger and take in the scene.

The splendid arcaded cloister is the largest in England and was added in the late 13th century. Despite tourists milling around it had an air of tranquility.


 After the cathedral, we visited Arundells, Edward Heath's home, one of the cathedral's closest neighbours and where, at one time, stood a Canonary for it's clergy. I thought a canonry was what one got when one became a canon but it seems it's where canons lived.  

The home reflects Sir Edward's time in public office and contains his collections of paintings, sailing and musical memorabilia, Oriental and European ceramics, Chinese and Japanese artworks and  photographs.  Everything is just as it was when he lived there.  There's a fine collection of blue and white Chinese china and some fabulous gifts he received from foreign heads of state.  

The Friends of Arundell do a great job of maintaining it all and upkeeping the 2 acre gardens which meanders down to the river at the back of the property.  My best view of the cathedral spire was from the garden.


On our way back to Gallop End we called in to visit Stonehenge.  It was a hot, hot day and the place was heaving with tourists.  Far too many to make for an enjoyable stroll around.  I'd love to visit when there was a full moon - and no-one around. 


 

6 comments:

  1. Stonehenge is definitely on my bucket list, and those are some really grand images of the church and nature surrounding it.

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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  2. Salisbury is exquisite. Stonehenge in a full moon without tourists? You'll be lucky! Gaz and I went to Callanish last night (the lunar eclipse and a 'red' moon) to take photographs but at 1am there were more people milling around than when you and I were there and we were just about the only place in the UK that couldn't see the moon properly for high cloud and water vapour.

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  3. It would take me days to see everything i'd want to see in that cathedral and it's surrounding property! It would be a place to linger.

    As to Stonehenge, is there ever a time when no one is there? Like so many old and ancient places, it has become too famous for its own preservation!

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  4. Salisbury is a very impressive structure. I read the novel and it was fascinating. I can't remember the author.

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  5. What a fabulous cathedral! I'm a tad jealous of your visit to Stone Henge. That was one place I missed when we were in the UK in 2010.

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  6. How fabulous. I never made it to Salisbury when I was in England, but I can see it has to go on my must-see list for next time. Hopefully there will be a next time, lol!

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