Salisbury CathedralSalisbury
33 The Close
Salisbury SP1 2EJ
 
 
 
 
Salisbury Cathedral is well known for being a perfect example of Early English architecture and for having the tallest spire in Britain. Not so well known is that it is a stunning, harmonious mix of ancient and modern.
 
To mark the Cathedral’s 750th Anniversary a new font was installed in the centre of the medieval nave. This is no ordinary font but a breathtakingly beautiful “large and exquisite piece of modern religious art” It was designed by William Pye, Britain’s most distinguished water sculptor.
 
Cruciform in shape, and with a three metre span to allow for total immersion baptism, it is a beautiful green patinated bronze vessel with a Purbeck Freestone plinth and brown patinated bronze grating. Water gently overflows from its four corners whilst, at the same time, reflecting the soaring majesty of the medieval nave in its perfectly smooth, still surface.
 
Among other modern treasures to be found in this ancient cathedral is the huge vibrant blue Prisoners of Conscience stained glass window in the Trinity Chapel behind the high altar, and a beautifully engraved glass prism by Laurence Whistler in the Morning Chapel.
 
The ancient fabric of the Cathedral dates from 1220 and remarkably the basic structure was completed by 1258. The resultant building is in one architectural style, making Salisbury Britain's finest 13th century Gothic Cathedral.
 
Here are a few statistics for this iconic Cathedral - It is set in the largest Cathedral Close in Britain and has the tallest spire in the country (404 feet/123 metres). The choir stalls are the earliest surviving complete set of any cathedral and the cloisters are the largest in Britain.
 
Magna Carta 
On display is the finest of only four remaining copies of the 1215 ‘Magna Carta’ and Europe’s oldest working clock (1386).
 
Accommodation - Search & Book through Lastminute.com here:    External Link
 
 
A Little of the History
Salisbury’s original Norman cathedral was built on Old Sarum hill by Bishop Osmund but deteriorating relations between the clergy and the military at Old Sarum led to the decision to re-site the cathedral elsewhere. A more congenial site beside the river was chosen.
 
Bishop Richard Pore oversaw the building of the new cathedral in the Early English style using stone from the old one. Because of the high water table, the cathedral was built on only four feet of foundations and within 38 years the nave, transepts and choir had been completed.
 
Bishop Osmund’s remains were removed from Old Sarum and interred in a splendid shrine and Osmund was canonised.
 
By 1280 the west front, cloisters and chapter house had been completed. The tower and spire was completed by 1320.
 
The West Front is large, highly decorated and impressive. It accommodates over 130 shallow niches of varying sizes in 5 tiers. Seventy-three of the niches contain statues representing not only religious and ecclesiastical figures but royalty, doctors and other worthy people as well. Most of the statues were added in the 19th century.
 
The eight sided Chapter House is very graceful and has an unusual medieval sculptured frieze running around the inside just above the stalls. It illustrates stories from Genesis and Exodus showing Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark and the animals, the Tower of Babel, etc. On display is one of the original copies of the Magna Carta presented to the barons at Runnymede in 1215.
 
This is an old church with a very modern approach. There are excellent facilities and extremely knowledgeable and friendly guides conduct free tours. These come highly recommended. The Cathedral has an excellent easy-to-use website with a superb gallery of images.
 
Plan Your Visit 
Accommodation - Search & Book through Agoda here:    External Link
 
Opening Times
Daily 07:15 to 18:15 hours (June – August stays open 1 hour later)
Recommended viewing times for visitors on Sundays are 12:30 – 14:30 or after 16:00 hours.
 
Admission
Free but a donation is requested to assist with upkeep of this iconic building.
 
Disabled Access
The Cathedral floor, Chapter House, Cloisters, Refectory Restaurant and Shop are wheelchair accessible.
Toilets available for wheelchair users.
 
Tower Tours
Explore the spectacular roof space and view the interior of the hollow spire, with its ancient wood scaffolding, accompanied by a fully trained guide. Climb 332 steps in easy stages, by narrow spiral staircases and interior roof walkways, to reach the base of the Spire, 225ft (69m) above ground level. For further information, prices and safety restrictions go to  Web:   Salisbury Cathedral/ Tower Tours    External Link
 
Facilities
Refectory Restaurant open daily except Christmas Day.
Cathedral Shop open daily except Christmas Day. Toilets.
 
Contact & Further Information
Telephone   +44 (0) 1722 555120
Website   Salisbury Cathedral    External Link
 
Getting There
The Cathedral website has detailed 'Getting There' information at  Web:  Salisbury Cathedral/ Getting Here    External Link
 
Google Maps - Salisbury Cathedral