Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Salisbury Cathedral - Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary ,UK

  Salisbury known as 'The city in the countryside', the magnificent medieval city of Salisbury has it all: historic streets and alleyways, charming half-timbered buildings, traditional English eating houses and colourful shopping streets, not to mention a superb range of attractions like beautiful gardens , farms ,  Salisbury Cathedral and The Stonehenge.

Salisbury Cathedral -
Salisbury is unique amongst medieval English cathedrals having been built in just 38 years (1220 - 1258) in a single architectural style, early English Gothic. The tower and spire (Britain’s tallest) were added about 50 years later. The building itself is remarkable, a testimony to the faith and practical skills of those who erected it.

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But it is much more than a historical monument. It is a living church and a place of prayer. As the Cathedral Church of the Salisbury diocese it is Mother Church of several hundred parishes in Wiltshire and Dorset. It is also a centre of pilgrimage for hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Salisbury Cathedral, formally known as the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is an Anglican cathedral in Salisbury, England, and is considered one of the leading examples of Early English architecture.
 The cathedral has the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom (123m/404 ft). Visitors can take the "Tower Tour" where the interior of the hollow spire, with its ancient wood scaffolding, can be viewed. The cathedral also has the largest cloister and the largest cathedral close in Britain (80 acres (320,000 m2)). The Cathedral contains the world's oldest working clock (from AD 1386) and has the best surviving of the four original copies of Magna Carta (all four original copies are in England). Although commonly known as Salisbury Cathedral, the official name is the Cathedral of Saint Mary. In 2008, the cathedral celebrated the 750th anniversary of its consecration in 1258.

The foundation stone was laid on 28 April 1220.Much of the freestone for the cathedral came from Teffont Evias quarries. Due to the high water table in the new location, the cathedral was built on only four feet of foundations, and by 1258 the nave, transepts and choir were complete. The west front was ready by 1265. The cloisters and chapter house were completed around 1280. Because the cathedral was built in only 38 years, Salisbury Cathedral has a single consistent architectural style, Early English Gothic.

The only major sections of the cathedral built later were the Cloisters, Chapter house, tower and spire, which at 404 feet (123 m) dominated the skyline from 1320. Whilst the spire is the cathedral's most impressive feature, it has also proved to be troublesome. Together with the tower, it added 6,397 tons (6,500 tonnes) to the weight of the building. Without the addition of buttresses, bracing arches and anchor irons over the succeeding centuries, it would have suffered the fate of spires on later great ecclesiastical buildings (such as Malmesbury Abbey) and fallen down; instead, Salisbury remains the tallest church spire in the UK. To this day the large supporting pillars at the corners of the spire are seen to bend inwards under the stress. The addition of reinforcing tie beams above the crossing, designed by Christopher Wren in 1668, arrested further deformation. The beams were hidden by a false ceiling, installed below the lantern stage of the tower.
Significant changes to the cathedral were made by the architect James Wyatt in 1790, including replacement of the original rood screen and demolition of the bell tower which stood about 320 feet (100 m) north west of the main building.

Main Attractions:-
(A). Original Magna Carta

(B). Salisbury cathedral clock - The dating from about AD 1386 is supposedly the oldest working modern clock in the world.

(C) Organs

(D) Glass Arts on the windows

(E).The Baptismal Font - Perhaps the most significant addition to the fabric of an English Cathedral in recent years, it has been designed by William Pye, Britain’s most distinguished water sculptor, and is the Cathedral’s first permanent font for over 150 years. Cruciform in shape and with a three metre span to allow total immersion baptism, it is a beautiful green patinated bronze vessel with a Purbeck Freestone plinth and brown patinised bronze grating. The Salisbury Font has been specifically designed to combine both movement and stillness, with living streams of water flowing from its four corners whilst a perfectly smooth, still surface of water reflects the surrounding architecture of the cathedral.

(F) The Chapter House -

(G) The Cathedra -

How to Reach Here
Salisbury Cathedral is situated in the centre of the historic city of Salisbury, just 1½ hours journey from London .
The postcode is SP1 2EJ.

There are frequent train services from London, Bath and the West Country. For train timetables visit the National Rail website: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk
Regular services (usually every 30 minutes) from London Waterloo take only 90 minutes and the Cathedral is less than a 10 minute walk from the station.   

Direct trains run from London, Basingstoke, Plymouth, Exeter and Yeovil by South West Trains www.southwesttrains.co.uk

Direct trains run from Cardiff, Bristol, Bath, Westbury, Portsmouth and Southampton by First Great Western


Wilts and Dorset bus company - telephone 01722 336855

National Express Coaches

National Express coaches have regular links to Salisbury Bus Station. For timetable details visit their website at: http://www.nationalexpress.com/home.aspx
or telephone 0990 808080


From London, take the M3 then the A303 and the A345, approximately a 1½ - 2 hour drive.
From Swindon take the X5
From Dorchester/Weymouth/Blandford take the A354.
From Bournemouth take the A338.
From Southampton take the A36.
From Bath take the A36.
From Stonehenge take the A303 and the A345 (approximately 25 minutes).
From Old Sarum A345 (approximately 10 minutes).
Car parking: Please use city centre car parks. The closest to the Cathedral Close are Old George Mall or Crane Street.

Salisbury Cathedral - 
Video Documentary in 6 parts

Some useful websites 


Online Salisbury Cathedral Gallery

Salisbury Cathedral Services and Events -


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