Favorite thing: The Guildhall in the Market Place is where you find the helpful tourist information at the back. They've got all sorts of brochures and also bus timetables which even the bus station office had sometimes run out of.
When we walked to the cathedral, we noticed that there was scaffolding around part of the building. Since before I retired I was a safety and health inspector, I have a habit of taking pictures of scaffolding and construction.
I did not inquire at the time, but apparently there has been an ongoing effort to repair and renovate the cathedral under the aegis of the Cathedral Trust
The work on the spire and tower was completed in 1995, and then the front facade was done - this took five years. They need money for the work of course. Below is a quote from the cathedral website which details the future work.
Fondest memory: "At present the Trust is focusing on the repair of the roof, the whole north side of the building and the cloisters. We hope to complete the roof in the course of 2004 and this will bring to an end work that has continued in one part or other of this vast area of leadwork since 1985. The repair of the north side of the building and the cloisters is expected to take ten years. Once that is done, the Trustees intend to maintain a vigilant watch over the whole building in order to anticipate the many forms of decay and erosion that beset the stonework, the windows and the roof.
"Now the Cathedral Trust is turning its attention to funding the many other parts of the building that are still in need of careful repair. The roof on the north side of the building is already partly covered with plastic sheeting so that work can take place underneath it. The North Porch, which is the subject of one of the superb paintings by Turner that are to be found in the museum in the Close, will soon reappear fully restored and free from years of lichen growth. The repair of the building is a long, long haul, and the Trustees anticipate that it will be ten years before they have dealt with the many areas still in need of attention. Once that is done, further work will continue to be necessary, long into the future. "
The Cathedral at Salisbury was completed in an incredibly short period of time (even for today). The site was prepared in the 1190s and between 1220-1258 the main body of Cathedral and free-standing bell tower (since demolished) was built in Early English style by 300 workers. This means that the entire cathedral is in a single architectural style. Most medevil cathedrals were the work of decades and various bits and pieces are in different styles.
The Cloisters were built later (1264-1270) in theEnglish Gothic style.
The information below on the West Front comes from the cathedral FAQ.
Fondest memory: "The West Front was completed by 1255 with the statuary work in 1300. At least 24 medieval statues survived to the seventeenth century but only 10 now. 60 statues were added during the Victorian period. The statues conform to a carefully considered iconography based on the Te Deum: bishops and doctors, saints and martyrs, apostles and evangelists, prophets and patriarchs are ranged in ascending order below Christ in Majesty in the high gable. At the base of the west front was the ceremonial entrance to the cathedral. All the original wooden doors survive here. A book on the West Front (published 2000) and a West Front leaflet are available in the shop. New statues of two angels and St. Aldhelm carved by Jason Battle."
There is a picture of the bottom of the West Front in my Intro page.
Favorite thing: One thing that makes the centre of Salisbury so attractive is that there are so many attractive and interesting houses and very few ugly or boring ones, which is something quite rare in England nowadays.
The Journal which comes out every Thursday is one of the oldest papers in the South West of England. It began its business in the seventeenth century, and there is still an old steam press on display in the front window of the offices.
The paper is very informative with local news, announcements, classifieds, pictures from the past by local photographer Peter Daniels including photos from the 50's showing how much Salisbury has changed over the years, and what has disappeared, from the court lists, job vacancies, Hob Knobs Diary, Leisure Time and many more articles.
You can find more on http://www.thisissalisbury.co.uk/
The first building on the site of the area of the district hospital, was built in 1942. The British Government built an Emergency Medical Services Hospital on the hill to the North of Odstock Village. From 1943 this was used by the United States 5th Army Medical Corps & gave support for the Normandy landings in 1944. With the formation of the National Health Service in 1948, Odstock Hospital was selected to house the new regional Plastic & Oral Surgery Centre providing care for patients in five counties. I have been told that jeeps used to go along the corridors, all you get now are noisy trolleys which collect the linen & give out the dinners etc. They have a flashing orange light on at the back. Odstock hospital (as it was then known), became known worldwide as a centre of excellence & teaching for Plastic Surgery. In 1967 the New Burns Unit was opened, but, since 1993, with the closure of the Salisbury Infirmary, 'Odstock' has not featured in the title of Salisbury's District Hospital. Odstock Hospital - now Salisbury District Hospital - is famed for its skilled burns & spinal units.
Fondest memory: On the 2nd floor is another resturant. If you are staying for more then a day, staff will give you a discount ticket for meals. The garden is very peaceful, as all you can hear are the birds twittering in the undergrowth. The surrounding scenary is beautiful, no other hospital matche's it.
The Infirmary was built in 1766 upon the site of two cottages, & integrated by Royal Charter in 1862; the number of in patients was 95 daily, & the out patients let in during 1914 came to 4,285. In 1906 a lift was made & huge improvements made to the operating ward. linked with the Infirmary is a Convalescent Home at Bournemouth. The Victoria Home for Nurses in the grounds of the Infirmary was erected in 1901 for the reception of the Nursing Staff. This is now private housing, but had so I’m told education rooms. The Salisbury Public Medical service is at 49, High Street, Salisbury. The infirmary (now Pembroke House) had a large car park at the front, & a operating room at the top of the building; preferably so you couldn’t hear the screaming! A big cholera epidemic hit the city in the 1800’s & many patients were admitted. There was also a grey lady wandering the building at night, she’s not an intruder but a ghost. When I last wandered the lonely corridors I could imagine the gas light’s which must have once scented the air, I might have passed her thinking she was a member of staff; I will never know.
Fondest memory: The Clock Tower, in Fisherton Street, near the Infirmary built in 1892, by the Late John Roberts M.D., of this City, in memory of his wife, Arabella, contains an illuminated clock with four dials. At Christmas the council stick lights on which look quite spectacular.
The clock tower is built on what is left of the city goel, a pair of handcuffs are etched on the wall showing it's grim past. There were lot's of burnings here too apparently.
Favorite thing: Entrance to Cathedral Property was clearly delineated. North Gate stands astride the High Street of Salisbury, guarding commerce into and out of the Cathedral for centuries. Appropriately, the S.P.C.K. (Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge) bookstore is right outside the gate.
Favorite thing: During medieval times, merchants from around the region gathered in the Market Place to sell their wares. Each "speciality trade" was marked with its own unique cross. Poultry Cross is the only one still standing.
The neighborhood of Salisbury is rich in antiquities. The famous megalithic remains of Stonehenge are not far. Many prehistoric relics have been brought to the fine Blackmore Museum in the city. But the site most intimately associated with Salisbury is that of Old Sarum, the history of which forms the preface to that of the modern city. This is a desolate place, lying a short distance north of Salisbury, with a huge mound. It's a hollowed out like a crater, its rim surmounted by a rampart so deeply cut away that its inner side rises like a sheer wall of chalk 100 ft. high.
Fondest memory: I was drawn to this area because of the its ancient mystical history.
The Cathedral stands at the center of the Close. Today it is the largest Close in England. Many medieval buildings, including the Old Deanery and the Bishop’s Palace, grew up around the new Cathedral to provide accommodation for members of the clergy, their servants, and craftsmen working on the Cathedral. We really enjoyed walking around there. Most of the houses have distinct Georgian facades. The most famous building is probably Mompesson house – on your right when you passed through High Street Gate. This impressive Queen Anne style house was built for Charles Mompesson in 1701. The house is a perfect example of Queen Anne architecture (do not miss plaster work and elegant carved oak staircase). They have also fine collection of the 18th century drinking glasses, and charming walled garden with garden tea room.
Further west you see the Wren Hall. Housed in the former Chorister’s Schoolroom, it houses now the Cathedral Education Center.
As you walk down West Walk , the Wardrobe will be the next building on your left. Dating from 1254, this building now houses Berkshire and Wiltshire Infantry Regiment Museum. The “Wardrobe” building is so-called because it was originally used by the Bishop as a secure place to keep his vestments and documents. The present building of brick, flint and stone dates mainly from the 15th century. You can enjoy excellent views across the water meadows from the peaceful riverside gardens (if you get hungry during this walk - hot meals, drinks and snacks available).
Fondest memory: During the 14th century tension between clergy and the city folk increased and in 1331 stone from the abandoned Cathedral at Old Sarum was used to build a wall around the Close. There are three gateways in the wall: High Street Gate, St. Ann’s Gate, and Harnham Gate . The High Street Gate once had a portcullis that was lowered when the citizens became rebellious. Remember - the Gates are still locked every night at 11pm.
Go see Salisbury Cathedral. Most people pass through on their way to Stonehenge, but the Cathedral is a gem as well. It has the tallest spire in England and is just beautiful. I believe they may charge a fee to enter (sacreligous if you ask me) but we got in late a night while locals were practicing a passion play.
Fondest memory: While taking pictures late at night with my spiffy brand new 35mm camera (without a tripod just to further show my ignorance), I noticed that my shutter wasn't closing very fast. Having owned the camera for one month I didn't understand that the shutter was just allowing extended exposure to the light. So the next morning I went and bought a new battery for my camera since the brand new one I had obviously was going dead. It wasn't until later in the trip I actually realized my mistake by talking to a fellow traveler. Amazing enough, one or two of the pictures came out decently, especially for my first night time shots.
Favorite thing: This is actually the closest you can get to the stones now that they have been roped off, unlike at Avebury, Wiltshire, where you can still walk amongst the stones.
Favorite thing: Salisbury is one of the most beautiful cities in England. More than most, it has retained its connections with the past.
Favorite thing: Walking around in the historical centre is a joy, because if all the beautiful buildings, all with their history to tell. I especially love this building style, and wish this house could speak..