This building is known as the Wardrobe. It dates back to 1254, and was used by the clergy at the Cathedral as a clothing and document store. It now serves as the museum of the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiments. This museum covers the entire, illustrious history of these regiments.
This was built as a chapel-at-ease, serving Salisbury Cathedral. It's now the parish church of Salisbury. It began as a modest wooden church in 1219, which was replaced by the present stone structure in 1226. It was dedicated to St Thomas Beckett, the archbishop of Canterbury who had been murdered inside his own Cathedral in 1170 (see my page on Canterbury).
One of the most interesting features is the Doom, painted over the chancel arch. In old English, the word "doom" meant "judgement". Here, Jesus Christ judges all. It was painted about 1470, painted over during the 16th century, then rediscovered and restored in 1881. The last restoration was in 1953.
The chapter house (no photos allowed) has one of the four surviving original texts of the Magna Carta. (Two of the originals are in the British Library. One is at Lincoln Castle.) I had not gotten over to the British Library while I was in London.
They had translations into various languages (the original is in Latin) on wooden paddles.
Part of the translation:
JOHN, by the grace of God King of England, .. to his archbishops, bishops.. servants, and to all his.. loyal subjects, Greeting.
KNOW THAT BEFORE GOD...
(1) FIRST, THAT WE HAVE GRANTED TO GOD, and by this present charter have confirmed for us... that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired...
TO ALL FREE MEN OF OUR KINGDOM we have also granted,..all the liberties written out below...
(13) The city of London shall enjoy all its ancient liberties and free customs....
(20) For a trivial offence, a free man shall be fined only in proportion to the degree of his offence, and for a serious offence correspondingly, but not so heavily as to deprive him of his livelihood...
(35) There shall be standard measures of wine, ale, and corn (the London quarter), throughout the kingdom. There shall also be a standard width of dyed cloth, russett, and haberject, namely two ells within the selvedges...
(38) In future no official shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the truth of it...
(40) To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice...
(45) We will appoint as justices, constables, sheriffs, or other officials, only men that know the law of the realm and are minded to keep it well...
Both we and the barons have sworn that all this shall be observed in good faith and without deceit. Witness...
Given by our hand in the meadow that is called Runnymede, between Windsor and Staines, on the fifteenth day of June in the seventeenth year of our reign (i.e. 1215: the new regnal year began on 28 May).
The City hall is a great venue, it hasn’t been there for many years. You can watch many tribute bands & entertainers performing here, & some of the shows are really good. There’s a large entrance hall just inside the entry which has the reception desk & restroom, round the corner is a bar while upstairs is the local radio station studios “Spire FM”. The actual stage is through a set of swing doors, there’s thought to be a ghost of a woman seen walking across the stage. There’s large speakers at the front & the projector room is up right at the back. Some of the people who have played here are:
• Paul Denials
• Tony Hadly
• En-Masse (Salisbury’s pop/soul vocal group)
• Maddy Prior (who plays Medieval music)
• The Band of H.M. Royal Marines
• Voulez Vous (Abba Tribute band)
• Australian Pink Floyd Show
• ELO (electric Light Orchestra)
• Blues Bands
• Serum Chamber Orchestra
• Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
• Barry Cryer
• Spirit of the Dance (from Michael Flatleys River Dance)
• Rockin' on Heavens Door
• Nashville Nights & Dixie Days
• The Levellers
• Solid Silver 60's
• Ken Dodd
• Davy Jones (Monkees)
• The Bohemians
• The Sooty Show
• Derren Brown (did Mind control on Channel 4 in the UK)
• Joe Brown & Marty Wilde
• Joe Longthorne
• The Fureys & Davey Arthur
• That'll Be the Day!
Buddy Holly actually played here in 1958. There are facilities for the disabled, its a lovely place to go for an evening, & would recommend it to anyone.
After a massive price hike in the bus fare a couple of years ago it is cheaper to take a taxi from the railway station or city centre if there is a group of 4/5/6 of you. If there's only 3 of you the bus is marginally cheaper than a taxi, but you can leave your luggage in the taxi while touring Stonehenge.
Agree the price with the driver before you leave. They will often take you up the beautiful Woodford valley to Stonehenge.
Also note that the bus does not always run in bad weather in winter.
The best way to visit Stonehenge without is car is joining The Stonehenge Bus Tour. There are hourly (half hourly in the summer) departures from the railway station and the bus station. You go via Amesbury to Stonehenge where the majority of passengers get off and visit. From Stonehenge, you simply wait for the next bus for returning to Salisbury via Old Sarum. There are tour tickets for either just the tour only or tour plus inclusive entries to Old Sarum and Stonehenge.
11 GBP Tour Only
18 GBP Tour Only plus entries to Old Sarum & Stonehenge
A Queen Anne's townhouse on Cathedral Close was built for Charles Mompesson in 1701. It's worth having a look inside the house for its interior decor. The walled garden is worthwhile exploring and to relax in the wonderful tearoom enjoying afternoon tea and escaping from the city's distractions.
It cost 5.50 GBP to look around but free to National Trust Members.
Old Sarum is situated above the Salisbury Plain. It's an important landmark in the region's history for its hill and Norman Fortress. It's the original site of Salisbury where a castle, palace and cathedral were built before the site was moved down the the valley to where present day Salisbury is. You can wander around the ruins including the foundation ruins of the cathedral. Present day Salisbury with the cathedral is seen in the distance.
It cost 3.50 GBP (July 2010) to explore Old Sarum.
Salisbury Cathedral is one of the largest in England and situated within eight acres of lawn in the spectacular Cathedral Close. It has the tallet spire at 123 m (404 ft) and the largest Cloisters in the UK. It is worth exploring inside the Cathedral for the new Font, designed by William Pye and to celebrate 750th anniversary of the Cathedral; Prisoners of Conscience window and the Trinity Chapel; Chapter House where it's the home to one of the best preserved Magna Carta and where it influenced the democratic world in the past to the present day. To tour the Cathedral, I would recommend a couple of hours to appreciate its beauty.
It's free to look around but a suggested donation of 5 GBP is always appreciated.
There's an opportunity to do a tower tour where you can climb up the tower and explore the roof spaces. The tour costs 8 GBP (July 2010) and last 1.5 hours.
A remarkable building! Built in just 38 years, between 1220-1258, Salisbury Cathedral is the proud owner of Britain’s tallest spire (123m) which dominates the landscape upon approaching the town. Whilst 38 years now seems somewhat lengthy in construction projects, it does lead one to wonder which of the current buildings being constructed in 38 days will still be standing, in true splendour, in 800 years time.
It’s also astonishing to learn that this building has just four feet in depth of foundation and is built on a flowing river bed-guides will illustrate this fact with a dipping stick which when inserted through the nave floor will come up wet. It boggles the mind when one considers that the wet gravel holds such an imperious structure.
It also has a number of other ‘claims to fame’: Europe’s oldest working clock (AD 1386), Britain’s largest Cathedral cloisters, the largest Quire stalls in Britain-but of most importance, inside it is a true delight, and offers visitors an all round Cathedral experience. Whilst a major English tourist destination, the Cathedral has not fallen foul of the curse that many such attractions do by forgetting religious roots for the touring spend. The addition of a modern font does not detract from this ambience, but simply adds to the overall splendour. And don’t miss the oldest ‘Cope chest’.
But back to the spire-the lack of foundation depth has led to the spire now leaning-2 feet to the south and 1.5 feet to the west-indeed you can see this graphically illustrated by the bow in supporting columns looking up. However the whole is still structurally sound, and the marble pillars bear further testimony to the incredible skill of the master craftsman who built the structure-they have an almost identical spacing (out by a maximum of two inches) throughout the building-well within the margins of error we use nowadays with computer aided construction techniques)
Finally, a visit to the chapter house is a must as this is home to one of only four of the remaining (and best preserved) original versions of the Magna Carta (the other three-two are housed in the British Museum and one in Lincoln Cathedral). It’s one sheet of parchment, in Latin, but has survived over 800 years and a legacy of England’s rich and illustrious history.
Mompesson House is an 18th century house, now owned by the National Trust. It was used as a location for filming the 1995 film 'Sense and Sensibility'.
It was built in 1701 by Charles Mompesson. His brother-in-law, Charles Longueville moved in during the 1730s and added the grand staircase and beautiful plasterwork. The interiors are all decorated as they might have been in the 18th century, except for the Library.
On display in the Dining Room is a selection of 18th century drinking glasses from a collection which was bequeathed to the National Trust by O G N Turnbull. When we were there there was a further temporary exhibition in the Small Drawing Room showing more glassware from this collection along with information about the manufacturing process. I was interested to learn that early glassware had thick glass, but after the Glass Excise Tax (assessed by weight) was introduced in 1745, glassware became thinner with lighter stems.
Upstairs, as well as a formal receiving room and two bedrooms decorated in 18th century style is a further room which has only recently been rediscovered after having been boarded up in the 1950s. When we visited this was shown in the condition in which it was found, but the intention is to restore it.
Outside is a pleasant walled garden and a tea room. There is not a gift shop at this property, but there is a National Trust shop nearby.
Open Saturday-Wednesday (closed Thursday and Friday) 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
So you will hear many complaints about how it is a waste of time and it is boring. Well take into account what your going to see before you go. Yes it is a long trip from london by bus, train, or car... but you are going to see a wonder of the world. Correct there is nothing to see but the rocks, and there is also nothing to do. Admiring the stones and understanding that this is one of the few places in the world where a structure like this exists.
So if you are a person who can admire something for what it is then make you way to this british icon.
Family Ticket: £16.5
Refreshments: (Light refreshments
Salisbury Cathedral is magnificent. Every square inch of the exterior is covered with beautiful sculptures and the interior is equally gorgeous. We talked to one of the guides who was very friendly and informative. Plan to eat lunch at the cathedral. The view of the cathedral through the glass roof of the cafeteria is fantastic.
What a beautiful site! The Salisbury Cathedral is absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately we did not have that much time to truly explore the cathedral and its close. We were there on a Sunday morning and "attended" the 8 AM Holy Communion. We didn't want to be disrespectful by walking around while they were having communion in the Trinity Chapel behind the High Altar, but were able to view the Nave, the North and South Transcepts, and the Cloisters (largest in Britain). Everything else was closed. This Cathedral boasts Britain's tallest spire, has the oldest working clock, and houses the best preserved of the four remaining Magna Carta. I would have loved to have seen the Magna Carta, but it was not available for viewing during the short window of time we had in Salisbury.
The Cathedral opens at 7:15 AM and is open until 6:15 PM year round (they stay open a bit later during the summer months). The Magna Carta is kept in the Chapter House which opens most days at 9:30 AM and closes at 5:30 PM. See their website for exact opening dates and times. The entrance is "free" but they suggest a 5 GBP donation (2008) for adults.
Just a few minutes bus ride outside of Salisbury, a visit to Old Sarum is definitely worth the trip. The ancient settlement of Old Sarum was torn down and the bricks/stonework were hauled down the hillside to build the new city of Salisbury. Only a loose outline of the buildings remain, but the contrast of the dark stone against the brilliant green grass is breathtaking. And the views are amazing.