Fellow travelers and readers,
While studying abroad this May Term, my class and I will be able to visit some of England’s most famous and historically significant castles and cathedrals. I have to great pleasure to give a tour over the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Salisbury when we visit Salisbury, England. The Salisbury Cathedral has an amazing amount of historical significance to England while also showing some of the most beautiful architecture of the Early English architectural period. The cathedral’s history began in 1075 when a Norman cathedral was built under Bishop Herman and Osmund at Old Sarum. In 1125 the cathedral was rebuilt and enlarged under Bishop Roger. After a lightning storm the Norman cathedral was very severely damaged to the point that there were very little remains.
Many people consider the start of construction of the “current” cathedral to be in 1220 when the foundation stone was laid and the Trinity Chapel was built. The building of the cathedral was under Bishop Richard Poore. Some legends say that the Bishop of Old Sarum said that there would be another cathedral to be build after the Norman cathedral burnt down that we was going to build a new cathedral where an arrow would land that he shot. Unfortunately the arrow stuck a deer and the deer ran quite some distance but the deer feel and died in the current spot of the castle. The story is crazy but I kind of like it. From the years 1220-1450 the west front was finished, the cloisters were built along with the chapel house, tower, spire, and library. Many renovations have happened since the initial construction.
There are many little things that make the Salisbury Cathedral very unique. One very unique fact about the Salisbury Cathedral is that it is one of four places that house one of the original copies of the Magna Carta. However, the Salisbury Cathedral does own the best surviving of the four. Another really interesting thing about the cathedral is that it has the oldest clock in England which was made in 1386. The cathedral also has the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom which reaches 404 ft. The spire is so high that the cathedral actually limits the amount of people who can go up at a time. The cloister at the cathedral is also the largest in all of Britain.
From pictures that I have seen I can wait to actually see all of the architectural spectacles are within it. The arching follows the Early English style to a ‘t’ with it’s pointed arches. The nave is also an amazing 230 ft. long. In certain areas of the cathedral there are examples of fan vaulting and something interesting about the Chapter House is that there is only one singular pillar but from the ceiling is fan vaulted. The great window at the west side of the cathedral consists of three very large lancet windows with beautiful stain-glass.
If you aren’t excited from reading this yet, you had better check for a pulse! I will for sure let everyone know how the tour goes when we are there and I will be sure to take lots of pictures.