Official Post 5: Salisbury Cathedral

The place I chose for the tour guide assignment is Salisbury Cathedral in Salisbury, England. The construction of the cathedral began in 1075 and lasted until 1092. During this time, the Norman cathedral was built by Bishop Herman and Bishop Osmund. Later in the year c. 1125, Bishop Roger announced the rebuilding and enlargement of the cathedral. In 1215, the Magna Carta was sealed in the presence of William Longespée, who the third earl of Salisbury and an English noble. The foundation stone for the cathedral was laid in 1220 and the building of the Trinity Chapel took place from 1220-1225. The consecration of the nave, choir, and transepts took place in 1258 under Bishop Giles de Bridport. The west front and the bell tower was built in c. 11265. The construction of the cloisters lasted from 1240-1270 while the construction of the chapter house lasted from 1263-1284. The tower and spire were completed in the year 1315 and construction of the library began over 100 years later, in 1445. The strainer arches at the central crossing were constructed and finished in 1450 and from 1790 onwards, the bell tower, Beauchamp, and Hungerford Chantry Chapels were demolished. The top 30 feet of spire was rebuilt from 1949-1951 and the library was restored from 1978-1983. Although there are a lot of historical associations to this cathedral, it is known more for its beauty. Every year, more than 500.000 people come to visit the cathedral from all over the world. Since the foundation was laid in 1220, the worship of God has been offered every day. Old Sarum, which was a Roman Catholic Cathedral, has foundations that sit on the summit of a chalk hill about two miles north of the present cathedral of Salisbury. The Old Sarum was within the line of fire from a neighboring castle and continued to get damaged. The cathedral was ordered to be removed and a New Sarum was built. The building of the new cathedral was placed under the supervision of a famous master mason named Nicholas of Ely. The first section to be built was the Chapel of the Holy Trinity and All Saints at the east end. The tower and spire were completed a hundred years after the main building, which was between 1285-1310. The early builders constructed a central lantern which rose only a few feet above the level of the nave roof. Because there was an immense amount of weight, more than 6.400 tons, on the four main piers, builders constructed an extensive system of internal stone buttresses into the walls to help support the building. The cathedral has needed extensive repair from time to time. Today the Trinity Chapel and choir have been repaved and refurnished. During the last 40 years, the old side-chapels have been brought back into use and several stained glass windows have been added. Although there are a lot of people that visit the cathedral, the main purpose of the building is the worship of God.


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