This morning, we took a train to Salisbury and visited the esteemed Salisbury Cathedral. I had the pleasure of having Sir Victor accompany me today as well. This Anglican cathedral is absolutely gorgeous and serves as an excellent example of early English, Gothic architecture. Probably the most notable structure of this cathedral is its enormous spire. The spire on the central tower reaches up to a height of 404 feet and is the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom. The Salisbury Cathedral, also houses the Magna Carta, an important document with long standing justice and political implications.
The history of this cathedral dates back to 1075. There was a church initially built in Old Sarum, a location near by. This church was built in the line of fir from a neighboring castle and needed to be rebuilt in a new location. This cathedral was built in a place called New Sarum or what is now called Salisbury. The construction of the Salisbury Cathedral that stands today began in 1220 and finished in 1258, a span of only 38 years. This short time frame of construction is why the cathedral has such a consistent form of architecture. The church initially contained the chapter house and the nave, but has since been remodeled four times by several different architects. As mentioned before, the high-rising spire was added on to the central tower between 1310-1330. Today in the cathedral we actually got the opportunity to climb this tower. In order to get to the top observation deck of the tower, it was a whopping 332 steps! The view from this observation deck was outstanding. Also within this tower we were able to see the bell tower and how the bell system worked.
Inside the church there a few notable things. One such is the medieval clock that is found inside the nave. This clock was initially in an old tower that was detached and nearby the church. It is thought to be one of, if not the oldest working clock in existence. Another notable the thing is the Font. Initially there was a white allibaster font, although it was removed in the 19th century during restoration. The new font is directly in the center of the nave and is large enough to allow for total immersion. The final notable feature of the inside of the church is the large blue window at opposite end from the font. This window is named “Prisoners of Consience,” and focuses largely on the Crucifixion scene.