Heritage

Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire

For over 800 years, Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire has been guiding travellers and pilgrims to the city and providing a space for worship and reflection. 

If you are looking forward to a holiday in Wiltshire, then you should definitely put some time aside to explore Salisbury Cathedral. Home to some of the most fascinating historical documents and architectural masterpieces in the country, its Purbeck marble walls contain a wealth of articles and tales. That said, the cathedral’s story doesn’t start here – for that we have to go back to the beginning of the last millennium. 

In 1092, the first Salisbury Cathedral was completed in Old Sarum under St. Osmund, the first Bishop of Salisbury. Despite its new status though, growing unhappiness within the city and strained relationships with the local garrison eventually led to the relocation of the city and the construction of another cathedral only a couple of miles away – the cathedral you see today. In New Sarum, or Salisbury, the first of the cathedral’s foundation were laid in 1220 and the main body completed in 1258.

The final addition to the new cathedral, the building’s enormous spire, was finished in 1320. The spire, which remains the tallest spire in the UK, is 404ft high at its tip and draws the eye for miles around. If you’re feeling brave, you can actually participate in a tower tour during your visit to Salisbury Cathedral and climb up the hollow interior of the spire – treading 332 steps to the top past ancient wooden scaffolding to take in stunning views of the Wiltshire countryside. 

Not just famous for its spire though, but Salisbury Cathedral has many other interesting accolades and attributes. In addition to the tallest spire, it also boasts the largest cloister and the biggest cathedral close in Britain, as well as the oldest mechanical clock in the world. Perhaps most famously, it is also home to the most well-preserved copy of the Magna Carta in existence – kept on display in a protected case for all to see. 

Needless to say, the hours will fly by here, drummed out to the rhythm of its 700-year-old clock. For a comprehensive cathedral discovery, consider one of the guided tours, including the cathedral floor tours, Medieval clock demonstrations, stonemason talks and stained-glass windows tours. Once you’re ready for replenishment, you can also visit the cathedral’s onsite restaurant, which combines the historic with the modern with a stunning glass roof affording views of the magnificent spire.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Wiltshire here

Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury SP1 2EJ | 01722 555 150 | www.salisburycathedral.org.uk

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