Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury

Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury (must see)

The name "Salisbury" is derived from the name "Sarum." The Salisbury of today started out as New Sarum. The story of Salisbury Cathedral began in Old Sarum. Things were not happy in Old Sarum. The clergy and the military were forever at odds over Sarum Cathedral. Richard Poore, bishop, decided to relocate the bishopric to New Sarum.

It is said the bishop, Moore, shot an arrow. The arrow killed a deer. Where the deer fell would be the site of the new cathedral. Another myth claimed that the cathedral, Old Sarum, and Stonehenge were mystically aligned. It is more likely that the marshy ground was chosen because a more desirable site could not be had.

The cathedral was designed by architect and master stonemason Elias of Dereham. Elias had been at Runnymede in 1215 when King John signed the Magna Carta. Elias made copies. He would install one of them in the Cathedral chapter house. It is there today. The formal name of the cathedral is the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The foundation was laid in 1220. The nave, transepts, and choir were finished by 1258. This was record time for cathedral building. The cloisters were done by 1240, the chapter house in 1263 and the tower and spire by 1320. The 404 foot spire is the tallest in England. The cathedral was built in one style only, Early English Gothic.

The west facade is a screen type. It has a turret at each end. There are two buttresses in the center supporting the triple center window. The center is capped with a gable holding four lancet windows under two quatrefoil windows and a mandorla framing an image of Christ in Majesty. There are 73 of 130 niches which contain statues.

The interior has a high narrow nave. It has a pointed arcade, a gallery and clerestory. The walls are of grey stone and the columns are of dark marble. Tombs of royal families lie between the columns. A large cruciform font by sculptor William Pie was installed in 2008. A statue of Richard Moore on the facade holds a model of the cathedral.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Salisbury. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Salisbury Cathedral on Map

Sight Name: Salisbury Cathedral
Sight Location: Salisbury, England (See walking tours in Salisbury)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Salisbury, England

Create Your Own Walk in Salisbury

Create Your Own Walk in Salisbury

Creating your own self-guided walk in Salisbury is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Cathedral Close Tour

Cathedral Close Tour

Salisbury Cathedral, apart from being renowned as the holder of Britain’s tallest spire, the world’s best preserved original copy of Magna Carta (1215) and Europe’s oldest working clock, is also famous for its Close, the largest in the country, measuring 80 acres (or 32 hectares).

The areas surrounding cathedrals' grounds, sometimes extending for hundreds of meters from the main...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Historical Houses Tour

Historical Houses Tour

Founded more than 800 years ago, Salisbury understandably has a great number of historical, architectural and cultural gems worthy of a visit. The medieval houses, churches, inns and hospitals blend harmoniously with the modern sites of the city. Trace the threads of Salisbury's past on this self-guided walking tour of the city's historic buildings.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Salisbury Introduction Walking Tour

Salisbury Introduction Walking Tour

Old Sarum is not as old as neighboring Stonehenge, but it is old. A hill fort occupied the site as early as 300 BC. The ubiquitous Romans did not overly attend to it but it fell to Saxon King Cynric of Wessex in 552 AD. Danes and Norwegians invaded frequently enough until 1066, when William of Normandy settled matters among the parties.

A motte-and-bailey castle was established at the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles