We hadn’t visited the city of Salisbury for many years so as we traveled down to Hampshire for a mid-week break we decided to drop off there on our way. We wondered if any memories were stirred up.
We wandered through the city following tourist signs which directed us to the cathedral. As we passed through the streets we tried to see if we remembered anywhere but it all seemed such a long time ago.
We found the ancient stone gateway which led us to the Cathedral Close, a peaceful open grassed area where couples sat talking and individuals sat with a book or newspaper. A group of youngsters played a game of cricket appreciating all the freedom the space gave them.
We wandered around the Close to gain views of the vast building and discovered the occasional piece of sculpture.
The Cathedral in Salisbury is well known for two main features, the Magna Carta and its wonderfully preserved cloisters. When we walked around the four sides of the square Cloisters memories began to stir. We remembered this part of the building clearly.
There were small reminders around the Cloisters about the importance of the Magna Carta. We loved this piece of calligraphy on the floor. “Responsibilty, Society, Change, Freedom, Justice, Liberty”. We found the historically important document itself carefully protected from the light and visitors’ fingers deep within the Cathedral building.
The document itself was displayed in the Chapter House where a new display showed replicas of King John’s seal and a piece of vellum on a stretcher. When we saw the Magna Carta we were in total awe at being so close to possibly the most important document ever written. Our hearts skipped a beat! It was incredible to think that this document was written in 1215 and it was still in perfect condition.
We loved this quotation from Franklin Roosevelt!
The Chapter House which housed the Magna Carta was beautiful in its own right especially its vaulted ceiling. A Peppa Pig helium balloon had floated to the ceiling and added a splash of colour, bright cerise pink! Jude was pleased to find a kneeler dedicated to St Jude!
Wandering around the Cathedral we found many interesting artifacts illustrating many centuries, including the world’s oldest surviving mechanical clock created in 1386 and a memorial plaque from the Burma Campaign.
A much more recent and very eye-catching piece was this font designed by William Pye. It reflected the stained glass windows and produced a gentle sound of running water.
The huge stone pillars in the nave were decorated with fabric hangings once again reflecting the thinking behind the Magna Carta. They said so much and also added great beauty and colour.
Art work hung from the roof of the side aisle depicting the colours and falling leaves of autumn. They were fascinating and intensely beautiful, moving in the slightest breeze.
Salisbury was so full of interest I will continue in part two.