Trip Start May 04, 2007
16Trip End May 21, 2007
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Les Lees, Academy Director for Creative Industries picked us up at the hotel around 11:30am. We left for Salisbury, England. The main appeal for visiting Salisbury was the Salisbury Cathedral.
Here is some history of The Close by the Very Reverend Hugh Dickinson...
"In 1220 AD Bishop Richard Poore and his brilliant architect Elias de Derham decided to build a new state-of-the-art Gothic style Cathedral to replace the old Norman Church at Old Sarum. Because they take so many generations to build, almost all other English Cathedrals are a mixture of many different architectural styles. The main body of Salisbury Cathedral which includes the tower and West Front, were completed in a mere 38 years by just 300 men. The huge Cloister (largest in England) and the magnificent Chapter House were added by 1280 AD. But then in 1313 AD the most daring and astonishing addition was made. The tower was raised and on top of it they built, in two years, the slender soaring spire which we see today, completing the Cathedral 95 years after Elias first started the work.
Considering that at 404 feet Salisbury Cathedral's spire is the tallest medieval structure in the world it is amazing it is still standing with foundations only four feet deep. Thankfully nature was on Elias's side and the thick bed of gravel that lies beneath the Cathedral supports the building's immense weight.
As you look around The Close today you see a great array of English architecture, some designed by Sir Christopher Wren, dating from the 13th to the 20th century."
Another feature is the housing of one of the four surviving original texts of the Magna Carta (which you couldn't take pictures of), the famous agreement made between King John and the barons at Runnymede in 1215. There were 13 originally and 4 survive today. Two are in the British Museum, 1 in Lincoln, and 1 in Salisbury Cathedral. It is beautifully written in Latin on vellum made of calf skin and contains some 3,500 words. The Magna Carta outlines the basic laws in England and the basic principles of the Magna Carta have been incorporated into the Constitution of the United States.
At one end of the cloister was a window with blue glass. There were still scenes and different colors but the majority of it was in blues. In a side chapel you could see the traditional stained-glass windows with each panel telling a biblical story but across the cloister you would have a window of much muted colors that was more of a design and not a scene or story. Quite unusual and one of the things I liked best about the cathedral.
As we left Salisbury Cathedral we walked down a street which had an unusual gateway. At the time I couldn't find a plague to tell me if the gateway had any significance. I took a picture of me in front of the gateway because I thought it was interesting. When I got back to the room and did some research I discovered it was called the High Street Gate. It was built between 1327 and 1342 and is the main point of entry into the Cathedral Close. It housed the small lock-up jail for those convicted of misdeeds within the Liberty of The Close. Beside the gate stands the Porter's Lodge. The post of the Porter to The Close was a much sought after sinecure for the servants of kings and nobles in the middle ages. The gate is locked at 11pm every night and opened again at 6am.
We got back in the car after taking several pictures and drove back to Bournemouth. We got back to the Anglo-Swiss hotel around 6:15pm and had just a bit of time to get cleaned up, change, and back downstairs by 7pm to meet Lawrence.
We had an excellent time and Jacob walked us back to the hotel. Once I got back to my room I went straight to the computer to download pictures of the day and to work on some travelogues.
Tomorrow Matt, Tory, and I are braving the train and heading to London for the day... no guide. Our train leaves at 7:50am so wish us luck!
Where I stayed