Salisbury Cathedral and Churches
(Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, UK)
Whilst there may well be a multitude of churches spread around this religious Wiltshire city, it is Salisbury Cathedral that very literally stands above the crowd. Salisbury Cathedral is famous throughout the country and is situated in the heart of the city centre.
This magnificent and extremely famous religious landmark boasts a towering spire, which is clearly visible on the city's skyline and can be seen from many miles away.
The spire was added many years after this Anglican cathedral was built and at around 123 metres / 404 feet in height, it immediately made this the United Kingdom's tallest. There are 332 steps that lead to the base of the spire, offering visitors some exceptional, panoramic views of the Salisbury cityscape.
Address: Cathedral Close, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 2EJ, England
Tel: +44 (0)1722 555120
This is regarded as one of the finest medieval cathedrals in the United Kingdom and its history is certainly a lengthy one, with building beginning in 1220 and completed roughly 60 years later. Stone from the local Teffont Evias quarries was used for much of the construction, with the architecture being typically Early Gothic in its character.
The spire was added in 1320 and although it clearly gives the cathedral its iconic character and imposing appearance, it was certainly a problematic addition. Over the following centuries, much bracing and strengthening was required to prevent the spire from collapsing, with tie-beams providing additional reinforcement in 1688, following advice from renowned architect of the time, Sir Christopher Wren. In the year of 1790, Salisbury Cathedral enjoyed some major renovation work and changes, at the hand of architect James Wyatt .
There are many attractions at Salisbury Cathedral, including Europe's oldest working clock - dating back to 1386, stunning Gothic architecture, the 1215 Magna Carta - which is one of only four still in existence, slender columns, Purbeck marble pillars - which are slightly bent due to the extreme weight of the spire, high-vaulted ceilings, a 13th-century stone frieze portraying stories from the Old Testament, regular guided tours, daily services, a highly regarded choir, a restaurant and a gift shop.
Nearby, the sweeping lawns of Cathedral Close lead to many of the city's most important historic buildings, including the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, the Wardrobe Military Museum, Mompesson House and the Medieval Hall. Salisbury Cathedral is home to some exciting festivals and recitals throughout the year, and remains a top tourist attraction, with over half a million visitors annually.
Open hours: daily - September to May - 07:15 to 18:15, July to August - 07:15 to 19:15
Admission: free, donations suggested