The beautiful and picturesque Salisbury Cathedral is in my own backyard in Wiltshire, England. Since it’s local for me, Salisbury Cathedral is normally the first historical site I show visiting family. This Cathedral can be seen from up to 10 miles away, thanks to its 123-metre tall spire! It is the tallest spire in England, and from the top of the tower, you can gaze over a stunning view of the British countryside.
I recently visited the Cathedral with my Mother and Sister in Law on a lovely English day. We enjoyed a cup of tea and a scone at The Bell cafe, just across the Cathedral green. Afterwards, we walked across the garden to the Cathedral. Salisbury Cathedral boasts a lovely green courtyard, an original copy of the Magna Carta, and the world’s oldest working clock. Salisbury Cathedral is worth a visit if you’re in the area, or planning a stop at Stonehenge.
Read on for more information about the Salisbury Cathedral.
Home to a Rare Surviving Copy of the Magna Carta
The Magna Carta is a historical written human rights document preserved from 1215. This rare document is saved in the Chapter House of the Salisbury Cathedral, available for all to view. This particular copy of the Magna Carta has recently been a target of pop culture attention from Jay-Z, who launched a recent album from Salisbury Cathedral by placing his record next to the Magna Carta.
The Stunning Courtyard
As you enter through the Cathedral’s grand door, you’ll see a courtyard on your left. The square garden, sometimes called a ‘cloister’, is wrapped in picturesque stonework, and home to large oak trees and a stone bust.
As the afternoon light streams through the courtyard’s stonework, it reminds me of a scene from Harry Potter. (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, when Professor Moody turns Malfoy into a Ferret! Do you see a resemblance?)
The World’s Oldest Working Clock
This Cathedral is a Guinness World Record holder for the World’s Oldest Working Clock. The faceless clock dates back to the year 1386, as a result, it has ticked over 500 million times. The mechanics of the clock can be seen within the cathedral.
The Tallest Spire in England
At 123-metres tall, the Salisbury Cathedral has the tallest spire in England. It is tallest in Europe, second to the Strasbourg Cathedral in France. Further, Salisbury Cathedral offers a ‘tower tour’ for visitors in which you can climb the 322 steps up the hollow spire, through the ancient wooden scaffolding. The reward for the climb is an unparalleled view of Wiltshire county’s countryside.
England is rich in history and architecture, and there’s great pride behind restoration and maintenance projects. As Salisbury Cathedral was completed in 1258, this historical site is maintained mostly through grand donations. Although it is free to visit, it is important to support historical sites so they last through generations.