A virtual tour of Salisbury Cathedral with Fuji, Part 1

Started Mar 24, 2020 | Discussions thread
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FujiJon
FujiJon Regular Member • Posts: 374
A virtual tour of Salisbury Cathedral with Fuji, Part 1
7

The UK is now locked down along with many other nations, and Salisbury cathedral tower tours were cancelled indefinitely in mid-March. The Cathedral is a stunning building and a wonder of medieval architecture that amazes people whether they are devout or not. In normal times the cathedral welcome visitors of all faiths, and none.

As one of the tower guides I miss my regular visits to 224 feet (67 metres) the top of the square tower (base of the spire) and the stunning views over Salisbury, so I thought I would do a virtual photographic tour to entertain (hopefully) you for a few minutes. The tour normally starts with a short historical talk on when the cathedral was built, why it was built where it was, and briefly something about the construction. After that The tour proper begins with a climb to the west window (around 60 feet up),

West window (above the Xmas tree).  Modern font in the foreground.  Last summer a visitor didn't notice the running water and put htr camera down on what she thought was polished marble.  It sank.

And thence is several stages to the top of the tower. I’ll follow that format for the virtual tour, with an instalment every day or two (coronavirus permitting).

The city of Salisbury which modern day visitors enjoy didn’t exist until they started building the present cathedral. Salisbury “began” approximately 1½ miles north of the modern city centre at a place now called Old Sarum.

ld Sarum itself began as an Iron Age hilltop enclosure (500BC) although it’s likely to have been used as a meeting point at least as far back as the Neolithic. It grew following the successful (for the Romans) invasion of these islands (43AD), and became known as Sorviodunum. It continued through the Roman occupation and the Saxon period. It became a major population centre following the Norman invasion of 1066, and the Normans built a large royal castle in the middle of it.  I didn't have access to an aircraft so I cheated and photographed the welcome board

Some of the impressive ramparts dug 1st century BC.  No pwer tools!  Not the information panel (about three feet high) top left

Foundations of the Old Sarum cathedral, uncovered by archaeological excavation 1912.  Ruins of the Norman (11th century) castle in the background

The first cathedral at Old Sarum was built between 1072 and 1098. Unfortunately it was struck by lightning just five days after the consecration and partly demolished. In those superstitious days that probably caused a major panic and it was quickly rebuilt and enlarged.  Everything was then OK until the civil war of the 1130s when the bishop backed the wrong side, and consequently fell into the King’s disfavour (always bad and often fatal in those days). Relations between the clergy and the King’s men (in the castle) then deteriorated until the clergy decided to build a new cathedral elsewhere. Formal permission to move was granted by Papal Bull (England being a Catholic country back then) in 1218.

Next bit to follow: building the new cathedral...where, when.

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