A virtual your of Salisbury cathedral with Fuji, Part 4

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FujiJon Regular Member • Posts: 138
A virtual your of Salisbury cathedral with Fuji, Part 4

Part 4: The nave roof and clock chamber

Nave roof space, standing at the west end and looking east

You are now around 80 feet up.  Beneath the walkway is the nave ceiling, the reverse of the vaultings.  This is not the original roof, as for reason unknown it was revamped in the 16th century, using a diffierent construction from the original.  This is a double queen post roof - the vertical timbers are the queen post.  The origianl was a scissor beam - see next.  A possible reason for the change was that scissor beam needs a LOT of very large oak beams, and by the 16th century the Elnglish population was growing quickly, the lived in timber or timber-framed houses, and the royal navy was getting into it's stride...England ran out of big oak trees.  The big horizontal beams are medieval - we know from tree rings dating that they cut 4 - 6 of them out of a single tree.  The second one up has been repaired (scarf joint).  Sir Christopher Wren surveyed the cathedral in the 1660s and commented on the repair (we have his hand written notes in the cathedral library).  The fourth up was replaced inthe 1920s with a composite beam (big planks bolted together)...cheating.

Scissor beam roof over one of the transepts - in origianl condition.

The clock chamber - a pretty rubbish picture, sorry, explained below.

The clock chamber is under the spire.

The cathedral as built (short tower, no spire) ended at the string course below the balcony towards the top of the picture.  The original medieval clock (dated 1396) was moved in here when the external bell tower was demolished.  The brown box is a "new" clock dating from 1884, donated by the Wiltshire regiment of the British Army in memory of lost comrades.  The 1396 clock, restored to working condition, is now on display on the cathedral floor.

The medieval builders knew there would be trouble adding the tower and spire.  First they added wrought iron bracing: all metal painted white.  Following Wren's survey more strengthening was added - some small metal bands at head height, now painted black, and in addtion flying buttresses were added to brace the tower.

In 1886 following a survey by Sir George Gilbert Scott, the eight large cross beams were added.  Like the white, these are drilled through to the outside and a girdle is fitted to the outside of the tower.  Finally in 1939 the spiral stirs in each corner were blocked up so the only way up now if via the wooden spiral staircase  centre-left.  At the top of this you are standing ona 300-year old balcony admiring a 40 foot drop...so we do advise those who don't like heights not to take the tour.  It can also be a bit challenging for, ahem, very large people.

On the way up the wooden ladder you get a good look at the medieval ironwork (date around 1315-1320).  They had no bolts or welding, so they joined the metal they only way they know how, with a form of mortice and tenon joint.  Samyang 12 mm.

The next step is up to the bell chamber, about 190 feet above ground.  I don't have any photos of that ...I'm supposed to be a tour guide for paying guests not an enthusiastic photographer :-).  So I won't be able to write about the spire appeal (restoration of the spire in the 1980s-1990s), or tell you the story of how Mr William Jerred, a stonemason in the 19th century, who when working on the outside of the tower about 200 feet up fell off.  Nor can I talk about the connection with Adolf Hitler, nor the execution of King Charles First and some 17th century political correctness.  Sorry, you'll have to visit :-).

Next (and last): at the top of the tower.

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