A virtual tour of Salisbury cathedral with Fuji, Part 2

Started Mar 24, 2020 | Discussions
FujiJon
FujiJon Regular Member • Posts: 374
A virtual tour of Salisbury cathedral with Fuji, Part 2
11

Papal permission to build the new cathedral was granted in 1218.

The place chosen to build the new cathedral was a on gravel peninsular formed by the River Avon. The gravel formed a raft upon which they could build the cathedral. The rest of Salisbury (as it became) is built on wet, sometimes marshy ground. The 13th century builders understood the local geology.

The builders started by carefully laying out the main lines of the cathedral with respect to magnetic compass directions, and digging initial foundation trenches. By 1219 they were accumulating materials, laying foundations etc. The official foundation date is 28 April 1220, so if it were normal times we would be celebrating our 800th anniversary next month.

Consecration cross in the Trinity Chapel...repainted in thr 20th century. Originally there would have been a brass inlay...stolen in the mists of time

By 1225 they had completed the Trinity chapel at the east end, and consecrated it. It was then walled off with a temporary wall while building continued towards the west.

The trinity chapel (east end). The oldest part of the cathedral. The blue "Prisoners of Conscience" window was installed in 1980. It's a bit dim because there is scaffolding on the outside blocking light. The greyish pillars are of Purbeck "marble".

They completed the building of the cathedral in 1258...that’s in just 38 years...with no power tools, and their only power source was human or animal muscle.  At the same time they built a separate bell tower; the tall central tower and spire weren’t added until 1310 – 1330.  The “mark one” cathedral had only a short tower, which ended about 18 feet above the roof line. The separate bell tower was used for target practice by the Royalists - or at the least the Parliamentarians inside were - during the English civil war (17th century).  Given that the bell tower was 200 feet high they couldn’t really miss.  Badly damaged, it was abandoned, and finally demolished around 1790.

Tower and spire built 1310-1330

The extended tower and spire added 6500 tons (limestone) to a structure that wasn’t originally designed for it, and there were consequences. For example, the main supporting columns sank into the gravel, sadly not uniformly, and as a result the top of the spire is out of true by about 30 inches (leans south-west).

The cloisters. Love the XF10-24

Medieval timber.  Most of the big bits are original, although it may not be in the original place asbparts of the roof were rebuilt in the 16th century using recycled timbers from the original.  It has been tree ring dated: the trees were 200-250 yers old when felled so this wood could be around 1000 years old.  It's hard as iron.  A pig of a place for handheld photography.

The “mark one” cathedral (no spire) contained around 45000 tons of limestone, brought by ox cart from 12 miles away (west, now Chilmark & Tisbury), and 15000 tons of Purbeck “marble”, which was quarried 30 miles away as the crow flies in the modern village of Worth Matravers.  Also 2800 tons of oak, and 450 tons of lead. They had no nuts, bolts or screws in those days so all the timber was joined with mortice & tenon joints. The lead has to be replaced every 150 years (unless someone steals it first).

Add all the fancy carvings, tombs etc and we have a building 404 feet high, 449 feet long, weighing around 70000 tons, all resting on foundations just four feet deep - but don’t forget the gravel raft, 27 feet in depth, that supports the structure. My respect for those medieval builders has no bounds.

Next up: a lesson in proportion and symmetry.  After I've finished this bottle of Verdicchio...

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Samuraidog Senior Member • Posts: 1,121
Re: A virtual tour of Salisbury cathedral with Fuji, Part 2

Fantastic. Thanks for posting.

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twamers Senior Member • Posts: 1,936
Re: A virtual tour of Salisbury cathedral with Fuji, Part 2

Great shots of a very beautiful Cathedral that I often pass close to on my way back and forwards to work.  But not now of course as I am working from home and staying inside as instructed.  Thank you for posting!

jhorse Veteran Member • Posts: 5,240
Re: A virtual tour of Salisbury cathedral with Fuji, Part 2
1

Episode 2 and accompanying images are every bit as good as the first instalment. The logistics of sourcing, hauling and constructing limestone, marble, oak and lead are truly mind-blowing for the age; ingenuity and perseverance combined with human and horse power and dare I say probably a little blood too.

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William Loney
William Loney Regular Member • Posts: 416
Re: A virtual tour of Salisbury cathedral with Fuji, Part 2

Fantastic tour with great curation! I've yet to make it to Salisbury -perhaps next year; perhaps the year after, given the current climate.

I've been to Norwich, and Winchester, St. Paul's (of course) Cathedrals, as well as quite a few of the 'lesser' cathedrals, and the beauty, architecture and labour that went into the constructions of these massive structures never ceases to amaze me.

They're as if someone crossed the Great Pyramids with The Burj Khalifa!

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Ian J G Contributing Member • Posts: 810
Re: A virtual tour of Salisbury cathedral with Fuji, Part 2

very nice set

Ian

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