A Cathedral and Ancient Stones!


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August 1st 2010
Published: August 7th 2010
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Salisbury CathedralSalisbury CathedralSalisbury Cathedral

Salisbury, UK
I had 3 days in Salisbury. I stayed at, Alabaré Guest House and ran by a Christian charity. My room was at the back and thoroughly enjoyed the peace and quiet of place. This was such a contrast to the hotel I stayed in at London.

I got up to quite a bit in Salisbury. In contrast to York and Bath, Salisbury has not got that many attractions to the city's name but the Cathedral and Stonehenge pushes Salisbury in the top rankings for a city break.

On one of the days, I purchased a ticket for The Stonehenge Tour where the bus took me to Stonehenge and Old Sarum.

Stonehenge

I spent an hour or so looking at the ancient monument and listening to the complimentary audio tour. I learnt how the monument were evolved between 3,000 BC and 1,600 BC and that the circle stones are aligned with the midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset. I learnt other facts about the other stones on the tour. There are conflicing claims regarding the monument's purposes because no one is exactly sure of the reasons why Stonehenge was built. For example, William Stukely, an archaeologist surveyor claimed that the sites had been
Stonehenge Stonehenge Stonehenge

Wiltshire, UK
built by the Celts and led by the Druids. The Druids believed that they are Noah's descendents who made Britain civilised before the arrival of the Romans. Stukely also claimed through his Romantic vision that the Druids have lasted to the present day. I saw protests and a protester outside the site claiming that the site belongs to the Druids. The protests demanded that the site ought to be a sacred one and requested for the Druids to be buried at the site in peace. The tour guide vehemently denied that the site belonged to the Druids because of the archaelogical evidence that supports burials and rituals took place by different people alongside debates on different religious and scientific theories. I think this debate on why it was built and how it was used will go on with generations to come as new evidence emerges. Apparently, there have been some more archaeological discoveries nearby for another site similar to Stonehenge. Anyway, no matter what is and is not believed, the monument attracts so many tourists and my experience was spoilt a bit becuase of this. I felt I could not appreciate the monument on my own because of the volume
The CloistersThe CloistersThe Cloisters

Salisbury Cathedral, UK
of people! But there is nothing I can do about that. However, despite how I felt, I highly recommend visiting Stonehenge.

Old Sarem

I hopped back on the bus at Stonehenge and rode through the amazing Wiltshire countryside and Salisbury plains to reach Old Sarum, just outside the city centre. Old Sarem is situated above the Salisbury Plain. It is an important landmark in the region's history where Salisbury first originated and where a castle, a palace and cathedral were built before the site was moved elsewhere to present Salisbury today. It was interesting to wander round the castle ruins and the cathedral's foundation ruins. At the top of the castle ruins, you can see Salisbury in the distance with the cathedral dominating the skyline. I spent an hour or so exploring the site until I caught the bus back to Salisbury.

Salisbury Cathedral

Intially, I booked a Tower Tour of the Cathedral but I decided to cancel because I was a bit under the weather and already had done a lot of walking that day. Maybe travel fatigue was creeping in? However, I had a wander outside and took tons of photos. The spire is
SalisburySalisburySalisbury

Wiltshire, UK
the tallest in England at 404 ft (123m) and, from what I learnt, the spire is slightly leaning. The cathedral was built in the English Gothic style, the fashionable architectural style than in the 13th Century. Only six centuries later the architectural style would have been renewed with Pugin using his style in the 19th Century. On another day, after the service, I looked insdie the cathedral. The interior is beautiful! I checked out William Pye's new font that was installed in 2008 for the 750th anniversary of the cathedral. The water flows constantly and I got some great reflective shots of the water of the cathedral's interior. I also checked out the Prisoners of Conscience Chapel with the stained glass reflecting that issue; The Chapeter House which houses one of the best preserved 1215 Magna Carta, an important document which inspired the constitutions of some democratic led countries in the modern era; and had a wander around The Cloisters, the largest in Britain. I was very happy that I checked out the Cathedral. It's one of the largest I have come across on my travels.

Mompesson House and Gardens

I was able to visit this National Trust
Medieval History Medieval History Medieval History

Salisbury, UK
property on Cathedral Close. Being a member of The National Trust, it didn't cost me anything and didn't take long for me to wander around the house. The house was built during Queen Anne's reign in the 1700s. It was built for Charles Mompesson and eventually became the home of the Townsend Family. I learnt on my visit that the house was used as a London home in Sense and Sensibility movie starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslett. Afterwards, I had a drink in the tea room gardens afterwards.

Eventually my time in Salisbury came to an end where I got the train back to London Waterloo then waited a bit for at London Kings Cross for my train home.

I had an amazing time and hope I can return to Salisbury sometime in the future but for the time being I look forward to returning to London very soon!!!




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Stonehenge Stonehenge
Stonehenge

Wiltshire, UK
Dawn at StonehengeDawn at Stonehenge
Dawn at Stonehenge

Wiltshire, UK
Ruins at Old SarumRuins at Old Sarum
Ruins at Old Sarum

Wiltshire, UK
Ruins at Old SarumRuins at Old Sarum
Ruins at Old Sarum

Wiltshire, UK
Salisbury in the DistanceSalisbury in the Distance
Salisbury in the Distance

Old Sarum, Wiltshire, UK
Salisbury CathedralSalisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK
Salisbury CathedralSalisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK
Salisbury CathedralSalisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK
Prisoners of Conscience ChapelPrisoners of Conscience Chapel
Prisoners of Conscience Chapel

Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire, UK
Prisoners of ConsciencePrisoners of Conscience
Prisoners of Conscience

Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire, UK
Salisbury CathedralSalisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral

Wiltshire, UK
The CloistersThe Cloisters
The Cloisters

Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire, UK
Mompesson HouseMompesson House
Mompesson House

Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK
Mompesson HouseMompesson House
Mompesson House

Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK
Edward Heath's HomeEdward Heath's Home
Edward Heath's Home

Former Prime Minister, Cathedral Close, Salisbury, UK


7th August 2010

Stonehenge
I also didn't enjoy Stonehenge because of the huge crowds when I went, and the fact that we couldn't get very close to it. And I compliment your picture of it, you managed to get a good one without the hordes showing.
7th August 2010

yes you can get photos without people
You just have to either be my age and remember the days where you could park at the side of the road and walk up to the stones and run in and out touching them! The other way to get those photos is to get there before the place opens and be the first in. That's how we got our photos this summer. You can also book with English Heritage for a private visit early or late. It's a well kept secret which they don't advertise. You pay a bit more but get an hour in there in a small group.
7th August 2010

Hey! I was at Stonehenge recently! We missed each other by a week! I have an aquaintance who works at Stonehenge who has been asked by American tourists no less than 6 times if it's true that Stonehenge was built by aliens! Still it is always a place worth visiting... mainly with the NT and EH membership cards as then its free. :)

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