Another day, another cathedral ~ and another cathedral tower too – yippee!
And so it was that I found myself today at the top of Salisbury Cathedral looking down on the world, and the world as it is around the cathedral is really quite beautiful ~ the city of Salisbury, the cathedral close, the river and the hills in the distance….
Amazingly, the cathedral took the grand total of only 38 years to build, and that in the middle of the 13th century ~ certainly no hanging about. In the next century they added the spire, pretty magnificent, the tallest medieval spire in the country. And then the view got painted by Constable in the 19th century. So up it I had to go!
Well that’s not quite true, if it was an outrageous price, I wouldn’t have gone up of course. But Salisbury Cathedral works by voluntary donation – of the kind that makes it hard not to give as you enter, since you must pass through a paying desk with a real person there taking your money. But if you go on the Tower Tour then the £10 ticket covers the donation too, and it is well worth it, honest! OK, it’s more expensive than the £8 I paid last week to go on the tour up Chester Cathedral Tower (and sadly with no free coffee-with-cake voucher either), and way more expensive than the £5 it costs to amble your own way up Durham Cathedral Tower, but then this is the south of England. Things just cost more down here. But DEFINITELY worth doing.
But first, a free tour of the cathedral at ground level, which I wasn’t planning on and usually avoid, but found myself arriving as the tour was beginning, and hey it was really interesting. There’s a font that is kinda stunning. All water reflections. And some blue glass that’s kinda intriguing. And plenty more besides. Could have gone on forever!
Then up into the rafters to see the cathedral from up on height inside and eventually outside. As the spire was added later, it’s massive weight kind of squashed the whole lower part of the tower down a bit into the ground, plus the foundations are not very deep ~ so it is supported up by tons of wood and metal scaffolding all up into the spire. Quite something.
332 steps up, so that’s only a few more than Durham Cathedral, but those 332 steps only take you to the base of the spire, from where you can look out over the city. And the views? Amazing of course. All the way to Old Sarum where the earliest cathedral was actually built.
Now cathedralled-out, well ~ for today anyway!