Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Beauty of Salisbury Cathedral

 I have so many pictures to share from our recent trip to England back in March. I have been slowly showing them all to you in little packets of photo pleasure. 
In an earlier post  I shared the photos of my daughter and I exploring the town of Salisbury and its famous Close. 
Today is part 2 of that day out - the part where we discover Salisbury Cathedral.
Here was our first view of the Cathedral:

It is easy to see why, centuries ago, pilgrims were overwhelmed by the sheer heavenly majesty of this church. 

Salisbury's spire was added between 1300 and 1320 and is the tallest in the UK (123m or 402 ft). It is probably the heaviest too.  In fact, if you stand under the pillars that stand directly below it inside the church, you can see how much the pillars are buckling under the weight!
As is typical of most gothic-style cathedrals built during this period, the front façade is covered with ecclesiastical carvings of every kind.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I'm always blown away by the sheer talent of medieval stone masons who worked with nearly primitive tools to create these arches and entryways.
I love the juxtaposition of these two carvings - scary looking gargoyle and elegant angel.

Reminders of "who's in charge."
By far, the most impressive part of the cathedral for me was the Cathedral Font. 
It was designed  British water sculptor William Pye and was installed in September 2008  during the celebration of the 750th anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral. 
The water within it is completely still even though small waterfalls run off each of the four points of the cross-shape at all times. Because it is so still, it acts like a mirror, allowing visitors to view the soaring ceilings of the cathedral by looking down instead of craning their necks upwards. 
Afton and I had some fun trying to take the perfect "reflection" picture.
The afore-mentioned arches and ceiling mosaics.
It was a pretty gloomy, grey day outside the cathedral, but light still poured in, illuminating the windows and lighting the beauty of the church for all to enjoy.   
One of the guides inside the cathedral told us the story of this particular wall decoration we found behind the main altar.
Do you see how the centre cross-shape seems dug out and roughed-up?  It used to contain a cross of pure gold that had decorated this wall for a few centuries. Then while King Henry VIII was in power, he ran a little low on cash and had all the gold decorations removed from his churches and added to his own coffers. It was never replaced and  the loss was never rectified. 
I guess no-one gets to tell Henry VII what to do!!
Besides the stone tracery found in these old cathedrals, my second favourite aspect of an ancient church is the cloisters.  It is magical to think about who walked here before me, over the centuries.  What did they contemplate? What were their beliefs? Did they think of who would walk here AFTER them? 

After seeing the inside of the church, it was lovely to emerge back outside to a new blue sky and the songs of happy birds. 

I'm told I am never in enough of the pictures. 
Here I am.   (Photo credit : Afton)

I hope I've shown you a big enough variety of Cathedral pictures as to not bore you like a school history lesson might!
Salisbury was day two of trip to England.  Just think - I have 6 more days of photos to show you!!
Next up - the Columbia Road Flower Market!
Have a lovely week everyone!


  1. What a beautiful cathedral. I too am amazed by the stone mason's work in those times. Such artists! I look forward to more photos. Oh...tell Afton she is quite the photographer...:) Have a great week from one kinder teacher to another!

  2. Lovely photos!! It's a beautiful cathedral. Hope you enjoyed all your visit, J9 x


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