Salisbury 1. A couple of days ago, my friend Mary and I met up in Salisbury to spend a few hours together there – and catch up on our news. We headed from the station for a coffee, at the Café Rouge in the (pedestrianised) High Street. I had somehow never been to Salisbury in my life, and Mary hadn’t been there for a very long time, so after a very lengthy coffee (because as ever we had so much to talk about), we agreed that the highest priority was to visit the Cathedral. These external pictures were taken in the afternoon, by which time there were hordes of people there, mainly foreign schoolchildren on visits. But in the morning, the number of visitors was very reasonable. We were very impressed by the discreet helpfulness of the many (presumably volunteer) guides there.
After a look down the full length of the building,
and wondering if I might bump into a friend living nearly, with long and strong connections to the Cathedral, I could have spent a very long time just studying this model of the construction of it. But following the suggested walk – and surprised and delighted that photos were allowed without having to pay for a permit – we next looked at the oldest working mechanical clock in England (1386). It has no face, but, (on special occasions only now) chimes the hour, which was presumably sufficient indication of the passage of time in the days when it was built. Not easy to see what’s going on here. All is revealed – a most beautiful and very modern font (2003). This was somewhere else I could have spent hours in peaceful contemplation. We continued on the suggested route.
There was still a little way to go, but we were getting hungry, and the restaurant was conveniently in the way. An excellent choice of food, but we settled for soups and some delicious granary bread. The cloisters and chapter house remained. The latter contained one of the four copies existing of Magna Carta. On seeing the queue,
we decided not to join it. It was not only long, but making the chapter house very noisy.
For some reason, I chose to go into the stocks located, presumably for tourist reasons, in the cloisters.
I did escape in due course, and we left the Cathedral – one of the most beautiful places of worship I think I have ever visited – to decide what we would do for the remaining hours of our time in Salisbury.