Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thursday May 19 - Salisbury Cathedral

I am getting over a bad cold while we are both at the end stages of jet lag but today seemed to be a good time to visit the cathedral.  The sun was good early on and we were able to enjoy this magnificent structure at its best.  One advantage of English cathedrals as opposed to those in France, Spain and Portugal is that a payment is required and this money is devoted to the upkeep and improvement.  Salisbury is heavily visited and the revenues are put to very good use.  The entire building is spick and span and everywhere you look the features are clean and well cared for.  We spoke for some time with a docent who was very knowledgeable and who showed us the small opening in the floor which gives on to a small pipe that is plumbed regularly to verify the water levels in the sub soil.  The cathedral is built on some glacial till but, because of the water levels the foundations are only some four feet deep which is amazing for a structure of this size and weight.  The stone used came from Dorset in the west.  It is also remarkable that the structure was built in a very short time by a bishop who was well funded and very good at project management.

The reflections from the font brought out the colored glass windows

The best preserved example of the Magna Carta can be viewed in the Chapter House.  This is a large, beautiful, light and airy room which is worth a visit in its own right. It is much larger and brighter that that of York.  There were a large number of school parties from France.  We wondered how they were able to get over here with all the disruptions taking place over there at present. 

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