Salisbury 27th Jan 2013

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A trip into Wiltshire and the Cathedral City of Salisbury.
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A trip down to Wiltshire in the winter was needed to get out of the house, the weather forecast was not to bad and we decided to head down to the hotel in Devizes. You can look out for some good bargains on the Travelodge website and we got a room for £14 booked well in advance . It was on the saturday morning we headed into Salisbury about a 45min drive from the Hotel, we were early in the morning and the traffic was light however when we come home the Traffic was dreadful so you may wish to use the Park & Ride service, car parking in the city itself is very expensive and only lasts for about 3 hours max.

The city itself sits at the edge of
Salisbury plain, these chalk downlands are steeped in history and you will find Stonehenge and the Town of Avebury nearby. We headed to the impressive Cathedral that dominates the city and is easily found, the surrounding buildings in the close and also worth a look and you will find a National Trust property called Mompesson house an 18th Century elegant building that was unfortunately closed until March, so we will have to go back!
The cathedral was built between the years 1220 - 1320, and it has the tallest spire in the uk standing at 123m, it also has the largest Cloister, also to be found is the oldest working clock in the world (AD 1386) and it has the best surviving original copy of the Magna Carta. The Cathedral you see today replaced the old one at the settlement called Old Sarum (in fact Salisbury is referred to new Sarum) this lies to the North of the city and is looked after by english heritage and is well worth a visit , the large earthworks are easily seen and there is plenty of information once you get there. It was originally an early settlement dating back to 3000BC and has history from the Iron age hill fort to the Romans, Saxons, Vikings and the Normans. William the Conqueror convened the prelates, nobles, sheriffs and knights of his dominions at Old Sarum to pay him homage. By about 1219 Old Sarum had serious space problems and Bishop Poores requested that the Catherdral be reallocated to the site you see it now, the settlements decline was now complete, however it still pops up in history as one of the Rotten Boroughs where in 1831 William Pitt the elder won a seat in the house of commons with just eleven registered voters, all of whom were landowners and none of them even lived there, you see nothing changes, thank god the Reform Act of 1832 put an end to this fiddle.

The Poultry Cross

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This appealing little building used to give shelter to market traders. Salisbury’s market was crucial to its success as a city. When the first market cross was erected on this site, it would have been close to the centre of the market square. But gradually lines of market stalls developed into permanent rows of shops, infilling a lot of the square and separating the cross from the market. The present shelter is 15th Century, but the decorative topping of flying buttresses was added in 1852 in emulation of a cross at Chichester.

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