Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Spire (part 1)

Yesterday (Saturday 22nd July) we went to Salisbury for the day. Clare had a playwriting course at the Arts Centre, and we made of a day it; we do our separate things, then meet up for a meal before coming home. This time, I'd pre-booked for the Salisbury Cathedral Tower Tour.

I always like Salisbury; it's a busy city with a comfortably small centre that combines good shopping with a strongly historic character. High Street (below) takes you through the mediaeval gate to the Cathedral Close.

The tour, which consists of a group of 12, starts inside the cathedral at the western end of the nave. After a brief historical intro and the chance to handle samples of the construction materials, you go up a first spiral staircase inside the frontage of the cathedral (above) to the level of the gallery that runs above the ground arches of the nave.

A pleasant fox inside the roof - a carving by one of the restorers

After seeing the timbering of the roof at this level, you come out a gallery overlooking the nave from its western end. A notable feature is William Pye's cruciform font, that I looked at on my previous visit in February (see In Salisbury Cathedral).


The gallery is close up to the stained glass windows of the west frontage of the cathedral. They have a kind of 'double-glazed' arrangement to protect the older windows from the weather; these you don't normally see, and they have some very characterful designs such as the heraldic lions and the demon below.

Continued in The Spire (part 2).

- Ray

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