14 Aug 2014

A visit to Wiltshire in July

In July we went to Wiltshire to see our grandson before he went to live in Australia and to send him off with a leaving party.  He has now arrived in Melbourne after a stop-over for a few days in Los Angeles and is settling in well and is very happy. He trained as a chef and then had the opportunity to specialise in baking and making chocolates. In Melbourne he's hoping to do a course in horticulture and beekeeping, which sounds very interesting. Before we drove into the countryside to join family and friends for the party we met up in Salisbury so that we could visit the cathedral and see where he had been working.

                                      An old stone arch and well in the Cathedral Close

The 'new' city of Salisbury was founded in 1220 when the old hill top settlement of Old Sarum was abandoned because of its exposed, windswept and arid location.  A new site in meadows where three rivers met was chosen and developed. Local Purbeck marble and Chilmark stone was used in the construction of Salisbury Cathedral over a period of some 38 years.  The spire - the tallest in England- was a further addition (1280-1310). The beautiful setting of the cathedral with its landmark spire which can be see for miles around has inspired artists including Turner and Constable and the Close is surrounded by many interesting and elegant old buildings; clergy houses, schools and alms-houses.

Matron's College built in 1682 was a home for widows and unmarried daughters of the clergy. 

The Cathedral taken before and after our visit inside.  (There was an amazing sky at one point).
There are several contemporary sculptures in the Close. The above sculpture is by Dame Elizabeth Frink.

The West Front of the Cathedral is decorated with many symbolic figures and saints in niches. A Salvation Army band was playing hymns.

                                              The nave looking back to West Door.

The font installed in 2008 is the work of William Pye - the flow of the water represents Christ's Living Water.

                                     The choir stalls looking towards the Trinity Chapel.

There was a grouping of 33 terra cotta figures in the Trinity Chapel representing the Holy Spirit coming upon the apostles at Pentecost as narrated in the Acts of the Apostles.  Each figure had a halo of beaten metal with a circular opening through which an oil lamp produced a flame and a light.  It was a temporary arrangement and the figures were made by Nicholas Pope.

The East windows of  coloured stained glass in the Trinity Chapel (Lady Chapel) are from the Loire Studio, Chartres, and were created by Gabriel Lore in 1980. It is also called the Prisoner of Conscience Window and the chapel is set aside for prayer.

                                           Madonna and Child, Trinity/Lady Chapel

The clock, c. 1386 is the oldest working clock in Europe.

                                               The Mompesson Tomb. The Mompessons
                                               had a town house in the Cathedral Close.

                                                          The cloisters

                       An attractive-looking house on the north walk of the Cathedral Close.

We went back through one of the old gated entrances to the Cathedral Close into Salisbury city centre to visit the chocolate shop.

                                             an old print of Salisbury on market day

The area around Salisbury was well known for the wool and cloth trade.

After our tour around Salisbury we enjoyed a lovely family party with delicious chocolate treats made by our grandson and it was a good send off as he prepared for his time living and working in Australia.


  1. that beautiful stone arch is my favorite photo today, but they are all wonderful... if i worked in that chocolate shop, i would need a crane to get me up to walk... my friends hubby is a pastry chef here in Florida.. i wish your grandson much luck in his move and learning new things.

  2. Salisbury is one of our favorite English towns, have visited it many times. Your photos were great. Good luck to your Grandson in Australia.

  3. Hi Linda, This may be one of the best posts you have done. I love love love that cathedral --and thank you so much for giving us the tour. What a BEAUTY to BEHOLD.... Thanks be to God.

    You obviously have a very talented Grandson. Looks like he is moving on to bigger and better things... He seems very creative. What a great opportunity for him. I hope, while he is in Australia, that he will make photography a hobby also and will share lots of photos from there with you (and with us).


  4. Your family is going through some exciting times Linda. I feel such excitement for your grandson in Australia. May he have lots of fun adventures while he is there. As for you and the rest of your family I wish you all a very happy summer. Your photos of Salisbury Cathedral brought back this vivid memory I have as a child. I have no other memory of the town, just the Cathedral and remember craning my neck to try and take it all in. It really is a gorgeous town and hopefully I will get to see it again one day.

  5. As always so beautiful Linda. I can't imagine sitting in a church of that magnitude and beauty. I would be constantly looking around and not able to concentrate on the sermon.

  6. Good luck to your grandson as he has new adventures. He sounds like a creative young man.
    Now Salisbury is one place I have visited and have so many fond memories of the cathedral and
    surrounding country side. I bought a historic fiction called Saram at Stonehenge and started reading
    it on that trip, which made that part of the country just come alive to me. It is so very beautiful!

  7. What a beautiful post full of amazing photos!
    Best of luck to your grandson in Australia and much love to you,
    I Hope you have a great weekend!

  8. Salisbury, a pleasant trip down memory lane for me, did my own post on the Cathedral on Travel Tales back in March 2012. I guess I may have eaten one of your grandson's creations at one time. :)

  9. I love Salisbury and the cathedral, it is a beautiful place isn't it. I haven't seen the font as it has been a long time since I visited inside the cathedral, but I always think that it looks very peaceful when it see it. Glad that you had such a good time and that your grandson is settling into his new life in Australia so well. xx

  10. I wish your grandson much success in Australia. I really enjoyed your photos of the cathedral. It's very beautiful, and you captured that beauty very well. I really like the font on living water.

  11. It sounds like you are enjoying lots of family time. The cathedral is beautiful, I loved the stone arch, the old working clock and how mysterious the figure that may be covering the Bishop's heart.
    Sending your son lots of luck, we lived in Melbourne for a year, it's a wonderful diverse place, no doubt he will be frequenting St Kilda where they have the most delightful cakes and chocalates!xxx

    1. Isn't the Cathedral wonderful? I don't remember the font from our visit but then it was quite some time ago. You will miss your grandson but what adventures he will have on his travels. Hope you continue to enjoy your time with family, Linda and that we get a little more sunshine to enjoy before summer finally disappears:)

  12. This was so enjoyable. I esp. liked the Living Water Fountain and the stained glass. However, the cakes looked simply luscious! :>)
    A lot of changes going on for you. Our school starts Monday and there have been a lot of changes - not necessarily good ones. :<)

  13. You two certainly stay busy! What a lovely area and how wonderful that you got to spend time with your grandson before he began his great adventure.

  14. All the very best to your grandson as he embarks on a new adventure. The cathedral is beautiful, I love the flowing water in the font, a wonderful idea.

  15. These are just remarkable. The sights you share never fail to amaze me. Best wishes for your grandson.

  16. This post is fascinating and beautiful, Linda! I have read more than a few books that refer to the Cathedral Close, and it was so interesting to see photos of a real example! I liked the diagram of the Cathedral layout, too. I am glad to see the old blending with the contemporary art. It might seem strange to some, but it keeps it relevant and keeps people coming to see the magnificence of it all. I love your blog, Linda. You are a great personal tour guide for one of the most beautiful countries on earth. Thanks for giving me and your readers so much pleasure. Best wishes to your grandson. God bless you and yours, Bess

  17. hello
    c'est majestueux , quelle splendide cathédrale
    les photos sont claires et très détaillées
    merci du partage
    c'est un bonheur de travailler avec du chocolat (j'adore le chocolat )
    edith (iirs)

  18. I enjoyed hearing about your grandson's happenings Linda.
    The young move from one side of the world to the other it seems!
    I've been to Salisbury Cathedral on a beautiful June day in 1999 when my son was on his OE in the UK.
    Very impressive as are all the Cathedral's of Europe.
    I hope all is well with you and thank you for popping in to say hello!
    Shane x

  19. Interesting to see your photos of Salisbury having taken lots there myself. Two of my brothers emigrated to Australia so have not seen them for nearly 50 years. One is living in Melbourne.

  20. A super portrayal of the splendours of Salisbury Cathedral - one of my favourites. Many thanks, Linda.