Salisbury Cathedral Home of Stone Henge

Aerial view of Salisbury cathedral in spring

Salisbury is an ancient city once a village and then a town. Dated back to 1227, the history here in this remarkable place is extraordinary. It’s also the home of Stone Henge.

You can travel to Salisbury by car or by train. It’s a short forty eight minute drive from Bournemouth and an hour and a half on the train.

Salisbury Cathedral is something which is on most tourists’ lists when they travel to Salisbury, it’s a stunning cathedral and something not to be missed. This is where you will find the best preserved of the four original Magna Carta manuscripts dating from 1215AD.

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Salisbury City Center

Salisbury City Center
Salisbury City Center

Salisbury is a place steeped in history and you can see that clearly as soon as you arrive. The buildings are in their original form and you can feel as though you are in a medieval village way back when.

As you start to travel closer to Salisbury, the first thing you see is the Salisbury Cathedral tower looming over the beautiful city below. This Cathedral tower is the tallest tower in Britain.

The shopping in Salisbury is excellent and has most of the name brands you can expect from any established city center plus boutiques and original shops you will not find anywhere else.

Packed full of restaurants, pubs, and bars you will find everything here you need. There is also the popular and famous Salisbury Market which takes place every

Within the cathedral are a restaurant and a gift shop.

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Salisbury Christmas Market

Salisbury Christmas Market
Salisbury Christmas Market

At Christmas time you must visit the famous Salisbury Christmas Market. It’s like being in a Christmas Wonderland. With unique Christmas stalls you generally don’t find anywhere else and a classical Christmas theme.

The Christmas market can be found around the Salisbury Cathedral and with all of the beautiful lights, it really makes everything very magical.

You must also visit the Salisbury Cathedral itself and see the beautiful Cathedral Christmas tree.

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral is set in the largest Cathedral Close in Britain, covering over 80 acres.

This is a historical must visit. An iconic medieval building. Not only because of the stunning building itself which was built in 1310 – 1330. But because inside the Cathedral holds something remarkable. Inside you will find one of the four pages of the Magna Carta manuscript dating back to…

You can actually see the Magna Carta too it isn’t hidden away which is remarkable considering its historical significance and the amount it is surely worth but in plain sight for everyone to see.

Salisbury Cathedral isn’t only famous for its history though. Every year people watch the Cathedrals live Peregrine Nestbox cam. Every year the Cathedral welcomes these falcon birds to nest in its eaves and the cam was set up so people could watch the development of the chicks from home.

The cathedral is surrounded by lawns and shaded spots which are perfect for a picnic or a place to stop off for a rest after shopping.

Within the cathedral, you will also find the oldest working mechanical clock which was built in 1386. The clock itself doesn’t have a face, it was merely built to strike on each hour. It was originally in the Bell Tower but it was replaced by a newer model and is now displayed within the cathedral.

If you choose to go on the Cathedral tour the guides will show you the workings of the clock and you will get to hear it chime just as it did in the 14th century.

When visiting you can choose to book a tour by the Cathedrals expert guides and you will be shown around the whole cathedral and get to see areas you wouldn’t normally be able to go.

Areas such as going up the medieval tower which is still to this day supported by medieval wooden scaffolding. Climbing the 332 steps to the top and taking in the magnificent views out over Salisbury city.

You’ll get to view ancient roof spaces to the foot of the iconic spire, 68 metres above ground level. The experienced guides will be able to tell you all about the construction of this magnificent, historical building.

You will also be able to get up close to the incredible Magna Carta manuscript.

Tickets for the tours can be purchased online before you arrive, or at the Cathedral itself on the day. The tours take place multiple times a day from Monday to Saturday.

Dogs are allowed on the Cathedral grounds and it’s a really special place to take a stroll with your best friend.

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Salisbury Cathedral Magna Carta

Magna Carta Salisbury Cathedral
Magna Carta Salisbury Cathedral

What is the Magna Carta?

The Magna Carta Manuscript is important to history because it encouraged freedom movements throughout the world. And the Magna Carta in Salisbury Cathedral is one of the only four serving original documents since 1215.

The Magna Carta means ‘Great Charter’ in Latin. It came about in 1215 when King John decided to start taxing his constituents with higher taxes to fund the war against the French. After protests about King John and the rest of the monarchy over stepping their mark and taking too much from the people.

The Magna Carta was formed and enshrined the rights of the British people to freedom as an individual and gave them the power to hold their monarchy to the same legal standard as anyone one else.

The document didn’t just contain agreements about taxes but also many other things such as being able to hold the Monarch accountable and other rights for the citizens.

Most of the agreements (clauses) in the Magna Carta have now been updated and replaced but there are today two of the clauses we still use within English Law. These two clauses assert the rights and freedoms of all of the citizens living in England today. Although the Magna Carta is over 800 years old it is today as an important document as ever as it is a symbol of social justice.

The Magna Carta went on to hold an important part of history in American law too where the concepts of freedom and individuality were taken over to America and enshrined in The Declaration of Independence.

Salisbury Museum

Located opposite Salisbury Cathedral is the Kings House. This building is a grade 1 listed which was built in 1227 at the same time as the cathedral. This was a former residence and was then made into a museum in the 1860s.

Here you will find some incredible collections to see including many artifacts from Stone Henge. The collection they have here on Stonehenge is one of the most important there is other than what is contained in the National History Museum in London.

One of the artifacts is a grave of a 4000 year old archer who was discovered near Stone Henge. He is believed to have lived around 2400–2200BC. The Archer was around 35-45 years old when he died and he was buried inside a wooden chamber.

His grave included some fascinating objects such as arrowheads, flint tools, gold hair ornaments, copper wristbands and a lot more.

Salisbury Museum Archer Burial
Archer burial Salisbury Museum

The Salisbury Museum also has an enviable art collection that spans the ages and is displayed in one of its many galleries. Here you will see not only paintings but artwork created out of pottery and glass.

If you are into fashion then a new feature of the Museum is the Fashion Archives. Here you will see on display pieces of clothing from all times in history. Included are the accessories and jewelry they would have worn also.

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