Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Old, Older, Oldest

I've a bit more stitching to show on "Star Spangled Sampler".

Today's post is titled Old, Older, Oldest.

This qualifies as as my 'older'.  It is called Old Sarum and it is the original site of Salisbury. It began life as an Iron Age fort, then was occupied by the Romans, Normans, and Saxons.

But in about 1200 the Bishop decided the location was less than desirable.  He chose to move down the hill close to the Avon River and build a new cathedral there.

The 'new' city of Salisbury and its cathedral are my 'old'.  There are lots of wonderful old buildings including a small Norman church and three stone city gates. 

Among the charming buildings is former Prime Minister Edward Heath's home. 

If you love to look at different styles of domestic architecture, then Salisbury is a great place to visit. 

Salisbury Cathedral (part two of my 'old') was rapidly constructed between 1220 and 1266.  That gives the cathedral a really harmony of style.  It is probably best known for the 404 foot tall spire - the tallest in Britain.  

While it had some exterior scaffolding, most of the building had been freshly clean and was easy on the eye.

The view along the Nave soars ever upward.

I noticed several dragons about the cathedral. 
There also was some truly beautiful needlework. I wish I could show you photos of the 43 Calendar of Saints cushions in the Chapter House, but photography was not allowed.  Click here to see a photo from the cathedral's website. I should mention that the Chapter House has one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta in the Chapter House and that's why photography is banned there. 

The cathedral has perhaps the most lovely baptism font I've ever seen.  The water acts like reflective glass and the ceiling and windows appear on it.

Much of the original interior was 'cleaned out' in the 1700's.  That's too bad, but the cathedral does seem very airy as it is not packed with monuments and memorials. 

Fortunately the 106 original quire stalls dating from 1236 were left untouched.

As were the ceilings.

The "Prisoners of Conscience" Window installed in 1980 is a symphony of blue.

The Cloisters are the largest in Britain and visually appealing.

From 'old' Salisbury and 'older' Sarum, we travelled to 'oldest' Stonehedge.

And that was rather thrilling.

While I was no longer allowed to walk up and touch the stones, the stones still reached out and touched me.

Such an amazing feat of engineering and prolonged community effort.

I was glad it was a grey and cloudy day - it fit the mood.

The complexity of the stone circle is such that every few paces there is a new view and angle of the stones.  Something different to appreciate.

So that's old, older, and oldest.  A wonderful theme to today's adventure.   


Giovanna said...

Oh how lovely - I'd love to go back there again. I was lucky enough to visit Stonehenge during the last summer when visitors were allowed among the stones - it was very special. Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures.

Margaret said...

So cool! It really is amazing, all the history involved in those stones, both in cathedral and henge. Wonderful! Did you read Ken Follett's books about the cathedral? Must have been based on this one. Maybe....

Karen said...

Beth, thanks for sharing your trip with us. It looks wonderful!

Barb said...

Another wonderful and informative post! Thanks Beth!

hazel said...

Oh what happy memories you bring back of visiting Salisbury and Stonehenge we to could walk round them, exciting times.

Must return to Salisbury one day to see the cathedral again.

Thanks Beth your photos are stunning as usual.

Hazel c uk

Ann at Beadlework. said...

There are so many beautiful cathedrals in England. Your day looked packed with so much history.

Annette-California said...

You still amaze me by being able to stitch on your trip. Lovely progress. Oh the Salisbury Cathedral is incredible. Especially it's Nave - WOW! Love your photos of Stonehedge - love that you got to go. How fascinating! Great day you had and I loved todays tour:)
love Annette

Vickie said...

Beautiful photos. I find the swirled turquoise and blue with the cross to be beautiful.

Carol said...

All of that wonderful architecture and, of course, Stonehenge, makes the U.S. seem in its infancy, doesn't it Beth? I really can't comprehend that things that old are still standing!! I'm so happy that you got to see Stonehenge in person--it must have been very special...

RuthB said...

Thanks so much for the tour -- sigh, I so want a vacation..... don't tell my coworkers and friends, I only just got back last month. But the architecture just wasn't as stunning as yours. :)

You flag is coming along very nicely-- congrats on the progress.

Athena at Minervas Garden said...

these are such beautiful posts, Beth--thank you so much for sharing your wonderful adventures with us! I loved seeing your photos of Stonehenge, and the cathedral, and all the beautiful old buildings.

MelissaD said...

Gorgeous photos of gorgeous places as always - this has been a fabulous summer trip you are sharing with your blog readers - thank you!!

Mouse said...

oooooo now this one has to be my favorite cathedral on your travels .. love those cloisters and well Stonehenge .,...need I say more ....love mouse xxxxxx

Chris said...

Wonderful day. Thanks for taking me with you.

Andrea said...

Another wonderful post. I'm learning so much about the country I live in!

Melanie said...

So very wonderful! I love how each cathedral has its own personality.