We awoke to a lovely crisp UK morning, sun, clear skies. In our gracious hosts garden we watched a pair of very fat wood-pigeons walk around the garden as we tucked into our traditional breakfast.
We had been booked onto a Tower Tour, by Wendy.
Salisbury has a very impressive Cathedral.
We were blessed with a lovely day - it was a little chilly out of the sun, but the leaves were just starting to turn, and the area around the Cathedral was quiet and peaceful.
This state is called the Black Madonna - I think for fairly obvious reasons.
The Tower Tour can be booked at the Salisbury Cathedral, places are limited to max of 12 people per tour. You need to be Ok with heights, and able to walk up approx 330 steps.
The tour guide we had for this was called Des - he was excellent in his knowledge, enthusiasm and sense of humour. He is highly recommended.
After ascending 62 steps (yes I did count them) - we got possibly one of the best sights we were to see - a view down the main body of the Cathedral.
After Des explained how the roof was constructed we were able to look at the West Wall in great details as we were standing literally by it.
This is the crest of Richard the Lionheart.
We rose again approx another 60 steps, until we appeared in what more resembled a barn than the roof of an English Gothic Cathedral.
The differences in how the roof was supported, is alledgedly due to the Tudor construction techniques being used in conjunction with 13th Century building mechanisms. Unless someone took the time to explain them to you - you would simply miss them.
We rose again, until we reached where the clock mechanism was situated. Resembling a potting shed, we could trace the wires that lead to the roof.
End of the Original Tower
We carried on climbing until we reached where the original tower had been, but in the 1300's the "extension" was added. This required some extra bracing to be made due to the weight of approx 6,000 tonnes being added.
What you can see here are 14th Century iron works for re-enforcement (the thin rods) along with 17th Century (Sir Christopher Wren) braces.
Whilst it looks ugly on the inside - none of this is visible from the outside.
I think we rose another level to where the bell are situated. We had been warned they can be loud - and indeed they were.
We listened to the quarter-past peel - but were mercifully spared the large on the hour bell.
Just in case you were wondering if Dora was there .... She was (of course) !
Final Deck - the 8 sided room
Another climb - this time much more narrow, and we reached the end of the "easy to get to" section, and from here onwards only the trained staff were allonwed to proceed.
Despite our altitude being approx 220 feet, the section above us was another 180 feet. Inside the wooden structure was totally original ! Dating from 1320 or thereabouts.
We enjoyed views over the town from 3 sides (the 4th being out of bounds due to a Peregrine Falcon nest)
There is a large font in the centre of the church, as as it was quite and peaceful - it produced some interesting reflections.
Off to the pub !
After a hearty bowl of soup, we headed out past the "water meadows" - until we reached a lovely pub. Where we all sat down and relaxed for 40 mins or so.
There are some more photos including these in the gallery.