musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Random Churchyards: St Thomas and St Edmund’s Salisbury

There are a number of really beautiful churches in Salisbury, and often you find them by accident. St Thomas and St Edmund’s is one such find. Even though I go past it 10 times a week it still does not dominate the skyline the way Salisbury Cathedral does. If anything the church does sit in an awkward place in the city, and trying to get any complete photograph of it is almost impossible.
 
I was originally interested in the Churchyard, but the church doors were open so I ended up going there first. It is a very pretty church inside, with large windows and a serene lightness about it. I had a similar feeling about the Cathedral.
 
 
The church dates from around the 15th century, and the has a number of historic artefacts within its stonework. The history of the church may be read on the Church website (PDF Document).
 
One of the more famous items at the church is the “Doom Painting” which was painted around about 1470. It was covered by whitewash for a long time but has now been restored and is really magnificent. Unfortunately it is difficult to really examine because it is so high up.
(1411x876)

(1411×876)

There are a large number of monuments in the church, some obscure and others very prominent as well as a number of military monuments and memorials. 
The Humphrey Beckham Panel

The Humphrey Beckham Panel

The altar is dominated by the east chancel window which dates from the 1840’s, although this is not the original window that occupied this space.

 
Unlike many of the churches that I visit, this one is well documented with large information panels that explain a lot of the history behind the church and its contents. 
St George's Altar.

St George’s Altar.

The pulpit.

The pulpit.

 

And what of the churchyard? It is difficult to really know how big it was. Certainly there is a very obvious area with headstones, but there is also an area that is more park like. I could not work out how to access the latter though, but the former wasn’t too difficult. I was able to access the park like area one afternoon after work, (easy enough if you know where to look), and it contains the modern Garden of Remembrance.

 

I do suspect a number of the buildings around the church are built on top of the graveyard, but again there is no real way of knowing.

 
 
 
I did not seem to take many pics of the churchyard, which seems to indicate that there were not too many headstones to photograph originally. I did do a return visit to the church, and was able to satisfy my curiosity on at least 2 aspects that puzzled me before. 
  
The church is a gem, and well worth looking for if you are in the area, and I expect there is still a lot to see that I have missed. The biggest problem is that due to its location it is really difficult to photograph the buildings, and it is quite a busy area too, so you do have to run the gauntlet of tourists and unconscious cellphone maniacs.

What is interesting is how this church has literally had a city centre built around it, and integrated itself into its surroundings. I suspect that many politicians would have loved to raze it to erect some fancy office block or high street storefront, but it has outlasted them all.

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