I paid a visit to Salisbury Cathedral today, and saw the attendant Nativity Scene and it reminded me of the days when we did the Christmas play at Sunday School. I blogged about it awhile ago, and it still sends shivers down my spine.
So, with shivers down my spine I shall use this opportunity to wish everybody a Merry Christmas, do not overdo the food (I know it is difficult), and don’t drink and drive because you will spill it.
© DRW 2013-2018. Images replaced 16/04/2016.
My favourite images of the cathedral I took late on afternoon in December of 2013 when the sun was low on the horizon and the stonework shone. It is truly a beautiful building; majestic and with so much hidden detail that you can never see it all.
The one thing I do recall about the cathedral is how light it was, it did not have a heavy oppressive feeling like I had felt in St Pauls in London, but then I had not really gone very far into that building so maybe I just judged it wrong at the time.
In my view one of the most beautiful objects in the cathedral is the Baptismal Font with its reflecting pool and silent waterflow. It was really magnificent, and made for fascinating photography.
At the time there was a Nativity Scene inside the cathedral, and that is what can be seen in the distance. If I remember correctly, the nativity scene was in the crossing between the North and South Transepts. The South Transept would be to the right in the image above.
Standing in the centre of the crossing would put you underneath the 123m (404 ft) spire of the cathedral. Unfortunately I was not able to do the spire tour, but with hindsight wish that I had. The 6500 tonne weight of the spire and tower has bowed the support columns, but that has not stopped it being the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom.
Advancing past the crossing we would enter the Quire, which is where the choir is seated amongst magnificent woodwork and grandeur that these buildings had in abundance.
Further on is the High Altar, with the Trinity Chapel behind it.
These are really awe inspiring places to stand at, and I always feel uncomfortable taking photographs in them, possibly it is a sense that this place is special? or maybe my Anglican upbringing is rattling around inside of my head?
The Trinity Chapel is not a grand place, but the stained glass windows make it a very special place. The window, called the Prisoners of Conscience Window, was designed by Gabriel Loire and is dedicated to prisoners of conscience throughout the world. The Chapel is also the site of the Shrine Tomb of Bishop Osmund (died 1099): It is one of three tombs brought here for reburial in 1226 from the previous Cathedral at Old Sarum.
Retracing our steps back to the Crossing, we can get some idea of the Transepts from the image taken from the North Transept to the South Transept, with the Nativity scene in the middle.
Like so many other churches and cathedrals, Salisbury has its fair share of wall memorials, effigies, plaques, and floor memorials. I am a particular fan of these because often they are truly works of art, and often there is a lot of very good information on them from a military historian point of view. I wont even attempt to show them all, but here are a few.