musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Tag: Wiltshire

Chippenham churnings.

This semi fine morning I had to make a trip to Chippenham for a job interview. It was a grey sort of day, in fact its been a grey day since the beginning of the week, so not much has changed. The town is situated on the London Paddington-Bristol Temple Meads line with First Great Western, and it was quite an expensive way to waste money on train fare.

 

Traveling through Didcot Parkway and Swindon, Chippenham was the next stop. It is really quite a sleepy sort of station though, and I will come back to it. 

However, the area I needed to be in was in the opposite side of the station to where the city centre was. I was running about an hour early so headed off towards a church spire that I could see from the station. This was however not the church that I had seen from Google Earth.  
 
Called St Pauls, it is a wonderful old building with an enormous spire that sticks out above everything else. It also had a wonderful churchyard with 9 CWGC graves in it.

 

The graves had been photographed before so I am not too worried about missing some of them. Unfortunately there was some sort of group on the go when I was there so I could only grab one quick image before I headed off to the taxi rank and my interview.

 

After my interview, (which went well, but which did not land me the job) I headed back towards the station, although aiming for an area that looked interesting beyond the station. Fortunately I did not have to worry too much about train times as it was still reasonably early.

 
As is to be expected, the closer you get to town, the older the houses become, and from what I can see Chippenham is more residential than commercial. The railway line runs on one side of the town, and it runs over one of those beautiful bricked arches that I have seen in a number of places.  I always marvel at the interior brickwork of the arch, there are so many of these structures all over Britain, and they are all reasonably old, so they were built to last. I did however miss the Brunel Railway Viaduct, but did not know it was there until now.

 

I had more or less arrived where I wanted to be, but discovered that it was not where I should be to see what I wanted to see, so headed off towards the town centre which was 10 minutes away. This is where you get to see the age of the town, and some of the architecture that is still standing today.  The town centre sits more or less on a hill, and the river Avon meanders through the town, I suspect this is the same Avon that I encountered in Bath, Bristol and Salisbury. 

  

The small roofed structure is the Buttercross, and it has somewhat of a chequered history, the original having been erected in 1570. Once past the Buttercross I was almost at the top of the town and my destination was in sight. 

 
 
 
The spire probably gives it away, and the structure on the traffic island is the Chippenham War Memorial.  The church is known as St Andrews, and it is one of those old churches that seem to originate many centuries ago and that have undergone so much restoration and modernisation that it is difficult to know what part is original. Unfortunately, I could not get inside, but the graveyard is reasonably intact and has the largest collection of chest tombs I have ever seen in one spot.
 
It does however stand in an awkward space, so getting a decent image of it is very difficult. However, the buildings behind the church are really beautiful, and I just wish I had better photography weather. 

 
And then it was time to start heading back to the station.
 

 

 
Crossing over the river once more. I more or less knew where the station was now so headed in that general direction.  There were still many pretty buildings to see, but I was starting to tire and really wanted to be on my way home.
 
Is that part of the Brunel Viaduct? it is possible, but I cannot be too sure.

 

The local Class 153 pulled into the station shortly after I arrived, and that was pretty much the sum total of trains that I saw at the station outside of the FGW fast inter-cities that I had come here on.  These towns must have really been something to see in the heady days of steam, although they would have probably been much dirtier and full of smog.

  
Alas, all we have now are dirty diesels.
 
Random pics.
Don’t blink now, but that was Chippenham. It was an interesting diversion, but rationally it was a waste of money. A whole days wages is not to be sneezed at, although at the end of the day I need to go for interviews, and hopefully one of them may pay off. Unfortunately in the case of this one I never heard from the agency again, so the odds are I never got the job. It is doubtful that I will come through here again, which is a pity because I suspect there is much more to see here than meets the eye. 
 
© DRW 2015-2018. Created 13/02/2015 images merged 26/04/2016
Updated: 31/12/2017 — 09:32

Radnor Street Cemetery Swindon

Following my visit to the Museum of the Great Western Railway I headed for the Radnor Street Cemetery in Swindon. Theoretically it was not too far away, and I had a scribbled map with some of the streets marked on it. 
On my way I quickly stopped at St Marks Swindon to have a look at the graveyard. The church is magnificent, and also a handy landmark if I ended up getting lost. The church was dedicated on 25 April 1845. 
  
The graveyard was quite large although there were not too many headstones, however, those that remained were really in an excellent condition, and some were really beautiful. 
 
Then it was time to open my map and get lost! I have not been using the gps function on my phone lately as it can be very hard to read because the screen displays everything but where I must go. Besides, the cemetery wasn’t too far away? I eventually found what I was after and went inside. There are 86 World War One casualties and 14 from the 2nd World War buried in the cemetery.
 
The cemetery did not endear itself to me immediately, it is built on a slope and very uneven in places, and the ground was very soggy. It was heading towards mid afternoon so the sun was getting lower and was behind and to the south of the graves I was after, so the light varies depending on where I was.  
And, as usual finding those familiar white headstones was reasonably easy, although I was behind the inscriptions so could not really check for private memorials. The first 25 graves completed I crossed to the opposite fence from where I was and bumped into a local who knew the cemetery reasonably well. He was under the impression that there was a Victoria Cross grave in the cemetery although the grave he thought it was proved to be that of two RAF pilots.
We walked and talked while I shot of pics, time was not on my side and I wanted to be on my way by 15H00. There was no way I would get all the graves I needed to, or even try out my new fangled selfie stick.
 The chapel and Cross of Sacrifice are situated in the middle of the cemetery and the chapel is a very pretty building. Unfortunately I did not get the images of the chapel that I wanted a bit later as a car came along and parked in front, ruining any potential images.
 

The cemetery dates to the 1880’s and a local architect, William Read, designed the lodge, mortuary and chapel.  The mortuary has been boarded up and the lodge has found another use.

The one grave my unofficial guide pointed out was that of Trooper Cecil Howard Goodman of the 1st Co. Imperial Yeomanry who died in South Africa during the Boer War. This iconic monument was erected by “his fellow clerks at the GWR staff in April 1901″. My contact in South Africa informed me that Trooper Goodman is buried in Winburg (JAC Coetzer Str) Cemetery, and that the cemetery had been vandalised since his last visit there.

It is strange to encounter these graves so far from South Africa, and to read that he died while fighting for his country. Unfortunately too many of the Imperial deaths in South Africa were from Enteric fever as opposed to enemy action. 

The museum that I had visited earlier in the day did have a number of commemorative plaques on display for works members who died during the wars. And it would be interesting to know how many of the graves in the cemetery are in some way connected to the Great Western Railway and its works in the town. The works was probably the biggest employer in the town, and I am sure most people were connected to it in some way or other, it is also probable that when the works shut down many people moved from the town for better employment prospects elsewhere.

I continued my photographing, pausing to look at the grave of Doreen, who had died in a cycling accident in August 1938, aged 14 years.  It is a very pretty memorial, and definitely not an off the shelf purchase. But, who had damaged it? was this an act of vandalism? or just something in the design of the memorial that it shed limbs? There is also the possibility that this was damage from bombing. It is really one of those questions that there is no real answer to.

All I know is that I very rarely find the missing bits of these memorials. Where do they go to? 

The time was marching, and I had planned to leave by 14H10 so as to get the train at 14H49. It was not too far to the station, but I was probably only half way done with the CWGC graves. I had to start getting a move on and stop admiring the view.

I was starting to enjoy this cemetery a lot, there are some really nice old headstones in it, and while the going is rough it is not totally impassable. Unfortunately the white CWGC headstones do not weather very well and most were in badly weathered state, although you could see that quite a number had been replaced not too long ago.

I was ready to leave, later processing would reveal that I had missed 28 graves, and I think that is reason enough to return one day.  I did decide to go via the lodge as I had missed that when I had arrived.

Like so many other cemetery lodges I have seen it is a very pretty building, and the cemetery is a great one, although I did find it tiring to walk around because of the slope and the uneven ground. But, if ever I come this way again I shall go find my missing graves, and visit with Doreen, and appreciate this little 11,5 acre plot with its 33000 burials just a bit more. 

And what of Swindon? I did not see too much of it considering that I was really there for the museum and had limited time available. But here are some general pics anyway. Bear in mind that the town really revolved around the loco works. 
 
 
 
 
 
© DRW 2015-2018. Created 17/01/2015, Images migrated and new images added 22/04/2016
Updated: 27/08/2018 — 07:56

The Steam Museum in Swindon (2)

Continuing where we left off, this part deals with some of the other odds and sods that I saw at the Steam Museum of the Great Western Railway. The reproduction station that was erected at the museum is really a glimpse of something that no longer exists. Small rural stations and branch lines met their ends with the Beeching Axe, and that is still being debated long after it happened. 

And when we lost the rural station we also lost the rural signal box. The station was an important part of the community, and when the trains stopped many communities stopped too. A similar thing happened in South Africa, although the axe was wielded by neglect and bad planning

I do suspect this guy may be waiting for a train that never comes.

I do suspect this guy may be waiting for a train that never comes.

The museum also emphasizes the role that the railway played in holiday travel, a trip to the seaside by train must have been something that all youngsters dreamt of, just like we did in South Africa when I was young. The GWR played its part too, and there were lots of travel posters that played on this urge to grab your picnic basket and dash off to Cornwall or Fishguard or similar.

 
The trains still run to Cornwall, but the romance of it has gone, and the modern snazzy airplane style coaches do not have that appeal, and neither do diesels for that matter.
Interior of current First Great Western carriage stock

Interior of current First Great Western carriage stock

The museum also shows the role that the railways had during the wars, and it is difficult to fully explain just how the war affected the railways, and how much they contributed to the war effort. Women were brought into the workforce in large numbers and they did the job with enthusiasm and pride, and their own lives were changed forever. 
Our lady with the tea trolley made a contribution that may be seen as something really small, but to those servicemen and women who were trying to get home, or who were en route to bases, knew that it was just as important as those who were out there getting killed in battle. 
Like many industries, the Swindon works were involved in munitions and equipment production, and  a large portion of their male workforce would have joined the forces. And, as I expected, there are Remembrance Plaques and Rolls of Honour in recognition of those who never came back.  I have posted images of the ones I photographed at allatsea 
Britain was a very different place back then, and the war really made it what it is today.  
 
Then it was time to head out, I had to find graves from that war in a nearby cemetery, and my missing hour had cut into the time I had available to do this. I had enjoyed this little march through the past, like so many of these museums this one is a gem, and I can’t help but wonder how many working and static steam locos I had seen in Britain compared to the masses of derelicts that I saw in South Africa. I was also fortunate enough to visit Mid Hants Railway in 2013 and the glimpse of the country station there was just as fascinating. I may return here one day, because I am still missing 28 graves from the cemetery, so maybe there will be a part three to this blogpost somewhere down the line.
Random pics. 
The goods yard

The goods yard

Scammel delivery van

Scammel delivery van

Railcar drivers position

Railcar drivers position

Fishguard? lets go!

Fishguard? lets go!

Working loco model

Working loco model

GWR Brakevan

GWR Brakevan

Carriage works

Carriage works

Track inspection vehicle

Track inspection vehicle

© DRW 2015-2018 Created 17/01/2015, images migrated 22/04/2016

Updated: 27/08/2018 — 07:59

Closing the door on Salisbury

In September 2013 I started full time work in Salisbury, and moved there in late November 2013. This afternoon I left it for good. It has been quite a year for me, but I guess I have to look at opportunities and developments and occasionally these may require change. Leaving Salisbury and my job was one such change.
 
Initially I was not too keen on Salisbury, its only really redeeming feature seem to be that it had a cathedral in it, and that magnificent building was really an experience on its own. 
 
 
Initially I stayed very close to work, in an area called “The Friary”, which had somewhat of a chequered reputation. But I did have a nice spot but when an affordable place came available to rent I grabbed it like a shot, moving in in mid April this year.

My new walk took me from one end of Salisbury to the other, through town and the many shops and business that would become almost second nature to me. It was a 25 minute walk and by the time I got to work (or home) I was usually bushed.

This odd structure is the Poultry Cross, and it marks the site of the former markets. It was constructed in the 14th century, and is a popular hang out for pigeons, smokers, cellphone weenies and sitters arounders, The market is usually held on a Tuesday and Saturday, and while not my favourite place did net me a few interesting odds and ends. The market square is also home to the Guildhall and the War Memorial; where I commemorated Remembrance Day this year.

Naturally I would gravitate to the local cemeteries, there were two larger ones in Salisbury, namely Devizes Road and London Road cemeteries. Both are quite old and I did have lots of fun walking through them. London Road in particular was a very nice visit, and I did find all the war graves and got very muddy while doing so. (It’s an occupational hazard)

Salisbury was a very large training area during the war years, and still has a number of military bases and facilities on Salisbury Plain. Unfortunately the furthest I seemed to get there was Old Sarum and of course Boscombe Down Aviation Collection. I had visited Stonehenge with my landlord from Southampton during 2013, and while I was suitably impressed I did not get there a second time.

We also visited Woodhenge on the same day, and it was quite a strange place to see.

I even attempted a panoramic stitch of it, and while it is not perfect you get the general idea. (Image is 1500×426).

Salisbury is really a tourist attraction, and somewhat of a retirement home, with its narrow pavements and strange alleyways it can sometimes lead you to surprisingly pretty buildings. In general though the city is a mix of olde, old and recent, but there is not a lot of work available so it does tend to be a destination commuted to (and from). The station is not a pretty building at all, if anything it is somewhat of an ugly place, although occasionally steam powered specials would make an appearance. It was also the site if a very bad train accident in 1906 but at the time of posting there was nothing to see that commemorates the accident on the station. However, I believe a plaque was erected recently. 
blacks 038

 
There is a wall memorial in the cathedral, although I would have thought that the station would have been a much more relevant place for it.
 
The rest of the time South West Trains and First Great Western make the station their junction. There are 3 lines converging on Salisbury. One heads towards Southampton/Portsmouth, the other heads towards Andover, Basingstoke, Woking, Clapham Junction and London Waterloo, while the third heads west to Bath Spa, Bristol Temple Meads, and Cardiff Central. I did a lot of odd visits on these lines, and probably once winter had finished would have gone a bit further, although an ankle injury really messed up my travels towards the last few months.

There were a number of interesting museums and churches worth occupying myself with, and I did the rounds of most of the accessible ones.  The prettiest must have been St Lawrence in Stratford Sub-Castle  as well as St Andrews in Laverstock.

Walking around town on my rounds was always interesting, especially since there are 5 rivers converging on Salisbury. In January we had a flood scare, and I must admit it was quite interesting watching the levels rise and the flood plain become a lake. The Avon used to flow past the back of the house where I was staying, and it was fun feeding the ducks when I had some spare bread.

 

Naturally there were also coots, swans and pigeons, but the water birds had the advantage when it came to food. 
I think that one of the all abiding memories I will take with me from Salisbury are of the people I worked with for just over a year. They made Christmas fun and often inspired me to do things. A new workplace does mean making new friends and that is always difficult. But I will have to make a go of it irrespective. Tomorrow is week 2 of my new job and new home. So lets see what I can find in Basingstoke.

And so I close the door on Salisbury. I will miss it, and I take fond memories with me. I never did get to the spire of the Cathedral, or revisit Bemerton, neither did I get back to Arnos Vale in Bristol. Oh, and that pub that forgot my breakfast? you probably lost a lot of money from me, much more than the lousy 3.19 that you nicked from me. I will miss my little home that I had, and will look for a new one. London is closer and I have cemeteries to visit. But first I must unpack all this stuff I brought with me; where did it all come from?

Random Photographs.
War Memorial

War Memorial

The Guildhall

The Guildhall

© DRW 2014-2018. Images recreated 21/04/2016

Updated: 22/06/2018 — 12:49

Random Churchyards: St Andrew Laverstock

A misheard name, and an informed resident. Voila! a new graveyard to visit. This one was in an area I had not explored before, so with the weather becoming increasingly more pleasant I dashed off to take a look around St Andrews in Laverstock.

 Like so many of these parish churches I have seen this one is beautiful, and it really fitted in with the warmish spring day we were having. I was very impressed by the tree on the right, it had a huge flat canopy, just a bit taller than I was and it was really pretty. I have no idea what sort of tree it is though, it is the first I have seen like this.
 

I chose to approach the graveyard from the right, (as I tend to do). and almost immediately came across an angel. Usually these are quite rare in a churchyard like this, but I am not complaining. This one is a beaut.

 

Of course angels are not the only highlight of a cemetery, although they do make for great images. Very close to this was a fenced off grave, the cross of which was inscribed “Make her to be numbered with thy Saints”, unfortunately a lot of the inscription on the grave is not legible due to vegetation, but it seems that this was the wife of an important clergy member.

Surprisingly there are five CWGC headstones in the graveyard, and unusually for me I managed to get them all! 

 

The graveyard isn’t very big and it is in regular use, but the newer headstones do seem to be a bit too regular in size and shape for my liking, although there are the odd older stones scattered amongst the newer.  

On the other side of the graveyard are the remains of the original church that stood at this site, it had been erected somewhere between 1080 and 1200. However, by the 1850’s the church was described as being “damp and ruinous” and it was demolished in 1857 and the current building was erected in its stead.
  
The current church still has a number of artefacts from this building although I was unable to go into it because a service was being held at the time. Interestingly enough, the outline of the old church and one of its walls still exists, and within the outline are a number of graves. 
  
while outside the church there were a number of graves too, although at the time the churchyard was probably much larger, but it is possible that the buildings next to the fence are now partly built on parts of the original churchyard. 
  
 
The church sports a pair of bells in its belfry and surprisingly these were tolling away, calling the faithful to get out of bed and get themselves across to church. Most of the parishioners that I saw were elderly, and I expect many had attended here since they were born.  Many of these parish churches see the a complete lifespan of an individual, and are really fixtures in their communities. This particular one has been around for over 150 years, and looks set to be around for another 150.
 
 
It was almost time for me to head off home, and I took a quick circuit around again, grabbing any other graves of interest. 
 
 
And then I was off home. Another churchyard under my belt. And a very pretty one it was too.  This used to be farming area, and judging by street names possibly there was a mill and a fishery close by, but the road I walked along to get here was called Church Lane, and I can see where that comes from.
 
 © DRW 2014-2018. Created 23 March 2014, images recreated 17/04/2016
Updated: 30/12/2017 — 19:34

Boscombe Down Aviation Collection.

The real reason for my walkies yesterday was to visit the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection which is at Old Sarum Airfield. It isn’t a very long walk to get there, and to be honest I was very disappointed by the collection.
 
My first oooh moment was when I saw my first Hawker Hunter. It is a real beaut of an aircraft, with that strange otherness that many British aircraft had in the days when the UK aviation industry was still producing aircraft.
 
The aircraft behind it is a Jet Provost, and she isn’t looking as immaculate as the Hunter is. The problem with aircraft is that realistically they should be kept under cover, but that’s assuming you have cover to keep them under.
 
Of course the saddest find was the cockpit of a Comet MK2 that now stands forlornly on a corner. It is as close to a Comet that I would ever get, but this poor remnant is very sad. At one point in history these aircraft were the ground-breakers of long haul jet flight, but now it is relegated to a mere shade of its former self. 
 
Once inside the museum I was surrounded by cockpits and very few intact aircraft. I think that was one of the reasons I felt so disappointed; there are very few intact aircraft here. 
  
I do understand though the limitations of a collection like this, these museums are really operated by volunteers and people who have a love for these machines. Money is tight, space is tighter and exhibits are not always easy to acquire. If anything a cockpit is better than nothing. Boscombe Down was originally an aircraft testing site at Amesbury. The collection is probably part of the equipment that was at that original airfield.
 
The other intact aircraft are: 
Hawker Sea Harrier

Hawker Sea Harrier

Gloster Meteor

Gloster Meteor

BE2b

BE2b

Chipmunk WD321

 There is also a Jaguar under preservation, although it may be be a long time before  she is any sort of state to be displayed properly.
 
I did look around the cockpits, and the pair of Canberra remnants were very interesting, considering that the SAAF flew Canberras during the Bush War.
 

I have no idea how they managed to squeeze into those small spaces though, access to that transparent nose was almost impossible, never mind how they did it with their flying gear on and while in flight. That is the one thing that did strike me, all of these cockpits were really small and cramped and it does give a better appreciation for the men who flew them.

Not all aircraft here are fighters, there are two larger cockpits which are more my size. This particular aircraft is a Hawker Siddeley Andover and it was used for early trials of low light and infra red night flying.
 


The “front office” of a modern fighter is a mix of analogue and digital, although I cannot recall which aircraft this is. The museum was reasonably busy too, and trying to get a coherent set of images was difficult as people kept on drifting in and out of view, or popping up where you don’t want them to be.

Unfortunately the Lightning was blocked off so I could not get a look into her cockpit, but I was really amazed at how big this part of the aircraft was. It is just a pity that there was no complete Lightning to see.

That was about it, all that remained was photographing the two helicopters through the fence. One being a Wasp and the other a mystery.

For some reason I thought this yellow machine was Russian. But it turns out that is is a Sycamore XJ380. The Sycamore has the distinction of being the first British designed helicopters to fly.

Then I was ready to head off home, I did not include all my images here, there are too many. But like so many of these places you tend to realise that you missed seeing everything, or taking notice of some of the smaller exhibits. I do however feel a twinge of nostalgia for that Comet outside, and they do have a wonderful model of one of these aircraft

As well as a lot of seats from the Comet standing outside.

From the days when passengers were treated as travellers and not as cattle.

There is also a memorial to the Air Observation Post Squadrons that were based at Old Sarum Airfield during World War 2.

That concluded my photography, and I hung around at the airfield for awhile but there was nothing really exciting going on there so I headed off back to Salisbury.

Unsorted random photographs.
BAC1-11 Cockpit

BAC1-11 Cockpit

Lloyd Loom chair as used by Battle of Britain Pilots waiting to scarmble

Lloyd Loom chair as used by Battle of Britain Pilots waiting to scramble

GAF Jindivik target drone

GAF Jindivik target drone

Hawker Harrier vectored thrust nozzles

Hawker Harrier vectored thrust nozzles

Rolls Royce Avon engine

Rolls Royce Avon engine

Back seat driver (Navigator?) of a Canberra

Back seat driver (Navigator?) of a Canberra


BDAC is a nice museum, but the lack of complete aircraft does let it down,but it is worth the trip anyway just to get a feel for those heady days of British aviation.  More images are available on my external gallery
DRW © 2014-2019. Images replaced 17/04/2016
Updated: 13/07/2019 — 10:22

Savouring Salisbury Cathedral

This post is long overdue, and I do not quite understand why I did not do this at the time. I lived in Salisbury, Wiltshire for just over a year, and the Cathedral dominated the skyline. I had first visited it with my landlord in May of 2013, and we really just dashed in and out, but it was the sort of place that left you awestruck. Be aware, this blogpost is very image heavy. 
 
  
I make no bones about it, my pics from then were not great, I was probably in too much of a rush to savour the beauty of the building, and while I was glad to see it at the time, I never thought it would feature in my life for a year. I moved to the city in November of 2013, and I had some time to kill on 22 December to have a proper look around. Logically the blogpost should have happened then, but it did not, so while the date reflects as 22/12/2013, the reality is I am writing this in 2015! 
 
I admit that I do not recall a lot of the things I am going to post here, but then a lot of it is really more about just savouring the beauty and not asking questions. 
 

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. 

Entering into the cathedral you are confronted with the length of the centre aisle and the vaulted roof overhead.
 

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.

Of course it is not only about wall memorials and effigies, there is a lot more in the cathedral worth looking at. One of my favourites is the world’s oldest working clock, it is used to strike the hours on the bells. There used to be a separate bell tower and it was housed there until 1789. It is a surprisingly simple piece of automata though, but the age of it is really what makes it so special. 

 

 

Next to the Cathedral is the Chapter House where the Magna Carta is kept. Unfortunately they do not allow photographs in that area, but it is a beautiful area, and the Magna Carta seems almost insignificant in so grand a space, however, the physical size of the document is not the important part, but the ramifications of it are.
 
The exterior stonework of the cathedral is amazing, I still do not understand  how it was built from a practical point of view. The skill levels of the craftsmen is to be seen to be believed. Yet, in spite of it all, parts of the cathedral are currently being restored, and are clad with scaffolding.
 
 
The scaffolding does not detract from the beauty though, I know I tried to photograph a number of the figures in their alcoves, but there were just too many of them. I also looked for Gargoyles on the building and saw very few, or maybe I did not spot them? 
 
 
 
There is a lot to see, and of course I did not get up to that spire, but then the tours were always difficult to get especially when the weather was poor. Photography is also very difficult, light conditions are good, but in some cases a flash was needed and I did not really want to use one. I was able to see Lichfield Cathedral too and it was interesting comparing the two buildings. These are wonderful churches, and they are history in stone, the ages look down from their walls, and frankly they are really something special in a community.
Random Images 
There are a lot of images that I have that I cannot really tie into a specific area or object, these are some of them.
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Updated: 30/12/2017 — 20:26
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