Arguably Britain’s finest medieval cathedral, Salisbury was built between 1220 and 1258, replacing the first incarnation at Old Sarum just down the road
Scarce water supplies and disputes with the military inhabitants of the nearby castle caused the Bishop of Salisbury to make the move. A fanciful tale says he stood on the castle mound at Old Sarum and shot an arrow to determine where his next cathedral would be built.
The spectacular 123m tower was added in the mid-14th century and proved an epic technical challenge to build – Sir Christopher Wren surveyed its “wonkiness” in 1668. It is possible to take a Tower Tour up the 332 steps to the foot of the spire, where the views are breathtaking.
At the eastern end of the ambulatory the Prisoners of Conscience stained glass window can be found above the ornate tomb of Edward Seymour, the nephew of Jane, Henry VIII’s third wife, and his spouse, Lady Catherine Grey whose sister, the Tudor monarch Lady Jane Grey, is best known as the Nine Day Queen.
Guided tours highlight the cathedral’s many treasures, including Magna Carta (1215 AD), the spire, clock, restaurant and shop.