Salisbury Cathedral has got to be one of the most stunning Gothic places to visit in the West of the UK.
Massive, imposing and just about as creepy as they get, this beautiful Cathedral might not house the most Gothic of notables (although you will find the stone for Ted Heath here) yet this place with its medieval past and present needs to be a must on your Gothic trail.
You will find, four copies of the Magna Carta (one of which was almost successfully stolen in 2018) as well as one of the oldest surviving clocks in the world which has been ticking since 1386.
The world’s oldest clock (or at least one of them)
Having no hands or face (clocks didn’t have such things originally) it actually looks nothing like a clock, yet it’s endearing and it will have you staring at it for a long time! It has been moved a couple of times during renovations and the like, and even spent a few decades in the loft (if Cathedrals have lofts) until it was restored and brought back to the public in the 1950’s.
Salisbury hasn’t had the best of press in recent months (I shan’t go into detail here) and this historic and beautiful city has struggled to maintain its appeal. Christmas was unusually quiet for this giant market town and despite all efforts to keep up the free park and ride into town, the locals have seen a decline in the town’s popularity.
I would strongly encourage to visit this gem of a city. Goth or non-Goth alike. The cobbled streets and dainty Victorian shop fronts mixed in with streets of Tudor buildings, you will be pushed on what to step back and wonder at first.
There is so much to see in the town or Salisbury, but for the purposes of this blog post, let’s stick to the ever so Goth Cathedral…
The initial stones were layed in 1220 and the whole building took 38 year to complete into pretty much what you see today.
Who is buried there?
If you are like me and love nothing better than wistfully gazing across the graves of darkly romantic and tortured historic figures, you might be a little disappointed with Salisbury Cathedral as apart from a Prime Minister who resided not far from the Cathedral itself, there are very few interesting people buried here, unless you love Bishops.
The only interesting character here (and most interested tomb) is that of Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford who might not strike any bells with you so far, but was the nephew of the doomed Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII.
Apart from being the nephew of the King’s favourite wife, he was probably best remembered for whipping up the displeasure of Queen Elizabeth I’s because he kept marrying his wives in secret.
His first wife was Lady Catherine Grey, the pretty and younger sister of the infamous Lady Jane Grey who met her death being beheaded after only being
on the throne for 9 days.
Seymour spent his far share in the Tower of London also during his life but avoided any grizzly endings unlike those of the people around him.
He and his male relatives spent most of their lives dodging persecution and arrest of one level or another for many years.
Goth Points: I love that the cathedral is open to the public 365 days a year. Like all cathedrals should be (with a cafe in the walls of the place open too.) So I’m giving it 8 out of 10.
Opening times: can be found HERE. I strongly recommend checking the site before you go. Due to the fact that it’s 800 years old and holds the Magna Carta, opening times to the public might be restricted because of tours.