Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Salisbury - Town

Salisbury, the county town of Wiltshire, is a cathedral city and municipal and parliamentary borough, situated in a valley at the confluence of the Avon, Wiley, Bourne, and Nadder, 83 miles W.S.W. of London by railway. The town is built on a regular plan, consisting of streets which cross at right angles, thus forming squares, called the Chequers, with houses facing the thoroughfare and opening at the back into a court or garden. The glory of Salisbury is its cathedral (1220-58), which is a perfect specimen of Early English architecture, the tower and spire alone being additions of the Decorated period (1330-75). The building comprises a nave of 10 bays with aisles, a choir of 6 bays with aisles, two transepts, one with 4, the other with 3 bays in each wing, a Lady Chapel at tbe E. end, and a central tower with a spire, of 400 ft. The external length of the cathedral is 473 ft., and its breadth 111 ft.; its height, measured from the inside, is 81 ft. Irreparable injury was done to the building by the "restorer" James Wyatt in 1782-91. The beautiful cloisters date from the latter part of the 13th century. Within the Close, which has an area of about half a square mile, stands the episcopal palace, a long, irregular, picturesque building with gardens opening into the cloisters, and round it are grouped several other interesting old houses. The Market Place, which occupies a central position, covers 2-1/2 acres, and has a handsome council-house (1795) at its S.E. angle, in front of which are statues of Sidney Herbert and Professor Fawcett. The Blackmore Museum contains an unsurpassed collection of prehistoric remains. The "Halle of John Halle," a banqueting-room built in the latter part of the 15th century, is a very interesting example of the domestic architecture of the period. A solitary conical mound, a mile N. of the city, surrounded by ditches and massive earthen ramparts, is all that now marks the site of Old Sarum, an important Roman station and the seat of a bishopric from 1075 to 1220, when it was transferred to New Sarum or Salisbury. Salisbury Plain, in the midst of which the city stands, consists of undulating chalk downs, intersected by fertile and well-wooded valleys.