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Salisbury Cathedral tours

Salisbury Cathedral tour picture

Salisbury Cathedral tour picture

Salisbury Cathedral tour picture

The original city of Salisbury - Old Sarum - was situated on an old Iron age hillfort to the north of the present city. A cathedral and castle were built on the hilltop following the Norman Conquest in 1066. Relations between the castle authorities and the clergy were uneasy and by 1200, the BishopSalisbury Cathedral from the meadows made the decision to move. It took another 20 years to obtain permission from both the King and the Pope to allow a new cathedral to be built. Legend has it that the site was chosen by where an arrow fired from Old Sarum landed in the meadows below - a distance of some
1 ¾ miles!

Work on the new building started in 1220 and it was consecrated in 1258. In the early 1300's a spire was added which at 404 feet high is the tallest in England. What we have today is one of the finest examples of an Early English Gothic medieval cathedral which is largely unchanged except for some 'improvements' made as style and taste changed.

Salisbury Cathedral is surrounded by the Close and both are set in the picturesque Harnham water meadows. The whole idyllic setting has inspired artists, most notably, John Constable to paint the scene which can now be seen in the National Gallery in London. The gates to the Close are still locked every night. The Close has many fine buildings originally built by the Canons of the cathedral, but now occupied by religious and educational bodies, museums, and some private residences.

Inside you'll be able to see one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta sealed by King John in 1215,and the oldest working mechanical clock in the world. The light airy space inside remains one of the most magnificent sights to be found in any cathedral.

A Tower Tour available which will show you how the cathedral was built. It is extremely popular and numbers are strictly limited. Early booking is essential. Please see below.

Tours of the Close are also available.

For further details please Contact Us.


Salisbury Cathedral opens daily throughout the year. In summer from 9am to 5pm (Sundays 12 noon to 4pm). In winter from 10am - 4.30pm.It is a very busy working cathedral with many services especially on Sundays, at Easter,Christmas and access to some parts will be restricted. There is an entrance fee which is currently £9 in advance or £10 on the day. It is a great place to visit before or after a trip to Stonehenge.

Salisbury Cathedral Chapter House opening times

The Chapter House, contains the best preserved of the four exemplars of the Magna Carta still in existence. It opens 30 minutes after the Cathedral opens. (Sundays 12.45pm to 3.45pm).

There is an excellent restaurant and shop available.



You can take a trip up the tower to the base of the spire. It takes about 1 1/2 hours and you will see how this magnificent Cathedral was built. There are fine views over Salisbury and up towards Old Sarum. The tour runs daily, but times vary throughout the year and occasionally may not run because of events. For further details see Salisbury Cathedral's Tower Tour page.

With restricted numbers on each tour it is imortant to book well in advance. The tour costs £16 including the entrance donation to the rest of the Cathedral.

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