Tales of walking, eating, watching and playing. Vintage treasures and simple pleasures ... the things that make her happy.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Climbing the Spire ...

As soon as the Christmas festivities were over,
her man whisked her away for a birthday surprise (she was a Boxing Day baby).
An overnight stay at a small hotel in the city of Salisbury.
They wandered the Market Place and pretty old streets peppered with 
half timbered buildings and old shop fronts.
A fabulous meal at Charter 1227 was an extra treat ... 
and the following day - a fantastic guided tour of the Cathedral roof and spire!
Salisbury Cathedral is an architectural masterpiece,
built on a gravel bed with unusually shallow foundations of just 18 inches!
Building of the cathedral commenced in 1220
and the main building was completed just 38 years later.
The tower and spire (the tallest in the UK) were added 100 years later.
The cathedral contains the best of the four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta 
and the oldest (reputedly) working modern clock in the world, 
dating from around AD 1386.  
It was in operation until 1884, when it was placed into storage
in the cathedral attic and forgotten about!
Rediscovered in 1929, it was repaired and restored to working order.
They climbed smooth spiral stone steps, 
standing level with the gothic arches and beautiful windows, 
looking out over the church to the nativity in the distance.
Walking into the attic,
above the curved beauty of the ceiling below.
Pegged beams, hewn from ancient oak ...

the bones of this magnificent building.
Beetle eaten timbers.
Buttresses, bracing arches and anchoring irons 
protecting the tower from movement.
Ascending an open wooden staircase,
wending higher into the spire cavity.
Carved memories and craftsmen's graffiti ...
Gazing skywards into a maze of beams and ladders,
out of bounds for all but the bravest of workmen and restorators.
Their guide briefly extinguished the lights and in the blackness
they marvelled at the amazing feat of engineering, constructed by candlelamp light.
From the tower, they looked out over Cathedral Close, 
the Cloisters and the further landscape.
A carpet of pigeon feathers at their feet, the spoils of two resident Hawks!

Highly recommended ... at just £10 each for a tour that lasted nearly two hours.

A perfect two days, and  ... it didn't rain!


28 comments:

Alessandra Poggiagliolmi said...

Wow!!!
What a beautiful view from up there!!!!!
xxxxxx Ale and happy 2014 !!!!!

KC'sCourt! said...

Happy Belated Birthday
Looks like it was wonderful, and no rain too!
Julie xxxxxx

The Cloth Shed said...

What an amazing roof structure... Incredible to think how it was built all those years ago without the mechanical aids of today.
Happy belated birthday!
Julie x

Maria said...

Happy of happiest belated birthday greeting, Mrs VJ!
what a lovely birthday treat..Your man knows you well, I believe...Ooh such heights too...goodness I am thinking this would blow away any Christmas 'razzmatazz' and such like! hehe...
Wishing you a new year as lovely as you are...and thanking you for our bloggy friendship! hugs Maria x

rusty duck said...

Oh that looks wonderful. And fascinating to go up into the spire, I would have loved that!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Happy, happy birthday dearest Jane! What a glorious way to spend a very special day, and thank you for showing us the hidden details of history, something I probably will never see. But how lovely is this fabulous place where many hands and backs worked so hard to erect such a fantastic piece of art.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Anita

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

What a lovely birthday treat, mines on the 27th of December....might need to show this one to Mr Bea! :) xxx

Liz said...

Looks like an amazing place. Happy birthday, sounds like you had a wonderful time!
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

The Dainty Dolls House said...

Birthday wishes doll, what a wonderful treat!! Am glad you had a fantastic time!! What a great place, love the view too :))) xx

~Damita's Pretty Wrap~ said...

Happy Birthday!! Sounds amazing!! And lovely beautiful pictures too! :) Have a wonderful day! xo Holly

haggiz said...

Happy Birthday! I was going to offer sympathy having a birthday so close to Christmas, but it looks like you had a fab time and none is needed! Julie x

In My Wild Eden said...

What beautiful photos and a wonderful birthday! I love the arches. Thank you so much for your comments and for remembering us over the holidays. I was so happy to see them. I am wishing you a beautiful week.

Sopa Azul said...

Happy belated Birthday Jane! Looks like a very romantic celebration, (with Codorniu just perfect, Lol)

Rosemary said...

Belated Happy Birthday Marina - such a memorable birthday treat - her man has a good and thoughtful heart for his dear wife.

Vintage Tea Time said...

Wow, sounds like a great trip! Happy birthday. Wonderful photos - you certainly saw the structure in detail! X

Thea said...

What a wonderful trip..well done that man
Happy Birthday and Best Wishes for New Year
Thea x

nilly said...

A blog post to show to all our partners, methinks. You are a very lucky girl!

the woolly dog said...

Belated Happy Birthday! looks like you had an amazing day. Best wishes for this year. xx

Emma Kate at Painted Style said...

Happy belated birthday and wishing you a very happy new year! x

Down by the sea said...

Belated happy birthday that sounds a wonderful treat with a break in Salisbury. You saw so much of the Catherdal too.
Sarah x

Things and Thoughts said...

Happy belated wishes Marina! You deserve the best things in life and your sweet husband knows that!
I wish you an exciting new year darling!
Olympia

Art and Sand said...

Thanks for the virtual tour of Salisbury Cathedral. My sister has been working in London on and off for over a year - from California. I am sending her this link because she is in London for several links and I don't know if she has ever visited Salisbury on her many visits to England.

vintageandart said...

Struth...what an amazing story (re. Salisbury Cathedral). A very Big Happy Birthday to you too Marina, though sorry it's a bit late. Also wanted to wish you a wonderful New Year, l hope it's wonderful for you and yours.

Barbara Fisher said...

Happy belated birthday Marina! I’ve not found the time to visit you for a couple of weeks; we had family staying over Christmas, and I’m just catching up. We often visit Salisbury but have never found Charter 1227, I’m away to look it up now. Lovely post, thanks for sharing all the photos.

Julia said...

Las fotografías son geniales. Ha estado un regalo el visitar tu bloc, te invito visitar el mio y compartamos nuestros blogs y si te gusta espero que te hagas seguidor.
Elracodeldetall.blogspot.com

Anne said...

Happy belated birthday!
Salisbury looks a lovely place to visit. The church is amazing, such craftsman ship.

Delia Ryder said...

Happy belated birthday wishes to you, looks like you had a lovely day. I love cathedrals they always make my mind boogle at how they were made all those years ago. Happy new year, dee x

Tammy Chrzan said...

Oh my gosh!!
You're absolutely blessed to have been able to do this!! What a journey to take!
I hope you have a great weekend Jane,
Tammy x