Salisbury has Britain's finest 13th century Gothic Cathedral boasting the tallest spire in the Kingdom. Construction on Salisbury Cathedral began in the Early English Gothic style in 1220. Set within eight acres of lawn and surrounded by historic buildings and museums within the spectacular Cathedral Close, the Cathedral is unique in being built almost entirely in one architectural style - Early English Gothic. Britain's tallest spire (123m / 404ft) was added a generation later.
The only major element to be added later was the famous spire, which came along in 1310-33. But its shape matches the cathedral perfectly and is made from the same stone, quarried from Chilmark 12 miles away. The spire was a daring addition, forcing the structure below to carry a dangerous amount of weight (6,500 tons with the tower). Only a multitude of buttresses, bracing arches and iron ties have kept it from collapsing over the centuries.
The Cathedral is a record holder for having the largest Cathedral close, the largest Cathedral Cloisters and the largest and earliest set of Quire stalls in Britain. Inside the Cathedral discover nearly 800 years of history including the finest preserved Magna Carta (1215), Europe's oldest working clock (1386) and most stunning font (2008). Explore the roof spaces on a tower tour, climbing 332 steps to the base of the spire, and admire the magnificent views across Salisbury.
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