This week’s exotic adventure takes us to Salisbury. No not that Salisbury … we’re going to the motherland – Salisbury, England. Charming as our beloved Delmarva edition may be, the British edition is ripe with history. This town of 50,000 is actually the sister city of Salisbury, Md. Located 145 km (90 miles) southwest of London, the city was built on the crossroads of the five rivers that wind through the Salisbury plains. This beautiful region has two main tourist attractions: The Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge.
The Salisbury Cathedral and its 404-foot spire was reconstructed in 1220. The original had been built by St. Bishop Osmund between 1075 and 1092. On completion it was the tallest structure ever erected in the 13th century. Its sophisticated style represented the pinnacle of Gothic architecture. I particularly enjoyed the view of the Salisbury plains after climbing the stairs to the top of the spire. The church has been a beacon to pilgrims and wayfarers since its earliest days. Although the current city was not established until 1220, there has been a settlement in the area since prehistory. There is evidence of a Neolithic settlement on the hilltop of Old Sarum, which became a hill fort in the Iron Age. The Romans called this fort “Sorviodunum” and may also have occupied the fort. The Saxons also established themselves here, and the Normans built a castle and called it “Searesbyrig” or “Seresberi”. By 1086, in the Domesday Book , it was called “Salesberie”. The cathedral contains the best preserved of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta and a large mechanical clock installed in the cathedral in 1386 – the oldest surviving mechanical clock in Britain. The inside of the church is just as impressive as the exterior. Fortunately, its relatively remote location prevents it from being mobbed by tourists.
Salisbury has a temperate coastal climate. It’s about a three-hour drive from Casandra’s hometown of Lewes (she’s actually there this week).
Salisbury UK is 5 hours ahead of Salisbury MD and can be reached by an eight-hour flight across the pond. The people are friendly and the topography is picturesque.
Cheers! The Rox