Salisbury Cathedral and the Magna Carta

Imagine the year is 1258, you're a heathen, inhabiting some hovel in the English or Wiltshire countryside. You need to take a trip to Salisbury and come across some huge Gothic building the Anglican Church has built..."wow!!" you think to yourself looking at that 400ft (123 metre) spire and decide to take a look inside... "I believe" would have been your next thought and that's partly why they were built. To spread the word and some kind of order to the general populace.

The Choir Salisbury Cathedral

Wind on 759 years, another heathen from the Wiltshire countryside utters the exact same "wow!!". Now, I'm not in any way religious, but I can see why they converted in their hundreds of thousands. This building is fantastic, as indeed is everyone who's involved the cathedrals management. Those artisans, builders, architects really knew what they were doing, an astonishing feat of engineering even by todays standards. I met the chaplain as I was walking through and we had a chat about the architecture. He was telling me that not all is what it seems, he recently visited York Minster (arguably the greatest of them all) and the current resident architect was describing how the huge pillars that hold the structure up were in fact simply filled with sand and it needed replacing! The stones are of course not eight feet thick on the outer walls , but merely fascias around 4-6 inches deep, the rest is filled with rubble and mortar. Oh, well, it certainly looks nice -

I managed to keep the 35mm attached all week, tempting as it was to use the Noctilux I resisted. In any case, the 35mm is much more suited to this type of photography. Here's another shot of the Chaplain, I wasn't following him around, honestly the light seemed to be with him. Some kind of divine intervention perhaps, or just some very nice light- 

The Chaplain - Again!

These cathedrals house so many fascinating objects, for example here's the tomb of Lord John Cheney. He died in 1499, but during his lifetime he served as bodyguard/henchman to Kings Edward IV, Richard III and Henry VII, he was knighted by all three. Evidence that he may not have been very popular is seen in the 500 year old graffiti and seems to be missing part of his nose -

Lord John Cheney and Graffiti.

Salisbury Cathedral is also home to one of the surviving four copies of Magna Carta, I have been to Runnymede where King John was held to the sword whilst he signed it in 1215. Democracy in action perhaps. Difficult to decipher as it's written in old English, too many F's and S's mixed up, basically it says; You're an absolute bastard treat us with more respect, listen to the people! Photography isn't permitted, although I presumed they meant with a flash so here's a photo!

The Magna Carta 1215

I missed out photos of the cloisters as we've all seen these types of image so many times before, also of the cathedral itself, it was a grey, dull day and I didn't feel the photos I captured did it justice.  There is a huge amount to see and well worth a visit if anyone is nearby, I will return I think and study the detail in more depth.

Other tasks occupy me this week, I will be out on the bike again next week at a location yet to be decided upon.

All images were taken using a Leica M and Summicron 35mm Lens.

As always I would be delighted to hear from you in the form of a comment below. Thanks for taking the time to look.