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Salisbury Cathedral Walk

LOCALITY: Salisbury, Wiltshire
DISTANCE: 2 miles (3.22 km)
FACILITIES: Circular route, Suitable for wheelchairs, Toilets, Cafe

GRADIENT: Mostly flat
OS MAP: Salisbury & Stonehenge

Walk description:

Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum is housed in the Kings House, so named as James 1 stayed here. The museum holds an archaeological collection designated as being of national importance, as well as displaying works of art, costume, social history and ceramics. The museum has a regular programme of events and activities for families and changing programme of temporary exhibitions.

Exit the close through Harnham Gate. The Cathedral Wall was built in 1331 using stone from the old Norman Cathedral at Old Sarum. Look out for interesting and unusual shapes and patterns in the stone.

Re-enter the Close through St Ann�s Gate. This was built in the early 14th century. Malmesbury House was home to the first Earl of Malmesbury. King Charles III came to stay here in 1665 to escape the plague.

The Cathedral took 38 years to build (1220-1258) with the spire added between 1334-1363 . It is the highest spire in England standing at 404 ft (123m)

Mompesson House (built in 1701) was used in the award winning film Sense and Sensibility.

College of the Matrons (built in 1682) as a home for widows and unmarried daughters of the clergy.

High Street Gate built in the 14th century was once a fortified entrance (portcullis) to protect the bishop and the clergy from attack from rebellious citizens. On the cathedral side the small carved statue is that of King Edward VII.

Mitre House is traditionally known as the site of the first house in Salisbury. Opposite Mitre House is a half timbered building built in the 14th century.

Church House was built by a wealthy medieval merchant that became the city�s workhouse for over 200 years from 1638.

River Avon which starts in Wiltshire east of Devizes and flows into Christchurch Harbour in Hampshire.

Water meadows which are home to many different animals including Leroy the Lama and traditional Wiltshire Horn sheep. Look out for Leroy, he is often easy to spot.

Queen Elizabeth Gardens was opened in the 1960s and is very popular with families who can enjoy the play area, feed the ducks or paddle in the stream.

Walking Madonna is by Elisabeth Frink placed in the close in 1981. It is a life-size bronze sculpture of the Virgin Mary to whom the Cathedral is dedicated to.

West front of the Cathedral houses 66 statues and a number of gargoyles and curious heads of demons.

Additional notes:

Kings House Caf� opened in January 2009. The Caf� offers a variety of light lunches, drinks and a children�s menu. Seating is available outside overlooking the Close (weather permitting). High chairs are available and there are baby changing facilities.

There is a children's play park and toilets on route.

This walk was kindly recommended by Helen from Raring2go.

23/07/2009 | Walk posted by Marie Houlden

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