After we left Stonehenge, we boarded the bus and drove to a little town called Salisbury. The bus stopped in front of an ancient wall and we disembarked. I walked straight to the wall and placed my palm on it in awe of the ancient structure. Trudy, the tour guide said “Amazing isn’t it? This is the original wall built around the city.”
Built in the 14th century, the stones and remnants spoke of village raids, ashes from millions of hearths, atrocities witnessed, monks and merchants, soldiers and shepherds, children and elderly, maybe even a druid or two.
Trudy told us that they decided to build a cathedral and stood on the Salisbury plain and shot an arrow. Where the arrow landed, that would be the site of the cathedral. However, the arrow struck a deer and he ran three miles before he collapsed at the current site of the cathedral.
We passed through a gate in the wall and under an arch. Beautiful passage, welcoming today, but once just the opposite. To the side, a lovely gate house graced
the wall. I was constantly amazed by the antiquity of these remaining structures. The tour guides
kept saying of other buildings “Oh this is a very modern building, just 350 years or so.” Our whole country isn’t even that old! Ha!
As we followed Trudy through the archway, to our immediate right was a sundial on an historic house.
It had the following inscriptions.
LIFE’S BUT A WALKING SHADOW
THIS IS LIFE ETERNAL THAT
THEY MAY KNOW THEE THE ONLY
TRUE GOD AND JESUS CHRIST
WHOM THOU HAST SENT
St John Chapter 12 verse 5.
from the plaque
Sundial on Malmesbury House, The Close, Salisbury
The bottom black plaque reads:-
An important timely point of interest to the passer by…
In the year of our Lord 1752, the Reformation of the Calendar took place – see the Wall Dial above dated 1749. This Julian calendar made the year too short, thus the accumulated error amounted to eleven days. England adopted the Gregorian calendar, so the next day after Sept 2nd 1752 became Sept 14th 1752.
To get an idea of the scope, note the tiny people closest to the structure in the background.
We continued down this little ally street toward the leaning spire of the Salisbury Cathedral. As we approached our jaws dropped. It was too much to take in. The sheer size and mass of the structure was overwhelming. This? This was built in 1270? Oxen carts pulled these stones here and without crane or modern machinery this was put together?
Trudy told us that the scaffolding for the restoration had been there all of her life, 58 years. She said many of the statues on the exterior were damaged by the reign of Cromwell, who used cathedrals as stables for the war horses.
Note the green moss growing on the gables. Nearly every roof in England was adorned in this organism.
As we drew nearer, we became overwhelmed with not only the size, but the intricate detail and beauty. We stood outside for a while, gawking, then Trudy led us into the sacred chambers and we were humbled.
Before I take you inside, I want to tell you about the revelation I had and how it related to Stonehenge. I stood in front of this amazing cathedral, eyes watering from the magnificence and I asked God.
“Was this really built unto You? Did they truly want to honor you with this work or was it to honor themselves?”
In that tender soft voice He answered. “It doesn’t matter. I am honored, anyway. I created man, so all of man’s creations honor me, the creator.”
I gasped. “Even Stonehenge.” I said.
“Even Stonehenge.” He agreed. “From the dawn of creation, all great feats of mankind honor me.”
Tears streamed down my cheeks as worship rose within me. I snapped a few more pictures, then scurried to catch up to the tour party.
More jaw dropping splendor on the inside. We gaped around at the elegance and sheer majesty of the cathedral. Worshipers sat here and there and the clergy were stirring in the center. As we approached the central cross section of the cathedral, a clergy stepped up to the podium and led us in a prayer. We all recited The Lord’s Prayer with her and I was staggered at the idea that for a thousand years, lovers of God had stood in this very site and whispered this very prayer. Reverence doesn’t begin to describe that sacred moment.
More tears streamed down my cheeks as I added my own silent prayers and praise to the end of “For Thine is the KINGDOM, and the POWER, and the GLORY FOREVER!” Those words have never meant more to me than they did in that moment. They took on completely enlightened meanings as I whispered them in that place of worship.
For the rest of this blog, I will let the pictures speak for themselves. Amazing day.
The cathedral is laid out in the shape of a cross. This is one of the side wings of the cross.
The main cathedral, standing in the middle of the cross section and looking forward.
Organ, one of two.
Oldest working mechanical clock in existence.
Beautiful and original stain glass windows.
Middle of main cathedral. The steeple was added a hundred twenty years later and began to shift because the foundation was not able to support the weight. They reinforced the center by adding arches. You can’t even tell what arches were added and which ones were original.
Ceiling in the office area.
Salisbury Cathedral was built off of the backs of sheep, literally. The people of the area were very wealthy sheep owners and shipped their wool far and wide. They had so much money they were able to build this cathedral in 38 years. Amazing!
We finished the tour in the courtyard after we saw the Magna Carta, our minds spinning.
This was my favorite day of the week. Bath, Stonehenge, and Salisbury were undoubtedly spiritual experiences that we will take with us through life’s journey.
Watch for the next blog when I take you on a tour of Immortal Portals of England.