14 things you may not know about Salisbury Cathedral...

Salisbury Cathedral dominates the city skyline and is an international attraction, but how well do you really know it?

Here are 14 things you may not know about the famous building:

1. Due to the high water table, Salisbury Cathedral is built on just 4 foot (1.2 meters) of foundations! These stones were laid on 28th April 1220. 

2. Legend has it that the location for Salisbury Cathedral was picked by the Bishop after he asked for an arrow to be shot in the direction he would build the cathedral; the arrow hit a deer, which died in the place where the cathedral is now. 

3. Salisbury Cathedral Close is the largest in Britain at 80 acres. If you're looking for a quiet spot to relax, look no further!

4. It was formerly known as the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

5. Sir Christopher Wren (who also designed St Paul’s Cathedral in London) made improvements to the cathedral spire when it was found to be leaning slightly in the second half of the 17th century.

6. The spire is the tallest in Britain at 404 feet (123 meters).

7. 70,000 tonnes of stone, 3,000 tonnes of timber and 450 tonnes of lead were used in the construction of the cathedral.

8. The stones came locally from Teffont Evais quarry, about 10 miles away.

9. Salisbury is one of only three English cathedrals to lack a ring of bells, the others being Norwich Cathedral and Ely Cathedral. However, its medieval clock does strike the time with bells every 15 minutes.

10. The Cathedral houses the best-preserved of four remaining copies of the Magna Carta

11. The world’s oldest clock was restored in 1956 after being found in an attic of the cathedral, having struck the hours for 498 years and ticked more than 500 million times.

Worlds Oldest Clock - Experience Salisbury

12. The cathedral is the subject of William Golding's novel The Spire which deals with the fictional Dean Jocelin who makes the building of the spire his life's work.

13. Salisbury is one of only nine of England’s 42 cathedrals that have their own Works Department. It means the stone masons, glaziers, labourers, joiner, plumber, technician and Clerk of the Works can do all their own work on the magnificent building.

14. The Salisbury Cathedral peregrine falcons – which have used the building for nesting since 2014 – are so popular they have their own live streaming channel

Peregrine Chicks at Salisbury Cathedral - Experience Salisbury

There is so much to learn about Salisbury Cathedral and if you want to dig a little deeper you can take a free tour or read more about Cathedral history here.

Salisbury Cathedral really is one of England's must-see attractions. Entry is free for Salisbury residents (SP1 and SP2 postcodes, with proof residence) and there is a small entry charge for visitors. Find out more about visiting the Cathedral here.

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