Britain’s Tallest Cathedral Spire
Built between 1310 – 1330, our spire towers 123m above the ground and weighs 6,500 tons. Iconic in the city’s skyline, our spire acts as a beacon for those travelling to Salisbury from miles around.
Our tower and spire are products of engineering expertise, and demonstrate incredibly intricate and innovative building techniques. We offer exclusive tours of our tower, leading you up the 332 steps to the base of our spire. Expert guides will uncover the hidden stories of the Cathedral’s construction and show you these roof spaces up-close.
Find out more and book a Tower Tour today:
Britain’s Largest Cathedral Close
Our 80-acre Cathedral close is the largest in Britain, with rolling lawns perfect for picnicking and walking with your dog. During the summer months, the Bell Tower Tea Rooms offer a selection of takeaway treats and drinks to enjoy on outdoor picnic tables with stunning views of the Cathedral.
The Close is home to other visitor attractions within its historic walls which are well worth a visit. Find out more about what the Close has to offer here:
The World’s Oldest Clock
We are home to the world’s oldest working mechanical clock built in 1386.
The clock has no face and was designed only to strike every hour. The mechanism is driven by falling weights which have to be wound up once a day.
Originally housed in the former Bell Tower (near the Tea Rooms named after it), in 1884 it was replaced with a newer model – a gift of officers and men of Wiltshire Regiment – and was only rediscovered in 1929.
It wasn’t until 1956 that the clock was restored to its original condition and set up in its current location within the Cathedral.
Our expert guides regularly perform demonstrations where the chiming mechanism is unlocked and allowing the clock to sound as it would have done in the 14th Century. Find out more about our free demonstrations:
Contemporary Art and Sculpture
Our Cathedral is bursting with art in various forms: painting, sculpture, architecture, textiles and more. We regularly are home to contemporary art exhibitions and installations, showcasing some of the most innovative international creative work.
This includes our unique font designed by renowned British water sculptor William Pye.
When it comes to classic art, Salisbury Cathedral was a source of great inspiration for John Constable. His well-known paintings include Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Ground (c.1825) and Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows (1831), which he considered to be his best work.
Salisbury is home to the best preserved of only four surviving original 1215 Magna Carta and the only copy on permanent display. Arguably Britain’s most important piece of written history, it was also the inspiration for the American Constitution.Magna Carta