Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Tuesday 26th May 2015

The ladies felt the call of the shops and Salisbury is only 20 minutes away. So that's where we went. The drive through leafy Hampshire and into Wiltshire is uplifting. Lovely countryside.

Whilst the ladies answered their calls of nature, I went to investigate the impressive cathedral. The spire is the highest church steeple in Britain at 123m (404 feet). A cathedral was originally built in the north of the region but a move to a more central area was needed and a Catholic Church was chosen to be greatly expanded. Work began in 1220 and completed in about 30 years.

The size is not the only impressive feature about the cathedral. There are four original copies of the Magna Carta housed at the site and one of those was on display, if you had the patience to queue. The cathedral also has the oldest working clock in Britain. I heard it strike mid day - on time - and that was impressive for a piece of machinery that has been churning out the hours since 1386.

Conscious that the ladies were shopping together, without any male encumbrances, I next visited Mompesson House. A Mompesson was at the laying of the foundations of the cathedral and has a very colourful tomb, with his lady wife, inside, but the family did not live just outside the boundary of the cathedral until a building was established there in 1635. That original building last 66 years and then another Mompesson built the current building in the Queen Anne style and it was lived in by various tenants until 1975.

Now it is owned and run by the National Trust. There are some interesting exhibitions inside the house, but none of them belonging to the Mompessons. There were seven different tenant families over a 275 year period sand as one moved out, so did all their furnishings.

The day warmed up nicely. We returned to Romsey and Helen took the girls swimming at Romsey Rapids whilst we enjoyed the sunshine and peace for an hour or so.

Salisbury Cathedral
Mompesson House

Someone remonstrated that there is no I in denial. I thought, yes there is, otherwise it would be denal.