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View of the cathedral of Salisbury

View of the cathedral of Salisbury

Engraver: Jukes, Francis

Medium: Aquatint with etching, coloured

Date: 1798

Shelfmark: Ktop XLIII

Item number: 39 L

Genre: Topographical Drawing

Construction of this cathedral in Salisbury Water Meadows began in 1220, replacing the Norman-era cathedral at Old Salisbury. Built under the supervision of master mason Nicholas of Ely, it was finished in just 50 years - a remarkable feat. The church's most distinctive features are its height and narrowness, which make it an exemplar of the Early English architectural style.

Daniel Defoe visited in the early-18th century, writing: "The cathedral is famous for the height of its spire ... yet the walls so exceedingly thin, that at the upper part of the spire upon a view made by the late Sir Christopher Wren, the wall was found to be less than five inches thick." Wren had ordered it to be strengthened with bands of iron plates. Defoe noted: "I have heard some of the best architects say, it is stronger now than when it was first built."

This view also shows the circle of ground adjacent to the cathedral, known as the close.

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