Salisbury Cathedral is set in the largest Cathedral Close in Britain, covering over 80 acres. These other attractions within its historic walls are well worth a visit too:
Arundells: Home of the former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath. It houses collections of his sailing and musical memorabilia, Oriental and European ceramics, paintings, original political cartoons, bronzes and photographs.
Mompesson House: This National Trust property features notable plaster work, an elegant carved oak staircase, fine period furniture, a collection of 18th century drinking glasses, a charming walled garden and a tea room.
The Rifles (Berkshire & Wiltshire) Museum: Discover the story of the county infantry regiments of Berkshire and Wiltshire. The riverside garden allows views across the water meadows, and there is a Bernières licensed tearoom.
Salisbury Museum: This award-winning museum houses archaeological collections of national importance. Home to the Stonehenge Gallery and displays of pre-history, Romans, Saxons, the medieval history of Old Sarum and Salisbury, and the Pitt Rivers collection. Gift shop and coffee shop.
Sarum College: A Christian study and conference centre that offers day, evening and weekend courses, as well as postgraduate study. They also run a programme of concerts, exhibitions, lectures and conferences throughout the year.
The plan for the eighty acre Cathedral Close, probably the largest in the world, was drawn in the early 13th Century. Apart from being the site for the Cathedral, its purpose was to accommodate the Bishop, The Cathedral’s Canons and their lay staff. It was used as a burial ground for centuries but the cemetery and its memorials were removed and the grounds by the cathedral were laid to lawn at the end of the 18th Century. Later the grazing pastures became playing fields and the tennis courts became a car park. The Bishop’s Palace is now home to the Cathedral School. The Close also accommodates: Bishop Wordsworth’s Grammar school; two museums; the works department; Sarum Theological College and homes for the Bishop, the Dean and Chapter Canons, Lay Choristers and staff. Nowadays The Close is home to some 300 private individuals of many Faiths and none.