There are three obvious ways of approaching Salisbury from Shaftesbury and the west: by railway from Semley; by the main road, part of the great trunk highway from London to Exeter via Yeovil; and by a kind of loop road that leaves this at Whitesand Cross and follows the valley of the Ebble between the lonely hills of Cranborne Chase and the long line of chalk downs that have their escarpment to the north, overlooking the Exeter road. These are all good ways, but there is even a fourth, only practicable for good walkers, that keeps to the top of the Downs until the Salisbury Race Course above Netherhampton is reached. This is a splendid route, with magnificent views to the left and north, and some to be lingered over in the opposite direction, and the finest of all when the slender needle of Salisbury spire pierces the blue ahead.

Three miles out of Shaftesbury a road leaves the main route on the left for Donhead St. Mary; another by-way from this village joins the highway farther on and adds but a mile or so to the journey. The church, high up on its hill, is an interesting structure, mainly Norman and Early English with some sixteenth-century additions. The round font belongs to the older style. A memorial to one Antonio Guillemot should be noticed. He was a refugee Carthusian, who came here with some brother monks during the French Terror. They found sanctuary at a farm-house placed at their disposal by Lord Arundell of Wardour, and now called the "Priory," because of its associations. Not far from the village is Castle Rings, an encampment from which there is a grand view of the Wilts and Somerset borderland. In one of the chalky combes just below the hill is an old Quaker burial ground, as remote and lonely as the more famous Jordans ground was before the American visitor began to make that a place of pilgrimage. Donhead St. Andrew, a mile from St. Mary's, is in an entirely different situation to the latter, the Perpendicular church being at the bottom of a deep hollow. Both villages are very charming.

The main route continues amid surroundings of much beauty, with the well-named White Sheet Hill to the right and the wooded and hummocky outline of Ansty Hill to the left, until the turning for the latter makes a good excuse for leaving the high road once more. Ansty village, seven miles from Shaftesbury, is unremarkable in itself, but has close by it one of the most picturesque and historic ruins in Wiltshire. The demolition of Wardour Castle came about in this wise. At the outbreak of the Civil War the owner, Sir Thomas Arundell, was away from home with the army around the King. Lady Arundell decided to defend the Castle with the small force at her disposal, barely fifty men all told, but helped and sustained by the women servants, who kept the garrison fed and supplied with ammunition. This handful of defenders held at bay for five days a well-armed force of 1,300 men commanded by Sir Edward Hungerford, and made good terms for itself before marching out. These, however, were not faithfully kept by the Roundheads who, in occupying the Castle, were commanded by Edmund Ludlow. Sir Thomas (or Lord Arundell, his title had not then received formal recognition) died of wounds received in one of the western battles just after the capitulation and his son in turn laid siege to his own home. The resistance was as stubborn as his mother's had been, the force within the Castle being many times as great. All hope of dislodging the Roundheads being lost, the New Lord of Wardour resolved to blow up the walls with mines, placed beneath them under cover of darkness. This was done to such good purpose that the garrison, or all that was left of it, was forced at once to surrender.

The castle and estates had been acquired from the Grevilles by the Arundells, an old Cornish family, in the early sixteenth century. The Arundells were convinced Catholics, and the first of the family to own Wardour was beheaded in 1552 "as a rebel and traitor" or rather, "as his conscience was of more value to him than his head." As we see the building to day it forms a fine example of fifteenth-century architecture, despite its dismantled state. The walls are fairly perfect and the eastern entrance with its two towers, approached by a stately terrace, is most imposing. The gateway is surmounted by an inscription referring to the two Arundells of the Great Rebellion; above is a niche containing a bust of Christ and the words "SUB NOMINE TUO STET GENUS ET DOMUS." The entrance to the stairs, an arch in the Classic Renaissance style, is a picturesque and much-admired corner of the ruin.

Not much can be said for the aspect of the new Castle, a building erected in the eighteenth century. It is a museum of art and contains many treasures by Rembrandt, Holbein, Velasquez, Vandyke and other great masters and, most interesting of all, a portrait of Lady Blanche Arundell, the defender of the Castle. She was a granddaughter of Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, and so came of an heroic and kingly line. Another famous relic is a wooden chalice made from the Glastonbury Thorn, and the splendid (so-called) Westminster chasuble is preserved in the chapel.

On the high road Swallowcliffe; Sutton Mandeville, with a partly Norman church; Fovant, nearly opposite Chislebury Camp and with another (restored) Norman church; and Compton Chamberlaine are passed, all being a short distance off the road to the left, before it drops for the last time into the valley of the Nadder. Near the last village is Compton Park, the home of that Colonel Penruddocke who, in 1655, led a small body of horsemen into Salisbury and proclaimed Charles II, at the same time seizing the machinery of law and government. But the "rising" was not popular; the Colonel got no assistance from the townspeople and the affair led to his death upon the scaffold.

The most profitable way of approaching Salisbury is to continue northwards from Ansty by a lane that eventually descends to Tisbury on the headwaters of the Nadder. This small town has a station on the South Western main line and a large cruciform church, situated at the foot of the steep hill on which the town is built. Its present nave is Early English, but an earlier Transitional building once stood on the site. The tower is more curious than beautiful and the quaint top story may be contemporary with the chancel, an addition of the early seventeenth century. The latter has an elaborately ornamented ceiling and is the resting place of Lady Blanche Arundell and also of Sir Thomas, first Lord Wardour, who distinguished himself as a late crusader in 1595 at the battle of Gran in Hungary, when he captured a Turkish standard. His helmet is fixed to the wall above his tomb. Place House, once a grange of Shaftesbury Abbey, at the end of the village, is an early Tudor manor. The fine gate-house and the tithe-barn at the side of the entrance court are good specimens of the domestic architecture of the period. The buildings form a picturesque group and the all too brief glimpse of them from the railway has probably caused many travellers thereon to break their journey.

A short two miles to the north of Tisbury, in a lovely district of wooded hills, is Fonthill Giffard. The church, erected in the Early English style in 1866, will not detain the visitor, though one might well be disposed to linger in the charming village. The great "lion" of this district was the famous and extraordinary Fonthill Abbey, an amazing erection in sham Gothic, built by Wyatt, that "infamous dispoiler, misnamed architect" to the order of the eccentric author of Vathek - William Beckford, heir of a wealthy London merchant who was twice Lord Mayor and died a millionaire. Contemporary prints are occasionally met with in curiosity shops that bring vividly before us this specimen of the "Gothic madness" of our great grandfathers. An enormous octagonal tower arises from the centre of the strange pile of buildings, which is in the form of a cross with arms of equal length. Pinnacle and gargoyles, moulding and ornaments, all clashing and at war with each other, are stuck on anywhere and everywhere; the nightmare dream of a medievalist. If this was the fruit of Beckford's brain nothing more need be said. If that of Wyatt's, we can but be thankful that he did not live long enough to have the commission for building the present Palace of Westminster. A pile that as it is, is only too reminiscent of the florid imaginings of the Gothic revival.

The expensive eccenticities of Beckford - he was a collector of everything costly - brought about the sale of Fonthill and a retirement to Bath. Not long after the new owner, a millionaire named Farquhar, had entered into possession, the central tower fell and ruined most of the "gingerbread" beneath. Perhaps the best thing Wyatt ever did was his architectural work in the foundations of this sham "abbey."

The present Fonthill House has a small portion of Wyatt's building incorporated with it. Half a mile away is the new Fonthill Abbey (so-called). It was erected by the Marquis of Westminster in 1859 and is in the Scottish Baronial style. The situation, overlooking a sheet of water formed out of one of the feeders of the Nadder, is beautiful in the extreme. To the north-west is Beckford's Tower - one of the many he built (he is buried under one of them at Bath) - from which there is a glorious view of the hills, woods and waters of this fair country side. Hindon, about two miles north-west of Fonthill Giffard, is a small town fallen from the ancient state that it held when it refused Disraeli the honour of representing it in Parliament. Its pleasant situation in the midst of the wooded hills that surround it on all sides, the quiet old houses and dreamy main street beneath the shady trees that were planted in honour of the marriage of Edward VII, make its only claim on the notice of the passing tourist. Not far from Hindon and about three miles from Fonthill Giffard is East Knoyle, the birthplace of Sir Christopher Wren in 1632. He was a son of its rector.

From Tisbury a road goes eastwards down the valley of the Nadder through the small hamlet of Chicksgrove to Teffont Evias, or Ewyas, the name of the former lords of the manor. This village is most delightfully situated on high ground above the Nadder. The sixteenth-century manor house, the rectory and the beautiful church, are all of much interest. The church was built in the fifteenth century and has a fine western tower and spire. The Ley Chapel contains a number of monuments to that family, and the mosaics representing the Angelic Choir over the east window strike an uncommon note for a country church. Beyond Teffont Magna, where there is a very small and ancient church, are the famous quarries which supplied some of the stone for Salisbury Cathedral and were almost certainly worked by the Romans. They are now roomy caverns, that, like Tilly Whim at Swanage, have every appearance of being natural.

Continuing towards Salisbury, the first village passed through is Dinton, the birthplace of Clarendon, historian of the Civil War. Then comes Baverstock, with a restored Decorated church, and lastly, before reaching Wilton, Barford St. Martin. Here is an Early English cruciform church with one or two interesting features, including an ancient effigy near the altar, in what appears to be a winding sheet. The road through these villages, or rather tapping them - the first two are slightly off the main route to the left - keeps to the north side of the Nadder valley, at first under the wooded escarpment of the Middle Hills where are the prehistoric remains of Hanging Langford Camp, Churchend Ring and Bilbury Ring: and then under the great expanse of Grovely Wood, which clothes the lonely hills dividing the valleys of Wylye and Nadder, covered with evidences of an age so far away that the Roman road from Old Sarum, traversing the summit of the hills, is a work of yesterday by comparison.

Wilton is an exceedingly interesting place if one considers its history. It took its name from the Wylye and gave it to the shire. It was the ancient capital of the Wilsaetas and antedated Old Sarum as the seat of their bishop. It only just missed being the first town of the county when Bishop Poore preferred an entirely fresh site for his new Cathedral after shaking the tainted dust of Old Sarum from off his feet.

The position of the town, on the tongue of land between the two rivers just above their meeting place, is ideal as a stronghold and an imposing position in other ways, but the Wilton of to-day is small and rather mean in its streets and houses and without any important remains of its ancient past. Its history begins with the battle of Ellandune between Mercia and Wessex, in which the victor - Egbert of the West Saxon line - made good his claim to be overlord of England. It was here that the greater West Saxon, Alfred, defeated the Danish invaders, and here again Sweyn turned the tables and burnt and slew in true pirate fashion. A house of Benedictine nuns was founded in Wilton at an early date and was enlarged and re-endowed by Alfred. St. Edyth, one of the nuns, was a daughter of King Eadgar and Wulftrude, who had been a nun herself. When the Queen died Wulftrude refused to become the King's consort, and eventually became Abbess of Wilton. The site of the Abbey is now occupied by Wilton House.

According to Leland "the chaunging of this (Icknield) way was the total course of the ruine of Old Sarisbyri and Wiltoun, for afore Wiltoun had twelve paroche churches or more, and was the hedde town of Wilshire." This refers to the new bridge built at Harnham to divert the route to the south-west through the new city. Still, the collapse was not utter and the position of the town was enough to save it from total ruin. Cloth making and the wool trade generally persisted for many years, and the making of carpets ("Wilton Pile") has persisted to the present day, despite competition and some anxious years for the manufacturers.

Of the few unimportant relics of the past may be mentioned the old Town Cross that stands against the churchyard wall, and the chapel of St. John in Ditchampton, part of a hospital founded in 1189 by Bishop Hurbert of Sarum. St. Giles' Hospital, originally for lepers, was founded by Adeliza, consort of Henry I, and rebuilt in 1624. Wilton church is as unusual as it is imposing. It was built by Lord Herbert of Lea while still the Hon. Sidney Herbert. Though the style seems out of keeping with an ordinary English countryside there is something about the high banks of foliage surrounding the town that gives the Italian campanile an almost natural air. The church is in the Lombardic style and the grand flight of steps, the triple porches and beautiful cloisters connecting the tower with the main building, are exceedingly fine. No less imposing is the ornate and costly interior. In its wealth of marbles and mosaics it is almost without parallel in England. The two handsome tombs of alabaster in the chancel are those of Lord Herbert of Lea and his mother. Not the least interesting feature of this unique church is the fine stained glass in the windows of the apse, dating from the thirteenth century.

Wilton House stands in a beautiful park that comes almost up to the doors of the town. The waters of the Nadder as they flow through the glades have been broadened into a long lake-like expanse spanned by a very beautiful Palladian bridge. This is the home of the Earls of Pembroke and Montgomery. Their ancestors were an ancient Welsh family and great friends of their compatriots, the Tudor sovereigns. Here, as constant and welcome guests, came Ben Jonson, Edmund Spencer and Philip Massinger, who was a son of one of the Earl's servants. Here As You Like It is said to have been played before James I, with Shakespeare himself as one of the company. Gloriana was a visitor in 1573 and attempted to flirt with Sir Philip Sidney, brother-in-law of the host, presenting him with one of her auburn locks. Here Sir Philip wrote a good part of the Arcadia. It will be seen that Wilton was a home for all who had the divine fire within them. Gentle George Herbert, a relative and esteemed friend, could often come from near-by Bemerton, and Izaak Walton, who was here collecting material for the "Life" of his hero, no doubt spent some happy days in contemplation of the clear waters of the Nadder. Charles I was another visitor, and by him certain suggestions are said to have been made for some of the alterations and additions of the seventeenth century. The original building which followed the dismantled Abbey was designed by Holbein, but this has almost disappeared except for the central portion over the gateway. Wyatt was allowed to stick some of his sham Gothic enormities over the older work about the time he was designing Fonthill, but an era of better taste soon got rid of these and the present fronts are Italian in style and very lordly and imposing. The great hall contains the Vandyck portraits for which Wilton is preeminently famous, but there are other great masters, including Rubens, Titian and del Sarto to be seen by those interested, besides a collection of armour hardly to be surpassed in the country. These treasures are shown at certain times.

Although a pleasant and retired little place, Bemerton would not be of much interest were it not for its associations with the "singer of surpassing sweetness," the author of The Temple. George Herbert became rector here in 1630 and died two years later, aged 42. He lies within the altar rails of the church and the tablet above is simply inscribed G.H., 1633. The lines on the Parsonage wall and written by the parson-poet were originally above the chimney inside. They run thus: -

  "If thou chance for to find 
  A new house to thy mind, 
  And built without any cost, 
  Be good to the poor 
  As God gives thee store 
  And then thy labour's not lost."

In the garden that slopes down to the river there was quite recently, and may be still, an old and gnarled medlar planted by Herbert. The well-known painting "George Herbert at Bemerton" by W. Dyce, R.A., in the Guildhall Art Gallery, gives an excellent picture of the calm grace of the surroundings and of the heavenly spire of the Cathedral soaring up into the skies a mile away. The fine new memorial church at Bemerton is used for the regular Sunday services and Herbert's little old church for worship on weekdays. It is pleasant to think that the bells which sound so sweetly across the meadows, as we take the footpath way to Salisbury, are those that were rung by Herbert when he first entered his church.

The City of Salisbury, or officially, New Sarum, is a regularly built, spacious and clean county capital that would be of interest and attraction if there were no glorious cathedral to grace and adorn it. As a matter of fact, cathedral towns away from the immediate precincts suffer from the overshadowing character of the great churches, that take most of the honour and glory to themselves. This is, of course but right, and the discerning traveller will keep the even balance between the human interest of court and alley and market place and the awed reverence that must be felt by the most materialistic of us when we come within the immediate influence of these solemn sanctuaries, of which Salisbury is the most perfect in the land.

It is impossible to give the merest outline of the history of Salisbury without first referring to that of Old Sarum, or Sorbiodunum, two miles to the north. The huge mound on the edge of the Plain was doubtless a prehistoric fortress, though of a much simpler form than the three-terraced enclosure of twenty-seven acres that we see there to-day. In Roman times the importance of this advanced outpost of chalk, commanding the approach to the lower valley of the Avon, would be appreciated. But it would appear from recent investigations that little was done to elaborate the defences. Nevertheless Sorbiodunum was an important Roman town and stood on the junction of two great thoroughfares - the Icknield Way and the Port Way. The recent excavations, interfered with to a large extent by the late war, have been so disappointing in the lack of Roman relics that a suggestion has been made by Sir W.H. St. John Hope that the true site of the Roman town may have been at Stratford, just below the mound to the north-west. It is possible that further excavations will settle the question.

After the Saxon invasion, Sarobyrig, as it was then called, probably assumed its present outline so far as the foundation of the walls are concerned. That a mint of Canute (who according to one tradition, died here and not at Shaftesbury) and again of Edward Confessor was set up, and that the town became the seat of the Bishop of Sherborne, was a proof of its established importance. The smaller central mound of the citadel itself would appear to have been a work of the Normans, who divided the space occupied within the outer defences into two parts; that on the east belonging to the military works, and the western half pertaining to the Bishop and having within it the original Salisbury Cathedral. Here was instituted by Bishop Osmund the new English ritual or "use of Sarum," and here commenced those endless squabbles between clergy and soldiers that at last resulted in the men of peace leaving the fortress city.

  ("Quid Domini Domus in Castro, nisi foederis arca 
  In Tempho Baalim? Carcer uterque locus, 
  Est ibi defectus aquae, sed copia cretae, 
  Saevit ibi ventus, sed philomela silet.")

The commission to inquire into the proposed change was appointed by the Pope in 1217, and from this year begins the rapid decay of Old Sarum. The Cathedral was dismantled and much of the material was used in the new structure in the plain. That the original was a noble building existing records and ultimate discoveries amply prove. The ground plan was well seen in the dry summer of 1834, when measurements were taken and the total length found to be 270 feet. The first church was seriously damaged by a thunderbolt five days after its consecration, and the original plan was much elaborated in the rebuilding -

  "So gret lytnynge was the vyfte yer, so that al to nogt 
  The rof of the chyrch of Salesbury it broute, 
  Ryght evene vyfte day that he yhalwed was." 
                     (Robert of Gloucester.)

Of the castle not so much is known. Leland says in 1540: - "Ther was a right fair and strong castella within Old-Saresbyri longing to the Erles of Saresbyri especially the Longerpees. I read that one Gualterus was the first Erle after the conquest of it. Much ruinus building of this castelle yet ther remayneth. The dich that environed the old town was a very deepe and strong Thynge," and again "Osmunde, erle ofDorchestre, and after Bishop of Saresbyri, erected his Cathedrale church ther in the west part of the town; and also his palace; whereof now no token is but only a chapel of Our Lady yet standing and mainteynid.... Ther was a paroch of the Holy Rode beside in Old-Saresbyri and another over the est gate Whereof some tokens remayne. I do not perceyve that there are any mo gates in Old-Saresbyri than 2; one by est and another by west. Without eche of these gates was a fair suburbe. On the est suburbe was a paroche church of S. John; and ther yet is a chapel standing. The river is a good quarter of a myle from Old-Saresbyri and more, where it is nerest on to it, and that is at Stratford village south from it. Ther hath bene houses in tyme of mind inhabited in the est suburbe of Old-Saresbyri; but now there is not one house neither within Old-Saresbyri nor without it inhabited."

It will be seen that in comparison with other English towns Salisbury is not old. Like several others its foundations were entirely ecclesiastical, for as soon as the builders of the new Cathedral started upon their work the civil population of Old Sarum migrated to the water meadows with as little delay as possible, and the Bishop's architects planned for them a town with regular streets and square blocks of dwellings all much of a size, a characteristic that will strike the most unobservant traveller and which differentiates this from most other English towns in a marked degree.

From whichever side Salisbury has been entered; by either of the great roads; or by the railway that, from the east, makes a long tour of the north side of the town in kindly purpose, it would seem, to give the passer-by a good view - there rises before him the glorious spire that, whatever the boast of uniformity of style or perfection of design, really gives the exterior of the building its unique beauty and without which it would be cold and dull. To the Cathedral then, as its spire is calling so insistently, the stranger must inevitably make his way before troubling about anything else in the town. Our approach happens to coincide with that of the traveller who arrives by rail, and down Fisherton Street, an unusually winding thoroughfare for Salisbury, over the Avon bridge and through the High Street Gate we enter the most beautiful of those abodes of beauty - the English cathedral closes. The guide books advise the tourist to make the first approach by way of St. Anne's Gate, when the gradual unfolding of the north front of the building makes a perfect introduction to the Cathedral, but so does that of the sudden view of the whole, with the tower and spire as an exquisite centre, as we leave the row of well-ordered houses, mixed with a few quiet shops, that line the approach from High Street to the north-west angle of the Close. A pleasing presentment of Edward VII now looks down this old by-street from the High Street Gate and is Salisbury's tribute to that lover of peace. The Close is bordered by beautiful old houses, some quite noble in their proportions, but likely to be overlooked by all but the most leisured visitor. It is so difficult to look at anything but the tower and spire, and it is best to forget that another tower, a campanile, similar to that at Chichester, once stood on this greensward, to be wantonly destroyed by James Wyatt. This is said to have been garrisoned by the Parliamentary army during the Civil War. The Deanery, opposite the west door, is a quaintly charming building and the gabled King's House is said to date from the fourteenth century. No incongruous note ever seems to mar the serenity of the great green square. The passers-by all apparently fit their environment; schoolgirls in their teens, fresh faced and happy; clergy of the Chapter, true type of the modern intellectual priest; an occasional workman employed about the Cathedral, upon whom its impress has visibly descended; quaint imps in Elizabethan ruffles playing a seemingly sedate game upon the lawn while their companions are singing in the choir; the ordinary sightseers who, apart from bank holidays, always seem to arrive at the same times and in the same twos and threes, and put on, as do the inevitable butchers' and bakers' youths, a cloak of decorous quiet when they enter the guardian gateways.

The Cathedral was commenced in 1220 by Bishop Poore and took about forty years to build, but this period did not include the erection of the tower and spire which were later additions. The fine and generally admired west front is, from an architect's point of view, the only part of the exterior that is not admirable. It is in actual fact, fraudulent, just as the whole of the upper wall of St. Paul's Cathedral is an artistic untruth. The west wall of Salisbury is a screen without professing to be one. The porches are very small in relation to the great flattish expanse of masonry above them; the dullness of this was much relieved by the series of statues placed in the empty niches about the middle of the last century. The original medieval figures almost all disappeared through the zeal of the Puritans.

Even the most careless glance down the long outline of the walls, artistically broken by the two transepts, but never losing the regular continuity of design, will show the observer that this perfect Early English building was an inspiration of one brain and that the many hands that worked for that brain carried out their tasks as a religious rite. The glory of the tower as we see it was not part of the original plan, though that undoubtedly included some such crown and consummation of the noble work beneath. But although the tower and spire are of a later period - the Decorated, they blend so harmoniously with the earlier building that all might have arisen in one twelve months instead of being labours spread over one hundred years. The rash courage which raised this great pyramid of stone, four hundred and four feet above the sward, on the slender columns and walls that have actually bowed under the great weight they uphold, has often been commented upon. It has been said that the tower would have fallen long ago had it not been for the original scaffolding that remains within to tie and strengthen it. In the eighteenth century a leaden casket was discovered by some workmen high in the spire, containing a relic of our Lady, to whom the Cathedral is dedicated. In the summer of 1921 the steeplejacks employed to test the lightning conductor found that the iron cramps had rusted to such an extent as to split the stonework. A band of iron within the base of the spire in process of rusting is said to have raised the great mass of stone fully half an inch. The iron is now being replaced by gun-metal.

The great church is entered by the north porch, and the immediate effect of august beauty is not at first tempered by the impression of coldness that gradually makes itself felt as we compare, from memory, the interior with that of Winchester or even some of the less important churches we have visited. But this is perhaps only a temporary fault, and when the windows of the nave are rejewelled with the glorious colours that shone from them before the Reformation, the cold austerity of this part of the great church will largely disappear. The extreme orderliness of the architectural conception, the numberless columns and arches ranged in stately rows, vanishing in almost unbroken perspective, make Salisbury unique among English cathedral interiors. An old rhyme gives the building as many pillars, windows, and doors as there are hours, days, and months in the year.

In addition to his other questionable traits, James Wyatt must have had something of the Prussian drill-sergeant in his nature. Under his "restoration" scheme the tombs of bishops and knights that once gave a picturesque confusion to the spaces of the nave were marshalled into precise and regular order in two long lines between the columns on each side. For congregational purposes this was and is an advantage, but Wyatt actually lost one of his subjects in the drilling process and so confused the remainder that the historical sequence is lost.

It is not proposed to describe these tombs in detail. A glance at the sketch plan on the preceding page will make the position of each quite clear. Especially notice should be given to (10) William Longespee, 1st Earl of Salisbury; (14) Robert, Lord Hungerford; (13) Lord Charles Stourton, who was hanged in Salisbury Market Place with a silken halter for instigating the murder of two men named Hartgill, father and son. A wire noose representing the rope used to hang above the tomb. (3) The reputed tomb of a "Boy Bishop," but possibly this is really a bishop's "heart shrine." Salisbury seems to have been in an especial sense the home of the singular custom of electing a small lad as bishop during the festival of Christmas. According to Canon Fletcher in his pleasant little book on the subject lately published, no less than twenty-one names are known of Boy Bishops who played the part in this cathedral. Several modern memorials of much interest upon the walls of the nave explain themselves. One, to the left of the north porch as we enter, is to Edward Wyndham Tempest, youthful poet and "happy warrior" who was killed in the late war. Another will remind us that Richard Jefferies, although buried at Broadwater in Sussex, was the son of a North Wilts yeoman and a native of the shire.

The arches at the western transepts will be found to differ from those of the nave; they were inserted to support the weight of the tower by Bishop Wayte in 1415 and are similar to those at Canterbury and Wells. A brass plate was placed in the pavement during the eighteenth century to mark the inclination of the tower, 22-1/2 inches to the south-west. It is said that the deflection has not altered appreciably for nearly two hundred years. The exactness of the correspondence of the architecture in the transepts to that of the nave almost comes as a surprise by reason of its rarity to those who are acquainted with other English cathedrals, and brings before one very vividly the homogeneity of the design. A number of interesting monuments, several of them modern, occupy the two arms of the transepts. The choir roof-painting, sadly marred by Wyatt, has been restored to something of its former beauty, but it would seem that time alone can give the right tone to mural decoration in churches, for there is now an effect of harshness, especially farther east in the so-called Lady Chapel, that is not at all pleasing. The screen of brass leading to the choir, the greater part of the stalls, and the high altar and reredos, are seen to be modern. The altar occupies its old position and was restored as a memorial to Bishop Beauchamp (1482). The Bishop's chantry was destroyed by Wyatt, who had shifted the altar to the extreme end of the Lady Chapel, if we may use the name usually given to the eastern extension of the Cathedral, but as the dedication of the whole building is to the Virgin, that part may have been called originally the Jesus, or Trinity Chapel. On the north side of the choir is the late Gothic chantry of Bishop Audley and opposite is that of the Hungerfords, the upper part of iron-work. On the north side of the altar is the effigy of Bishop Poore, founder of the Cathedral; the modern one under a canopy is that of one of his late successors, Bishop Hamilton.

The choir transepts are now reached. That on the north side, with its inverted arch, contains, among others, the tomb of Bishop Jewel (died 1571) who despoiled the nave windows of their colour. He was the first post-Reformation Bishop of Salisbury. Just within the entrance is the interesting brass of Bishop Wyville, builder of the spire. It records the recovery, through trial by combat, of Sherborne Castle for the church. The slab of the Saint-Bishop Osmund's tomb (1099), one of those wantonly interfered with by Wyatt and a relic of the Cathedral of Old Sarum, has been brought from the nave to its present position near the end of the north choir aisle and not far from its former magnificent shrine. The chief beauty of the Lady Chapel consists in the slender shafts of Purbeck marble that support the roof. The tryptych altarpiece is modern, also the east window in memory of Dean Lear. Opinion will be divided as to the merit of the roof decoration, but time will lend its aid in the colour scheme. In this connexion may be mentioned the means taken here as elsewhere to remove the curious "bloom," that comes in the course of a generation or two, upon the Purbeck marble columns. They are oiled!

Attention is again called to the sketch plan for the tombs hereabouts, and in the south choir aisle, where especial notice should be taken of the canopied tomb of Bishop Giles de Bridport. The muniment room, reached from the south-east transept, contains a contemporary copy of Magna Carta, besides many other interesting manuscripts and treasures. The Cathedral Library is above the cloisters. Its collection of manuscripts is magnificent, some dating as far back as the ninth century. The windows in the cloisters are of very fine design, and some fragments of old glass in the upper portions show that they were once glazed. The original shafts of Purbeck marble had so decayed by the middle of the last century that it was decided to replace them with a more durable stone. Very beautiful is the octagonal chapter house, entered from the east walk. The bas-reliefs below the windows and above the seats for the clergy are of great interest. The sculptures in the arch of the doorway should also be particularly noticed. From a door in the cloisters there is a charming view of the Bishop's Palace and the beautiful gardens that surround it.

An enjoyable stroll can be taken southwards to the Harnham Gate and the banks of the Avon, and a return made by the old Hospital of St. Nicholas, founded in 1227 by a Countess of Salisbury, and then by Exeter Street to St. Ann's Gate at the east side of the close. Fielding, whose grandfather was a canon of the Cathedral, is said to have lived in a house on the south side of the gate. Dickens was acquainted with Salisbury, but not until after he had made it the scene of Tom Pinch's remarkable characterization - "a very desperate sort of place; an exceedingly wild and dissipated city." It must not be forgotten that Salisbury is the "Melchester" of the Wessex Novels and that Trollope made the city the original of "Barchester."

Continuing northwards, a wide turning on the left is termed The "Canal." This takes us back to that time when the citizens' chief concern was probably that of drainage, not of the domestic sort - that did not worry them - but the draining of the water-meadows upon which they had built their homes. About thirty years ago an elaborate scheme for the relief of the city from this natural dampness was successfully carried out. In this wide and usually bustling street the first house on the right is the Council Chamber, and on the other side of the way is the fine hall of John Halle, now a business house. The interior should be seen for the sake of the carved oak screen at the farther end of the banqueting room and the great stone fireplace. The beautiful ceiling is also much admired. This was the home of a rich wool merchant of the town, who built it about 1470. Although it has passed through many hands and has seen many vicissitudes it has always been known by his name. A turn to the right at the end of this street will bring the explorer to the old Poultry Cross. The square pillar surmounted by sundial and ball which for years supplanted the original finial has in turn been replaced by a new canopy and cross. The original erection has been variously ascribed to two individuals, Lawrence de St. Martin and John de Montacute Earl of Salisbury, in each case for the same reason, namely, as a penance for "having carried home the Sacrament bread and eaten it for his supper," for which he was "condemned to set up a cross in Salisbury market place and come every Saturday of his life in shirt and breeches and there confess his fault publickly." Not far away is the church of St. Thomas of Canterbury, the only really interesting ecclesiastical building in the city apart from the Cathedral. It is a very beautiful specimen of Perpendicular and replaced a thirteenth-century church founded by Bishop Bingham. The painting of the Last Judgment over the chancel arch was covered with whitewash at the Reformation and the Tudor arms were placed in front of it. About forty years ago this disfigurement to the church was removed and the picture brought once more into the light of day. The old font would seem to have originally belonged to another church, as its style antedates the foundation (1220) of St. Thomas' church. A few fragments of old stained glass remain in the east window and in that of the Godmanstone aisle, in which aisle is an altar tomb of one of the members of that family. Of the other churches St. Martin's, in the south-eastern part of the city not far from the Southampton road, is the oldest, and has an Early English chancel. St. Edmund's, originally collegiate, was founded in 1268; it has been almost entirely rebuilt. The Church House, near Crane Bridge, is a Perpendicular structure, once the private house of a leading citizen and cloth merchant named Webb. Other fine old houses are the Joiners' Hall in St. Anne's Street and Tailors' Hall off Milford Street. The George Inn in High Street has been restored, but its interior is very much the same as in the early seventeenth century and part of the structure must be nearly three hundred years older. It will be remembered that Pepys stayed here and records that he slept in a silk bed, had "a very good diet," but was "mad" at the exorbitant charges. He was much impressed with the "Minster" and gave the "guide to the Stones" (Stonehenge) two shillings. In 1623 a pronouncement was made that all theatrical companies should give their plays at the "George." Cromwell stayed at the inn in 1645. Salisbury seems to have been fairly indifferent to the cut of her master's coat; Royalist and Republican were equally welcome if they came in peace. Only one fight is worth mentioning during the whole course of the Civil War - in which the city was held by each party in turn - and that was the tussle in the Close, along High Street, and in the Market Place, when Ludlow, with only a few horsemen, held his own against overwhelming odds. The "Catherine Wheel" long boasted a legend of a meeting of Royalists during the Commonwealth, at which, the toast of the King having been drunk, one of the company then proposed the health of the Devil, who promptly appeared and amid much smoke and blue fire flew away with his proposer out of the window. This story rather hints at a republican spirit on the part of the townspeople. That was certainly manifested when Colonel Penruddocke led his "forlorn hope" into the city and, long before, when the Jack Cade rebellion gained a great number of adherents in Salisbury.

The city had a number of these fine old inns, famous centuries before the great days of the Exeter road. Nearly all have disappeared, but the "White Hart" in John Street is little altered and the "Haunch of Venison" is said to be the oldest house in the city.

In our peregrinations of the streets we have passed two statues neither of great merit but each perpetuating the memory of men of more than local fame. The bronze figure in front of the Council House is that of Lord Herbert of Lea, better known perhaps as Sydney Herbert, Minister during the Crimean War. The other is a very different manner of man - Henry Fawcett. The memorial of the blind Postmaster-General and great political economist stands in Queen Street, close to his birthplace. The Blackmore and Salisbury Museums are in St. Anne's Street. Both are most interesting; the first named has an important collection of Palaeolithic and Neolithic remains.

The history of Salisbury, happily for the citizens, has not been very stirring, apart from the few incidents already briefly mentioned. Executions in the Market Place seem to have had an unenviable notoriety. The most dramatic of these was the beheading of the Duke of Buckingham in 1484. A headless skeleton dug up in 1835 during alterations to the "Saracen's Head," formerly the "Blue Boar," was popularly supposed to be his, though records appear to show that his corpse was in fact taken to the Greyfriars' Monastery in London. In Queen Mary's time there was a burning of heretics in the space devoted to violent death, a space which afterwards saw many others as needlessly cruel. One is extraordinary in its details. A prisoner sentenced to the lock-up lost control of himself - possibly he was innocent - and threw a stone at the judge. He was at once sentenced to death and removed to the Market Place, his right hand being cut off before he was hanged. As lately as 1835 two men here suffered the extreme penalty for arson. To the hanging of Lord Stourton, a just and well-merited punishment, reference has already been made. But perhaps the most vindictive execution of all was that of a boy of fifteen in 1632 when Charles I was in the town. The lad was hanged, drawn and quartered for saying he would buy a pistol to kill the King.

Royal visits have been many. Henry III probably came here when he granted the charter of New Sarum. When Henry VI visited the city the inhabitants were ordered to wear red gowns, possibly a piece of sharp practice on the part of the city fathers, who were nearly all clothiers or cloth-merchants. Richard III was here at the time of Buckingham's execution, and Elizabeth under happier circumstances, in 1574, when she was presented by the Corporation with a slight honorarium of twenty pounds and a gold cup, but James I, who was here several times on his way to the stag hunting in Cranborne Chase only obtained a silver cup. Unlike his predecessor, however, he possessed a consort and the royal pair were presented with twenty pounds each. James' unfortunate son held here one of those unsuccessful councils of war that seemed always to turn events in favour of the enemy. The second Charles came twice in a hurry. The first time was after the battle of Worcester on his flight to the coast, and again he came for sanctuary with his whole court when the plague was ravaging the capital. He was almost the only traveller from London or the east that the authorities would allow, during that dreadful time, within the city boundaries; even natives returning home were obliged to stay outside in quarantine for three months. James II lodged at the Bishop's Palace on his way to intercept the Prince of Orange, and here, a month later, William III stayed in his turn while the previous guest fled the country. It is said that on the day James arrived in Salisbury an ornamental crown on the facade of the Council House fell down.

Several delightful excursions can be taken in each direction from Salisbury. Southwards one may proceed along the Avon valley by the Fordingbridge road to Britford, passing East Harnham, where the fine modern church is a memorial to Dean Lear. Britford church is of the greatest interest to archaeologists, for within it are three arches which have been claimed variously as Saxon and Roman work. The remainder of the building is of the Decorated period. An altar tomb was at one time supposed to contain the body of the executed Duke of Buckingham. Longford Castle, the seat of the Earl of Radnor, is just over a mile to the south. The magnificent park extends along the banks of the Avon in scenery of much quiet beauty. The castle, although much altered, dates from 1590, and contains a famous collection of paintings and is especially rich in Holbein's works. Perhaps the most celebrated of the many treasures housed at Longford is the "Imperial Steel Chair," once the property of the emperor Rudulf II. It is one of the most elaborate specimens of metal work in England. Rather more than a mile west of Longford is the Early English church at Odstock. It has a fine west tower and several points of interest. The pulpit dated 1580 bears the following couplet:

  "God bless and save our Royal Queen 
  The lyke on Earth was never seen."

The churchyard contains the grave of one Joseph Scamp, executed for a crime to which he pleaded guilty; but really committed by his son-in-law.

The route is now by a lane that follows the course of the river through Charlton, with Clearbury Camp a mile away to the right, and on to Downton where we cross the bridge to the large and interesting cruciform church built at many different periods. The Transitional nave becomes Early English at the east end and the transepts are made up of Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular work. The chancel is entirely of the last-named style and very fine in its proportions and details. The Norman font of Purbeck marble should also be noticed. The village was one of the old-time "rotten" boroughs and returned two members to Parliament. Southey was once elected but declined the honour. Downton was evidently of some importance in still earlier days, for on the outskirts of the village, in private grounds, is an earthwork used in Saxon times as a folk-mote, or open-air local parliament. It is probable that this was originally a British fort, for about a mile away is the ancient ford over the Avon where a great battle was fought in the days of the West Saxon invasion and in which the attackers were held. Thirty-seven years elapsed before any further advance was made into Wiltshire. Downton is also one of the places of which that curious myth story "The Pent Cuckoo" is told.

The road to the south can be followed down the river to Fordingbridge (see Chapter II), but it is proposed to return by the east bank of the river past Burford Park and Trafalgar, the renamed Standlynch Manor, bestowed on Earl Nelson in 1814, to the neighbourhood of Alderbury, over three miles out of Salisbury on the Southampton road. The scenery of this part of the Christchurch Avon is very pleasant in a quiet way, the wide views towards the chalk hills on each side and the distant spire of the Cathedral, visible from every point of vantage, make the walk especially enjoyable. Alderbury is said to be the original village of the "Blue Dragon" of Mrs. Lupin and Mark Tapley, immortalized by Charles Dickens, though some claim Amesbury to be the original of this scene. It is difficult to say that any particular village could be in the novelist's mind if, as seems probable, he had not seen Wiltshire when Martin Chuzzlewit was written. St. Mary's Grange, on the Salisbury road, is suggested as the original of Mr. Pecksniff's residence. Alderbury House was built from the demolished campanile of Salisbury Cathedral.

To obtain a really good idea of the hill country, apart from that of the Plain, a walk should be taken, by those who are impervious to fatigue, to Broad Chalke, about seven miles from East Harnham, or even farther to Berwick St. John, more than six miles higher up the stream. The river Ebble itself, if river it can be called, is rarely in evidence, but the valley it drains is beautiful and, though it contains quite a string of villages, is so remote as to be seldom visited by anyone not on business bent. The vale seems to end naturally at Coombe Bisset, though the river flows on through Honnington and Odstock for four miles farther before it reaches the Avon. The church, set picturesquely on its hill at Coombe, is an old Transitional Norman building with some later additions. The village in the hollow below appeals to one as a happy place in which to end one's days. So also appears Stratford Tony, farther up the vale, where, as its name suggests, the Roman road from Old Sarum to Blandford once cut across the valley in the usual Roman manner. Bishopstone, the next village, has a very fine cruciform church, most interesting in its general details. The patron of the living was the Bishop of Winchester; thus the village gets its name. It is possible that some of the bishops took special interest in the building and that would account for its elaboration. The style is Decorated passing into Perpendicular in the nave. The chancel and transepts are peculiarly fine and the vaulting of the first-named will be much admired, as also the beautiful windows. The south door of the chancel with its handsome porch and groined roof; the vaulted chamber, or so-called cloister, outside the south transept, the use of which is unknown; the recessed tomb in the north transept and the grand arch on the same side of the church; all call for especial notice.

The right-hand road at Stoke Farthing leads direct to Broad Chalke, or a longer by-way on the other side of the stream takes us to the same goal by way of Bury Orchard, a village as delectable as its name. Chalke likewise boasts of a fine church, also cruciform and dating, so far as the chancel and north transept are concerned, from the thirteenth century. In that transept the old wooden roof still remains. The nave is Perpendicular, solid and plain; the roof quite modern, though the corbels that supported the old one, carved with representations of angels singing and playing, were not disturbed. The sedilia in the chancel and the aumbry in the north transept should be seen. The lych-gate was erected to the memory of Rowland Williams of Essays and Reviews fame. John Aubrey, antiquary and nature lover, who was a native of Easton Pierce in North Wilts, was a resident here for a long time, and a modern literary association is found in the fact that the Old Rectory has been the home of Mr. Maurice Hewlett for some years.

The hills now begin to close in upon the road and another valley penetrates into the highlands which form the northern portion of Cranborne Chase. In this vale, in a lovely hollow between the rounded hills, is the small village of Bower Chalke. Westwards, up the main valley, we pass through Fifield Bavant, where the church is one of the many that claim to be the smallest in England. Ebbesborne Wake, the next hamlet, lies cramped in a narrow gully between Barrow Hill and Prescombe Down. The restored church is not of great interest, but an unnamed tomb within bears these very pertinent lines:


Alvedeston, the last village actually in the valley, lies under a spur of Middle Down from which there is a magnificent view of the "far flung field of gold and purple - regal England." Alvedeston church is an old cruciform building containing the tomb of a knight in full armour. This is one of the Gawen family. The Gawens were for many years lords of Norrington, a beautiful old house near by. Aubrey suggests that they were descended from that Gawain of the Round Table who fought Lancelot and was killed. The last village, Berwick St. John, is high upon the hills and close to Winklebury Camp. Its Early English church, as is usual in this district, has transepts. The Perpendicular tower, though rather squat, is of fine design and the interior has several interesting monuments and effigies, including effigies of Sir John Hussey and Sir Robert Lucie clad in mail. A pleasant custom obtains here of ringing a bell every night during the winter to guide home the wanderer upon the lonely hills. This was provided for in the will of a former rector - John Gane (1735). From Berwick the hill walk to Salisbury, spoken of in the earlier part of this chapter, should be taken.

Another valley worth exploring is that of the Bourne, north-east of Salisbury, down which the main railway line from London passes for its last few miles before reaching the city. The Bourne is crossed by the London road nearly two miles from the centre of the town. About half a mile up stream is the ford where the old way crossed the river to Sarum. The London road rises to the right and traverses the lonely chalk uplands to the Winterslow Hut, lately known as the "Pheasant," a reversion to its old name. Here lodged Hazlitt, essayist and recluse, for a period of nine years, and here several of his best known dissertations were penned, including the appropriate "On Living to One's Self." Charles Lamb, accompanied by his sister, visited him here. We, however, do not propose to travel by the great London highway, but to turn to the left just across St. Thomas' Bridge, and soon after passing the railway we cross the old Roman road where it appears as a narrow track making direct for the truncated cone of Old Sarum away to the west across the valley. Figsbury Rings is the name of the camp-crowned summit to the east of our road. The first three villages are all "Winterbournes " - Earls, Dauntsey and Gunner. The first two have rebuilt churches, but the third - Gunner - has a Transitional building of some interest. The name is a corruption of Gunnora, spouse of one of the Delameres who were lords hereabouts in the early thirteenth century. Farther on, Porton will not detain us very long, but Idmiston has a church that is a fine example of the style so well called Decorated. The tower, indeed, is Norman, but the clustered columns of the nave with their carved capitals and bases are beautiful specimens of fourteenth-century architecture. The Early English chancel has a triple east window and side lancets. The two-storied porch is late Decorated or early Perpendicular. A tomb of Giles Rowbach and tablets to the Bowie family are of interest. One of the Bowles, a vicar of the church, was a notable Spanish scholar and made a translation ofDon Quixote. Boscombe Rectory was once occupied by "the judicious" Hooker and the first part of the Ecclesiastical Polity was written here. Another theologian - Nicholas Fuller - famous in his day, held the living of the next village - Allington. At Newton Tony, over eight miles from Salisbury, the pleasant scenery of the Bourne may be said to end. Beyond, we reach an outlying part of the Plain that is seen to better advantage from other directions. Newton Tony has a station on the branch line to Amesbury and Bulford Camp. Wilbury House, on the road to Cholderton, was erected in the Italian style in the early seventeenth century by the Bensons, a noted family in those days, one of whose members is commemorated by a brass in the church. The house was the home of the late Mr. T. Gibson Bowles, formerly the member for King's Lynn.

The valley goes on to Cholderton, Shipton Bellinger and Tidworth, where are situated the head-quarters of the Southern Military Command. The Collingbournes - Ducis and Kingston - are much farther on, right at the head of the valley, and eighteen miles from Salisbury. If the explorer has penetrated as far as Tidworth a train can be taken three miles across the Down to Ludgershall, a very ancient place near the Hampshire border. It would seem to have been of some importance in earlier days. "The castell stoode in a parke now clene doun. There is of late times a pratie lodge made by the ruines of it and longgethe to the king" (Leland). To this castle came the Empress Maud and not far away the seal of her champion, Milo of Hereford, was found some years since. All that is left to show that Leland's "clene doun" was a slight exaggeration is a portion of the wall of the keep built into a farm at the farther end of the little town. The twelfth-century church is interesting. Here may be seen the effigy of Sir Richard Brydges, the first owner of the Manor House (or "pratie lodge") which succeeded the castle. The picturesque appearance of the main street is enhanced by the old Market Cross which bears carved representations of the Crucifixion and other scenes from the New Testament.