The Church of St Peter, Stourton, is
on the south side of the High Street at the western edge of the
hamlet. This site also means that it edges onto Stourhead Gardens,
looking out over the neo-Classical eighteenth century landscape
that was designed by Sir Henry Hoare II. The earliest record of a
church here dates from 1291, and it seems likely that the north
nave arcade and tower belong to that period. The lordly Stourton
family have a vault under the north aisle.
In 1717 the Stourton estate was purchased by
Henry Hoare. He renovated the church in 1722, building a large
altar piece to span the entire east wall, and his own family vault.
A later rebuilding in 1848 inserted a Hoare family pew, complete
with its own fireplace for comfort. In the north chapel is a Norman
font, brought here from the redundant church of Monkton Deverill.
Also in the north chapel is a large altar tomb to the Fifth Lord
Stourton and his wife (circa 1536).
St George's Church, Harnham, is accessed
via Old Meadows Walk to its south-west, and also Lower Street to
its north. This Norman church was built by 1115, when Henry I
signed a charter granting it to Salisbury Cathedral. The chancel
was lengthened in the Early English style during the 1200s and,
probably in the early 1300s, the Trinity Chapel on the south side
was built. Some remodelling was done about 1300. The tower is
mostly early 1800s, possibly a replacement.
Salisbury Cathedral to the immediate south
of Salisbury city centre is bounded by North Walk and Bishop's Walk.
More formally known as the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin
Mary, its foundation stones were laid on 28 April 1220. The
first part to be completed were the three eastern chapels which were
named for St Stephen, Trinity, and St Peter. The building of the new
cathedral was greatly helped by the energy of the bishop and the
patronage of powerful people.
Henry III donated trees from Ireland and estates
in Wiltshire for the roof timbers, doors, and so on, while one Alice
Brewer gave marble for twelve years from her Purbeck quarry, which
provided capitals, shafts, columns, and bases inside, and some
shafts outside. The cathedral's main body was completed with
consecration on 29 September 1258. The project as a whole also
included the west front, the cloisters, the Chapter House, and
the (now demolished) detached bell tower.
All of those areas were probably completed by
1266. The cathedral close was subsequently surrounded to the north
and east by a protective wall. Stone for this was robbed from the
now redundant cathedral and houses at Old Sarum, along with some
re-used carvings that can still be seen today. Even more
spectacularly, the cathedral was enlarged upwards between 1300-1320
by the addition of the tower and spire - the tallest in England
(with later repairs).
One photo on this page kindly contributed by
Carol Nourse, and five by Andy Mulhearn, Sam Weller, Karen White
(two), and Maria MK, all via the 'History Files: Churches of the
British Isles' Flickr group.