Today I went to Salisbury with friends. As usual, coffee was consumed and shopping done. Salisbury has plenty of shops, all in a fairly compact area; large chains, but also some independent shops, such as Forever England, which my friends had never visited before, but is a favourite of mine.
We had no particular plan, but hoped to visit a few places of interest. We called in to the tourist information centre and were reminded of St Thomas’ Church, which is tucked in behind buildings and which we had seen before, but only from the outside. What we didn’t know was quite how fascinating a place it would be! It really is worth a visit. There is an amazing wooden ceiling, a “doom” painting on the chancel arch and some mediæval friezes in the lady chapel.
Next on our list was Mompesson House, which two of us had never been into before. As National Trust members, it was free. It’s a good example of a house which feels almost as though it was frozen in time and you get a sense of what it might have been like to live there. It also has a late 18th century Broadwood square piano, one of the first pianos.
As the sun was out we opted for lunch in the gardens.
After lunch my friends went for a walk, while I popped into the Cathedral, as I wanted to see a bookbinding exhibition in the library. It was a small exhibition, with some modern books on display, which had been made by members of the Wessex Guild of bookbinders, some very old books and some books which had been sympathetically restored. As is often the case with these exhibitions, the staff were interesting to talk to and knew their subject. I then had a look at the information about the restoration of the Father Willis organ in the Cathedral.
It was a lovely day.