Creation of a Masterpiece
The design and building of Salisbury Cathedral, the Gothic masterpiece and pinnacle of English architecture, built in double-quick time.
Three quarters of a millennium ago in the spring of 1258, the soaring new cathedral at Salisbury was dedicated. The ceremony, staged in the presence of Henry III and his queen, was a lavish one. With indulgences of a year and forty days offered to all who attended during the octave of the dedication, large crowds poured in. The cathedral had been built on a virgin site in a little under forty years. It ranked among the most remarkable and innovative structures of an age rich in architectural creativity. The story of its conception and creation sheds light on many of the key impulses in English thirteenth-century religion and society.