Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of being shown some of the sights in this part of England.
Although we could not visit Old Sarum, which was closed to visitors yesterday, we did satisfy a deeply primitive urge for ad orientem worship by visiting Stonehenge.
I pondered the many affliction liturgists I would like to have sacrificed there with a bronze knife… while facing liturgical East, of course, before we moved along to the incredibly Salisbury Cathedral.
Here is one of the most stunning medieval naves I have ever seen. What a wonderful about Salisbury is that the archtecture is all of a style, unlike many catehdrals from this period.
I shot many photos, be assured, but can only give you a couple.
I was delighted to find what might be the oldest functioning clock in the world.
Althought photos were not permitted in the chapter house, there I found to my surprise one of the four existing copies of Magna Carta. I had no idea that this page was there and, as I was brought over to the display, my host gave me no clue of what I was about to see.
I can’t quite convey with words the physical sense that came over me as I realized what I was looking at in that relatively small parchment page, closely written in highly abbreviated Latin. It was like a wave of static electricity raised every hair on my body.
After a wonderful lunch, for which we met a priest friend of my host, Fr. Bede Rowe, fortified against the cold and wind with his Roman saturno we were off to Winchester Cathedral.
Again, the nave was simply breathtaking.
I was delighted to find here the tomb of one of my favorite 19th English authors, the great Jane Austen.
This was a great day that spanned the history of England from prehistoric times, to the perfection of medieval architecture in the era of the market towns, to the assertion of the rule of law, to the repression of Catholicism, to the flowering of 19th century literature.