Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sense and Sensibility on the Salisbury Close

Today's blog post is going to be about England.  To be more specific, it's going to be about Salisbury, a cathedral city in England.

It's been far too long since I last added an update to my Emma-in-Europe trip report, and I feel like dreaming England today. :)  In the last update, we had left France behind and arrived in the United Kingdom.  We had a fun time exploring Portsmouth, and Salisbury was up next.

There are four medieval gates still standing in Salisbury: in the above photo you'll see the High Street Gate.  As we walked to the Cathedral, I found bent but still graceful old houses and beautiful medieval architecture peppered throughout the streets...


That structure on the right is called the Poultry Cross.  It's in what used to be the marketplace, and poultry used to be sold there.  It seems almost too pretty for chickens and fowl!

I envy England its lovely old buildings.  I'm sure the upkeep may be difficult and expensive, but they make a walk down a modern shopping street into something special.  I wonder what stories have the black-and-white timbered houses of Silver Street and High Street seen?

Random Aside: That photo also makes me remember how tricky it sometimes was to find the street names in European cities.  You'd be looking for them on a poll on the corner, but more often than not they'd be on the sides of the buildings!

The type of European/British/medieval architecture that I am possibly most envious of is the CATHEDRAL, and Salisbury has a truly stunning cathedral.  We admired it from the outside but planned to visit some of the museums in the close first.

Salisbury has a charming close - just look at those charming shrubberies.  A cathedral close (as you may already know) is the area just surrounding a great cathedral, where many of the buildings used to be offices for the church or the houses of clergymen.  Now many are museums, and the appeal is not just the exhibits but the buildings themselves!


The Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum was our first stop.  It is located in the King's House.  King James once visited there in the seventeenth century.  Just look at the view of cathedral from the lovely windows!

It was interesting to read about the history of Salisbury in the exhibits.  The city is in an ancient part of England - Stonehenge is fairly close by, and the city's roots began at Old Sarum, one of the earliest settlements in the country.

I don't know why, but displays of old keys in museums always appeal to my imagination.  Who did all those keys belong to?  How did they lose them?  What did they open???

This darling little Lacemaker doll hidden in the costume room also caught my eye.  How cute is her hat?  Salisbury was once famous for its lace, especially a type called Downton Lace made in the nearby village of Downton.  Sadly I don't think it's any relation to Downton Abbey. ;)

I enjoyed the Salisbury museum, but I was very excited about our next stop: Mompesson House.

Does it look at all familiar?  Think, my fellow Jane Austen fans, THINK!

Recognize it now??  Many of the London scenes from the Sense and Sensibility film were filmed here.  It was Mrs. Jennings' house!

The Dashwood girls probably had their tea in this sitting room.

Marianne probably ran down these stairs.

Elinor probably read these books.

I wonder if Willoughby will come today??

It was so fun to stroll through the rooms and try to remember what might have been filmed where.  The next time I watch Sense and Sensibility, I'll certainly be watching those scenes closely!

Look at how tiny and delicate the handwriting in the house ledger is!  It was also interesting to learn about the real history of the house, which most of the exhibits were about.  There was actually only one small book with some photos from the movie...I was just the silly one, associating everthing with Jane Austen!

This was the ceiling in the library.  Gorgeous.  Want it. ;)


Most of the rooms had real fires going in the grates, and you know how much I love that!  I also loved that writing bureau...

We also had a stroll around the garden...a little dreary on a grey March day, but it must be pretty later in the spring.

Tucked away down one of the stone paths in the back of the garden, there was a small tea room which tempted us to stop for lunch...

Sandwiches, soup, and tea: absolutely delicious!

Up Next: the Cathedral!

You'll find a complete index of Europe posts here.

1 comment:

  1. love the update!! Sense and Sensibility is my favorite movie!! what a thrill to be able to see all that in person!