Cathedral Close

Cathedral Close information

Lonely Planet review

Salisbury's medieval cathedral close, a hushed enclave surrounded by beautiful houses, has an other-worldly feel. Many of the buildings date from the same period as the cathedral, although the area was heavily restored during an 18th-century clean-up by James Wyatt.

The close is encircled by a sturdy outer wall, constructed in 1333; the stout gates leading into the complex are still locked every night. Just inside the narrow High St Gate is the College of Matrons , founded in 1682 for widows and unmarried daughters of clergymen. South of the cathedral is the Bishop's Palace , now the private Cathedral School, parts of which date back to 1220. The close is also home to three museums and historic buildings – Salisbury Museum , Mompesson House , and the Rifles .