Salisbury's medieval cathedral close, a hushed enclave surrounded by beautiful houses, has an other-worldly feel. Many of the buildings date from the 13th century, 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 the widows and unmarried daughters of clergymen. South of the cathedral is the Bishop's Palace, now the private Cathedral School, parts of which date from 1220.