Royal visit to mark cathedral’s 800th anniversary

THE Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited Salisbury Cathedral to attend a service to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the foundation of the cathedral, and unveiled an engraved stone, carved in the cathedral work yard to mark the occasion.

The commemorative stone, made of 150-million-year-old Upper Jurassic Limestone, was extracted from the same seam as the stone originally used to build the cathedral. It can be seen in the cathedral until Saturday 12th December, after which it will be placed high up at the east end of the cathedral, where restoration work is currently under way, and will be a marker for future generations to discover.

After the stone was unveiled Prince Charles gave an address in which he reflected on the cathedral’s past and the future: “As we gather here, we are profoundly aware of all those who have gone before us, who have bequeathed us the magnificent legacy of this glorious building, and who have maintained the spiritual community which has kept the flame of faith alive here for so many centuries.

“Over the years, each challenge in turn has been overcome, and that is the case today when, thanks to the inspiring work of all those who have been involved in providing vaccines, we can now look forward with renewed hope.

“The work of building, of maintaining and of protecting for the future is for us all to take forward, in each generation – as you have done so splendidly here.”

Following the service, the Prince and Duchess signed the visitors’ book and met cathedral staff and volunteers in the cloister.

The Dean, the Very Rev Nicholas Papadopulos, Dean of Salisbury said: “We are delighted that 2020 is drawing to a close with a royal visit to mark our 800th anniversary. This is an occasion when cathedral, city and the region can remember and give thanks for our shared past, and look ahead with hope and confidence.”

Pictured: Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall with the commemorative stone; Prince Charles leaves the cathedral after the service, with the Head Verger Andrew Baker, followed by the Duchess, the Dean, the Bishop and other members of the clergy; photographs by Ash Mills.