Click Image to Enlarge
The actual prints are at a much higher resolution than you see here
See Website for an example
When Salisbury was begun in 1220 the Church was approaching the height of its power and influence in Western Europe. The patron Bishop Richard Poore and his Architect/Project Manager Elias of Dereham both studied in Paris and played large roles politically in their times as well as building this cathedral. Elias was present at the negotiation of Magna Carta and being one of the few lawyers present, may even have drafted it.
Salisbury was built in only 38 years, fast as Cathedrals go, though the spire was added later, being completed in 1320 and of course the tallest in England, at least since the collapse of Lincoln's in 1549. The cathedral is very consistent and very well judged in proportion and feel, the darker Purbeck shafts work better here than at Westminster and Lincoln and the vaulting is not fussy like Exeter. On the whole Elias did very well and deserves the applause of posterity which his creation has consistently received. He was 55 when he started it, and what a commission, a new cathedral, the plum job of the Middle Ages.
Salisbury was started in the same year as Amiens with which it was compared by Bannister Fletcher to demonstrate the differences between the Gothic of the two countries. Both Cathedrals are 450 ft long, but the nave at Amiens rises to a lofty 138 ft, compared to Salisbury's more conservative 81 ft, which as a patriotic Edwardian I think he found troubling.