Salisbury Cathedral Close Preservation Society


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Patron: Dr. Phil Harding

Heather Olsen - Chairwoman
John Coakley – Secretary and Membership
Dick Clements - Treasurer
Terry Byrne    Julian Hepplewhite    Christopher King
H. Dieter Scholz    Liz Slater  >>
(more information about Patron and Trustees)

The Close of Salisbury Cathedral (UK) is a site of unique heritage dating back to the early 13th century. It has inspired many artists over the centuries among them Constable and Turner.
The aims of the Salisbury Cathedral Close Preservation Society (SCCPS) are to promote knowledge of The Close, its history and architecture and to secure the preservation, protection and improvement of its features of historic and public interest.

  • The Society maintains a watching brief on planning applications that affect The Close.
  • Promotes an Annual Lecture related to The Close.
  • Maintains this website as a repository of information about The Close.
  • Holds occasional Essay competitions.
  • Is a corporate member of the Salisbury Civic Society.
  • Has representation on The Close Landscape Committee and The Close Partnership.
  • Makes grants towards the upkeep and enhancement of The Close.

    The Society was founded in 1991 to counter the proposals in the Rothermel Thomas report. These were that the High Street gate should become pedestrian only, that a new bridge should enable pedestrian access over the Avon from the Lush House car park in Crane Bridge Street. Most controversially it proposed that two new roads be cut into The Close from St Nicholas Road to enable vehicular access and coach parking at the Southern end of The Close. The Society was successful in defeating these proposals. Its first Patron was Sir Edward Heath.

    The plan for the eighty acre Cathedral Close, probably the largest in the world, was drawn in the early 13th Century. Apart from being the site for the Cathedral, its purpose was to accommodate the Bishop, The Cathedral’s Canons and their lay staff. It was used as a burial ground for centuries but the cemetery and its memorials were removed and the grounds by the cathedral were laid to lawn at the end of the 18th Century. Later the grazing pastures became playing fields and the tennis courts became a car park. The Bishop’s Palace is now home to the Cathedral School. The Close also accommodates: Bishop Wordsworth’s Grammar school; two museums; the works department; Sarum Theological College and homes for the Bishop, the Dean and Chapter Canons, Lay Choristers and staff. Nowadays The Close is home to some 300 private individuals of many Faiths and none.

    Membership of the Society is open to all, regardless of place of residence, who would like to know more about The Close and would like to contribute to the task of preserving this unique heritage, its charm and sensitive development.

    Membership fees are £3 per annum for Individuals, £5 for households or £100 for life membership. These fees may be gift aided. The Society is registered charity number 1015692.


    The Secretary at:
    or by mail
    139 The Close
    Salisbury SP1 2EY

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Registered charity # 1015692 with members from around the world. We work to preserve and enhance the environment of The Close, Salisbury Cathedral, UK