A church in UK German pilots won't shoot down! - eNidhi India Travel Blog

A church in UK German pilots won't shoot down!

There is an interesting cathedral in UK enroute to Stonehenge. This church is located the village of Salisbury. Salisbury is of specific significance because it was probably the only spot German Luftwaffe fighter pilots were instructed NOT to bomb.

The cathedral is majestic. I am glad I used public transport and got to explore Salisbury because many direct coach tours to Stonehenge do not include a stop at Salisbury Church. Once back from Stonehenge from I walked towards Salisbury Cathedral

External view of Salisbury Cathedral

From the outside cathedral looks majestic and is surrounded by large green open area. It has an open green area in the center. There was an inner corridor along the inner wall where visitors could sit and relax. There are multiple entrances but only 1 was operational. In other words you are required to enter and exit via one designated entrance.

Click on image on right above for detailed visitor information for Salisbury Cathedral. Cathedral is open from 7.30 AM till 5 PM on most days (8 AM on Sunday). Gift shops open at 9.30AM. Service timings and other specifics can be referred above.

Interiors of Salisbury Cathedral:

As we enter the cathedral, there is a reception area. Entry is free but visitors are encouraged to donate a bit. Ceiling, glass painted windows, artefacts on display are all eye capturing and photogenic.

Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an 800 years old document, finest copy of which is maintained at Salisbury Cathedral. Two other copies are preserved each at the British Library and Lincoln Castle. Magna Carta was signed in 1215 AD by King John detailing political liberties of the citizens.
Visitors of Salisbury Cathedral can take a look at the Magna Carta copy preserved. Entry to the chamber might be limited during crowded days and it opens little later compared to cathedral. Key extracts from Magna are printed around so you can read them anytime.

Details of various tax norms defined by the then rulers is also explained.

Pay close attention to amazing rooflines and window designs

A scale model of the Salisbury cathedral

Overall my visit to Salisbury Cathedral was totally worth it. I spent about an hour or two, trying to understand as much as I can.

Why wouldn't German pilots bomb Salisbury?

Coming back to main question, why would German pilots fire at Salisbury?

Salisbury Cathedral was the tallest building in UK and was visible to fighter pilots even during cloudy days. Thus German pilots were told to use Salisbury as a waypoint or location identifier. They would fly across English Channel, locate Salisbury Cathedral and then from there turn at predefined angles to head towards their designated targets. If they destroy the cathedral, reaching targets across UK would have been difficult.

Standby for more posts from my 2019 UK trip.

Additional tips: If you're visiting Salisbury, note that Indian restaurants have very limited opening hours. Plan well. Also note train timings and plan well. There was a Cafe Diwali near the train station but it was just after 2 PM and I couldn't wait till 4 PM, so had to manage with some fruits, bakery stuff that day.

List of all my UK-Ireland related blogposts can be found here


  1. Seeing Salisbury Cathedral and the Magna Carta was an enriching experience. Very knowledgeable guide and an interesting and gracious gentleman too.


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