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Salisbury - England
Salisbury is a city situated in Wiltshire, England and the only city in the county. It is the second largest settlement; the largest being Swindon, in the county. The city is located in the south-east of Wiltshire close to the edge of the Salisbury Plain. It liess at the confluence of five different rivers, those being the Nadder, Ebble, Wylye and Bourne which are tributaries to the Avon, which flows down to the south coast and into the sea at Christchurch, Dorset. The Salisbury railway station services the city, and is the crossing point between the West of England Main Line and the Wessex Main Line, making it a regional interchange. Salisbury conducts a market on Tuesdays and Saturdays and has conducted these markets on a regular basis since 1227. Back in the 15th century this market place was marked with stone crosses denoting the positions of certain types of goods and services. These days only the Poultry Cross remains, to which flying buttresses were added in the year 1852. The other crosses were the Livestock Cross, the Cheese and Milk Cross and the Wool and Yarn Cross. Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is about 8 miles or 13 kilometers north-west of Salisbury and is a tremendous boost to the local economy. The city itself, Old Sarum and the original cathedral also attract a large number of tourists each year. The city has a good selection of public transportation. There are buses to Southampton, Bournemouth and Andover working seven days a week with limited services on Sundays. Wilts & Dorset is the main local bus company with a bus station at 8 Endless Street and a bus yard on Castle Street. Stagecoach in Hampshire runs the number 87 to Andover every two hours from Salisbury and also every other trip on route 8 to Andover via Amesbury and Tidworth along with Wilts & Dorset. The Salisbury Railway Station is the crossing point of the West of England Main Line, from London Waterloo to Exeter, and the Wessex Main Line from Bristol to Southampton. The station is operated by South West Trains. First Great Western hourly trains call from Cardiff, Bristol, Bath Spa to Southampton Central and Portsmouth Harbour. Salisbury also offers a Park and Ride bus system with five sites around the city.
There are buildings in Salisbury that are said to be haunted. Ghost tours are popular with the locals as well as visitors. One such building is the local Odeon Cinema located in the Hall of John Halle which is the oldest building in the UK to contain a cinema. The Debenhams Department Store is said to be haunted by Henry Stafford, the 2nd Duke of Buckingham, as the store was built on the site where he was beheaded in 1483. Salisbury was an important center for music during the 18th century. James Harris, a friend of the composer Handel, directed concerts at the Assembly Rooms for almost 50 years up until his death in 1780. Many of the most well known musicians and singers of the day performed at these concerts. Salisbury holds an annual St. George Day pageant, the origins of which are said to go back to the thirteenth century. Salisbury has a strong artistic community with art galleries located in the city center, including one housed in the public library. In the 18th century, painter John Constable made a number of celebrated landscape paintings featuring the Salisbury Cathedral spire and the city's surrounding countryside. The annual Salisbury International Arts Festival, begun in 1973, and held from late May to early June, provides a special program of theater, live music, dance, public sculpture, street performance and other various art exhibitions. Salisbury also houses a producing theatre; the Salisbury Playhouse, which produces between eight and ten plays each year, as well as offering other touring productions.
The Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum is housed in the King's House, a Grade I listed building whose history dates back to the 13th century, just opposite the west front of the Cathedral. The permanent Stonehenge exhibition gallery has interactive displays about Stonehenge and the archaeology of the south Wiltshire area, with its collections including the skeleton of the Amesbury Archer. The Pitt Rivers Gallery has a collection from General Augustus Pitt Rivers who is often called the father of modern archaeology. The costume gallery showcases costume and textiles from the area with costumes that children can try on to imagine themselves as characters from the past. Salisbury is well-supplied with pubs. The Haunch of Venison, overlooking the market, still operates from a 14th century building. One of its major attractions is a plaster cast of a mummified hand that was supposedly severed during a game of cards. The hand vanished in 2004 as a publicity stunt for the pub but later reappeared and can still be seen at the pub. The Rai d’Or has original deeds dating from 1292. It was the home of Agnes Bottenham, who used the profits of the tavern to found Trinity Hospital next door in around 1380. The City Hall is also an entertainment venue and hosts comedy and musical performances as well as seminars and conventions.
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