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Henry I appointed Roger, a Norman Monk, as Chancellor. While in Caen Henry and his elder brother William (Rufus) had entered a church and requested the priest say mass. The priest impressed the two with his efficiency that they made him their chaplain. Roger then became chancellor and later Bishop of Salisbury. Roger helped build many churches and castles.
King Stephen arrested Roger, the Bishop of Salisbury. Bishop Roger was a powerful landowner and had several castles. Stephen also arrested Alexander, the bishop of Lincoln and had him imprisoned. Stephen wanted to take control to bishop Roger's castles and the bishop was taken to his castle at Devizes where he was held captive outside the walls and starved until the castle surrendered. Roger's son was also captured and tortured until the castle finally fell to the King. Roger's castle at Sherborne was also captured by Stephen. The castles at Newark and Sleaford in Lincolnshire belonging to bishop Alexander were forced to surrender to the King using the same underhand tactics.
Bishop Herbert Poore presented plans to move the cathedral at Old Sarum to a new site nearer the river to be called New Sarum, or now Salisbury. Richard I approved the plan.
A new site 2 miles from the original site at Old Sarum was chosen for the new Salisbury Cathedral. For a cathedral the construction work was completed in a very short time and the building was consecrated in 1258 only 38 years later.
The Lady Chapel of Salisbury Cathedral appears to be the starting point of the construction of the new cathedral. Work continued until 1225.
Work on the Choir at Salisbury Cathedral started in 1225 and lasted until 1237.
Construction of the major transept and nave of Salisbury Cathedral was started in 1237 and lasted until 1258. Salisbury Cathedral has a smaller choir transept.
Work on the excellent West Front of Salisbury Cathedral began around 1258 and took until 1266.
Construction of the cloisters at Salisbury Cathedral was started in around 1263 and the work on them continued until around 1284.
Construction of the Chapter-house at Salisbury Cathedral was begun in 1275.
The tower and spire of Salisbury Cathedral were constructed between 1334 and 1380. The spire at 404ft was the tallest stone spire built in the Medieval era.
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