Salisbury Cathedral library.

Salisbury Cathedral has opened its 15th century library to small groups of up to 12 for a tour followed by a cream tea.

The library, which is situated above the Cloister, contains over 10,000 books dating back as far as the 9th century.

On the tour, groups will be guided by a cathedral expert who will highlight a range of books, specially selected to demonstrate the importance and variety of the collection.

A facsimile of the Cathedral’s 1215 Magna Carta can also be made available on request for history groups wanting to study the detail of the document close up.

Mobility is needed for this tour as access to the library is via a small winding staircase with 37 steps.

The tour is then completed with a cream tea in the Refectory Restaurant, which offers views of the cathedral’s spire through its glass roof.

Additional tours

The library tour takes approximately 45 minutes, but groups can extend their visit at Salisbury Cathedral by adding on a tour of the cathedral itself to learn about Britain’s tallest spire, Europe’s oldest working clock and discover more about Salisbury’s 1215 Magna Carta.

Another option is the Tower Tour, which offers a ‘behind the scenes’ experience for groups wanting to explore the ancient roof spaces of the cathedral. After climbing 332 steps to reach the foot of the spire, 225 feet above ground level, groups can admire unimpeded views of the nave and listen to guides explain how the spire was constructed.

Views out into the city of Salisbury, Old Sarum and the surrounding countryside can also be taken in from high above as part of this tour.

Alternatively groups can explore the Gothic cathedral, built between 1220 and 1258, individually using free guides available. 

Group tours must be pre-booked.

For more information on the library tour contact Hannah Paye on 01722-555120 or e-mail or visit