St Thomas’s church, near the market square, is often ignored because of the cathedral. But standing in its own square at the north end of the High Street this site lays claim to the first active place of worship in New Sarum prior to the building of the Cathedral itself. It was begun in 1220 as a chapel for the labourers who would eventually build the cathedral. Yet it is a handsome late-Gothic building, with a practical townsman’s sensibility compared to the ecclesiastical majesty of its more famous neighbour. Its great artwork is a day of judgment fresco (1475) that spans the chancel – the largest in England, they say, paid for by a pilgrim in thanks for safe return from pilgrimage.
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