With its manicured lawns and sense of bygone refinement, The Close is set apart from the world, even without the high walls and gateways that are still locked at 11.30pm. The eighty-acre area was walled in 1333, shortly after completion of the cathedral, and the area developed into a haven for the city’s elite. The Bishop’s Palace, reached via a lane beside the cathedral, is the only medieval survivor, and most of the architecture is later; Christopher Wren co-designed Malmesbury House and Sarum College near the St Ann Street Gate, and prime minister Edward Heath lived in Arundells, a minor Georgian manor at No.59. Lovely picnic spot, incidentally.
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