FOR all its many great exhibits, Salisbury has two attractions of world-class status: Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral. But for the next few months, I’d add in a third: the HisWorld Exhibition of Terry Pratchett at the Salisbury Museum. It’s a little piece of literary history that will linger long in the memory of anyone who sees it.

Terry Pratchett, who lived in Broad Chalke from the early 1990s until his death in 2015 is quite simply one of the most popular novelists of modern times. Over his career, he published over 50 novels that sold 85 million copies in 37 different languages.

But numbers alone don’t do justice to the warmth and affection he is held in by his legions of fans. Over at the Salisbury Literary Festival, we got a glimpse of this when we decided to include Terry as one of our inaugural Salisbury Greats, alongside crime writer John Creasey and novelist William Golding. We’ve been lucky enough to be able to include a couple of events celebrating Terry’s work in the programme: a Facebook post we put up about the events got 15,000 hits in just a few days: the events all sold out within a week.

The HisWorld exhibition, meanwhile, is set to run until mid-January. As I was shown round by curator Richard Henry, what was immediately clear was how the exhibition is riven with the passion of those who have put it together. The text is all in Terry’s words, carefully crafted from a trawl of thousands of interviews, reinforcing this highly personal telling of his life.

As one might expect from one of our great storytellers, this is an exhibition full of stories. There’s the first piece Terry got published, ‘The Hades Business’, which he wrote at 13: his teacher put it in the school magazine, then got it in Science Fantasy magazine. For this Terry was paid £14, which he spent on his first typewriter.

Among his many awards – a knighthood here, a Carnegie medal there – there is Terry’s Brownie sash, complete with ‘Writer’ and ‘Booklover’ badges: Terry was made an honorary Brownie, finding himself kidnapped for a gang show by being hit over the head by two girls brandishing rubber chickens.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is undoubtedly the recreation of the ‘chapel’, the office in which Terry wrote 36 of his books: ‘it’s a private place that very few people get to see’, he said. On the desk is an I-don’t-know-how-he-does-it six computer screens in two rows of three, showing everything from iTunes blasting out ‘Bat Out of Hell’ to the computer game Doom, of which Terry was a fan. Carved out in one side of the Victorian desk is a hole where Terry’s cat would climb in and sleep.

As Richard was showing me the desk, we were joined by Rob Wilkins, Terry’s long-standing assistant and manager, putting the final touches to the exhibition. Clearly moved by the exhibition, he described himself as lost for words: ‘it’s absolutely perfect’, he said, before pointing out the ‘ellipsis bell’ on the windowsill – a huge bell that was rung three times every time an ellipsis was used in the text … The last room of the exhibition shows Terry’s final struggles with Alzheimer’s: ‘there’s something horribly fascinating about an author losing power over his words’, he wrote, and his test drawings as the disease took hold, struggling to draw shapes or write sentences, are painful to see. But their inclusion feels right – a moving end in keeping with the insight offered of this life.

Like Terry Pratchett himself, HisWorld is a one-off: it’s not an exhibition that is going to travel. Instead it offers a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse at one of our greatest writers, for which people are travelling from all over the world to witness. We’re privileged to have it on our doorstep: make sure you take the opportunity to see it.