A LETTER from the pope, a medieval Bishop's ring and a 19ft document of household accounts are treasures now on display for the first time.

On Thursday the archival exhibit was unveiled in Salisbury Cathedral as part of its 800-year anniversary, showcasing items from the cathedral's collection which are significant to the monument's move from Old Sarum.

This exhibition includes a medieval document granting permission for the cathedral to move from Old Sarum to its current site, bound into the Register of St Osmund.

There is also a book from the scriptorium that was written in the early 1100s, making it older than the current site itself.

Emily Naish, Salisbury Cathedral archivist, who put the exhibition together, said: "The cathedral’s anniversary year is a marvellous opportunity for us to display some of the greatest treasures from our collections.

"These documents give us an insight into the life of our medieval ancestors who worked and worshipped here, forming a unique link between the past and the present.”

Emily added these "key items" detailed reasons for the cathedral's relocation, to where is now the heart of Salisbury, with concerns raised in Old Sarum including wind damage, not enough water and not being able to hear singing.

She added: "This exhibition was meant to be given to the public back in April, celebrating this anniversary and the history of what we have here today.

"We have decided to delve into different elements, focussing on treasures in the collection, so people can explore and learn about different things.

"I am so grateful to our predecessors that kept all this stuff - it is just as important as the building."

Alongside a ring and an issued 'indulgence', which granted forgiveness for 30 days of sin, the collection is complete with a 19ft scroll that lists all the food bought for the household of Robert de Cardeville, Salisbury Cathedral’s canon treasurer in the year 1256/57.

The list details how much everything cost, where it was eaten and on what day, with the canon treasurer’s clerk Colin in charge of the accounts.

Talking about his medieval predecessor’s groceries, the current canon treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral Robert Titley, said: “I suspect our supermarket receipts for a year, laid end to end, would be even longer then my namesake’s parchment. With climate breakdown we are trying to be less ‘gross’ with our ‘carne’.

"Train tickets, bike bits and (some) petrol have replaced the horse fodder, though I eat nearly ten kilos of oats a year myself. And we too enjoy the skills of someone called Colin – he helps us with the garden.”

The library and archive exhibits are part of a new experience around the cathedral entitled 'The Cathedral that Moved', which was brought in after the Covid-19 lockdown, found in the North Transept.