Salisbury Cathedral and The Doves

There’s still time to see Michael Pendry’s extraordinary art installation

If you’ll be near Salisbury this month, good news – there’s still time to see Michael Pendry’s stunning art installation, Les Colombes (The Doves).

Featuring a flock of around 2,500 white origami doves in flight, suspended from the nave ceiling, the display is part of the Cathedral’s New Dawn themed events marking the centenary of the end of World War One.



Les Colombes has been exhibited in Munich, Jerusalem, London, San Francisco, and Berlin.  At each location, local groups are encouraged to fold their own doves which are then added to future exhibitions. Shops, homes and schools in Salisbury have been making their own paper doves and displaying them as a symbol of peace.

Salisbury’s history

Salisbury is one of Britain’s most remarkable medieval cathedrals. At nearly 800 years young, it has the tallest spire in the UK – rising 180 feet from the tower, making the combined height from ground level 403 feet. It houses the world’s oldest working mechanical clock, made around 1386, and within the Chapter House you’ll find the best preserved of the four original Magna Carta manuscripts, dating from 1215.

Issued by King John in June 1215, Magna Carta – meaning Great Charter –  prevented a civil war, guaranteed the right to a fair trial, and brought peace. It is seen as a symbol of justice, fairness and human rights.  Written in Latin by hand, on a sheepskin parchment, the marks where King John’s seal was once attached are still visible.

Les Colombes

Carrying a message of peace and hope, Les Colombes will be in Salisbury Cathedral until Sunday, July 22nd.  On Thursday, 12th July there will be a late night viewing, beginning after Evensong at 18 15 and running until 21 30 – this will include a light and sound show, and guides will be available to answer any questions.



Talking to the ‘Friend’, curator and Cathedral Visual Arts Adviser Jacquiline Creswell said, “The white dove has inspired mankind with its innocence and purity; it is a physical and emotional message of peace and, within the context of the cathedral, a symbol of the Holy Spirit. ‘Les Colombes’ is captivating – on entering the Cathedral our spirits are lifted as we raise our eyes, drawing us in to a space and time where we can find our thoughts and meditate on a world more harmonious.”

Admission to Les Colombes is included with your donation to the cathedral. It’s hoped that Les Colombes will bring people from all nations and cultures together; people of all faiths and of none are most welcome.

Images: Ash Mills


Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!