"Old Sarum - Old Salisbury" Old Sarum by Airpunk

Old Sarum Travel Guide: 12 reviews and 37 photos

Some history

There has been a settling on the place of old Sarum since around 3000 BC. The hills of this area allow a view far into the surrounding lands. During the rule of the saxon it became an important town and so it was no surprise that William I. vistited this place first after having conquered England. The town was renamed Salisberie after the Earl who recieved this place.

From 1067 on, a fort was built, including a castle and a cathedral. Unfortunately, the groth of the town also sealed its fate. The new town demanded more water and space, which was not available. From 1217 on, people started to move to a place near river Avon and founded New Sarum. From 1220 on, a new cathedral was built in the new town which accelerated the process of moving. The decline of old Sarum began and in the following centuries, Old Sarum was completely given up.

Afterwards, Old Sarum became infamous as a rotten borough. It was a borough constituency, meaning that it had the right to send a deputee to the House of Commons - although it had no real voters at all! Probably, the most famous person to made it into the parliament this way was Willaim Pitt the Elder.


Not much is left from Old Sarum. The wall ring, consisting of chalk stone, is still there together with ruins of the castle and the cathedral. Most of the material was used to construct the buildings in new Sarum.

Old Sarum is now one of the most interesting attarctions of Salisbury and is kept by the english heritage. If you would like to know, what exactly you can see in Old Sarum, check out my tip. To see what you should NOT do in Old Sarum, please read my Travellogue.

  • Last visit to Old Sarum: Jul 2006
  • Intro Updated Oct 5, 2006
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