Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Old Sarum

Visited with my wife back in September 2014 Old Sarum dates back to 400 BC when an ironage  hillfort was built to control the intersection of two native trade paths. The Romans then occupied it and in the 6th century the Saxons took control to defend against the Marauding Vikings. The Normans then occupied the place building a Motte & Bailey castle and curtain wall  with a great Cathedral and Royal Palace which the Plantagenet's used. It lasted 300 years till the Salisbury Bishop fell out with the Wiltshire sheriff causing the removal of the church to where the present Salisbury is now. The castle was abandoned by Edward II in 1322 and Henry VIII sold it off in 1514. The Place is now owned by English Heritage.

 This is a reconstruction of Old Sarum in it's heyday which is housed in Salisbury Cathedral the picture is from Wickipedia , it gives an Idea what you will be looking at.

This is the entrance to the central Motte which you can see in the first picture, we are entering from the opposite side on the East

This the information board you see in the above photo and tells you about this part

This is the inner bailey a wide deep ditch, I did not think to get one of the outer one which I might add is imminence and not something I would want to try and cross.

The bridge crosses the bailey and through the East gate

One of the views you get what you get into the Motte. The grated hole in front would have been the well for the Castle On the right is the palace.

I never thought to do a panoramic as I came in the gate but this is from the South wall. The building over to the right is by the East Gate and the palace was directly in front. The Keep can be seen over to the left.

This part was the place the lay out can be seen to walk round.

and you can read more and see what it looked like in this artists impression

The place all it's mod cons like Loo's or Privy as they called them

and this is a privy or at least one of them. Some poor soul was lowered down in here to clean it out from time to time. Now that is  a sh*t job cor you
 These are the privy's or what is left of them

Not far away is the Kinks Great Tower
Or what is left of it

This view looks across from the palace, the privy's are on the left and the keep & Kings tower to the right.

Here we look to the East gate, the kitchen & bakehouse were to the right, you can see some walls in the photo.
If you were stood on by the Kings tower one of the things you would have seen was this, the Cathedral
This is a panoramic of that part of the castle, beyond that is the outer bailey

 You can just see this in the above photo's

it's part of the outer wall of the castle beyond that was the outer bailey
Looking through one of the arrow slits

Looking back you can see this view of the Kings tower & keep

The outer wall extended round the castle and you can walk all the way round
 You can also see the Bridge to the East gate crossing the bailey

you drive through the outer walls to park your car. Beyond you can see Old Sarum Airfield which was built in WWI and still in use today.

I'll leave you with this view from the walls on Old Sarum to the City which took it's place


  1. There must have been a battle between kings or dispute about territories or the like etc for such fine structures not to have lasted the test of time. Those walls are substantial!

  2. Lots of history happening between those walls.

  3. Mottisfont looks great. The roses look amazing and I was quite taken with those old trees with huge trunks.