Salisbury: Wikis


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Coordinates: 51°04′26″N 1°47′37″W / 51.0740°N 1.7936°W / 51.0740; -1.7936

New Sarum
Salisbury Cathedral.jpg
Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury is located in Wiltshire

 Salisbury shown within Wiltshire
Population 50,000 (est.)
OS grid reference SU145305
    - London  85 miles (137 km) 
Parish City of Salisbury
Unitary authority Wiltshire
Ceremonial county Wiltshire
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district SP1, SP2
Dialling code 01722
Police Wiltshire
Fire Wiltshire
Ambulance Great Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Salisbury
List of places: UK • England • Wiltshire

Salisbury (pronounced /ˈsɔːlzbri, ˈsɒlzbri/ SOLZ-bree, or locally [ˈzɔːwzbri]) is a cathedral city in Wiltshire, England. It has also been called New Sarum to distinguish it from the original site of settlement to the north of the city at Old Sarum, but this alternative name is not in common use. Similarly, a native of Salisbury may be known as a "Sarumite"[citation needed], but this term is also not commonly used. In 1990 Salisbury was twinned with Saintes in France, in 2006 with Xanten in Germany, and then in 2008 with the American cities of Salisbury, North Carolina and Salisbury, Maryland .

The city is located in the south-east of Wiltshire, near the edge of Salisbury Plain. It sits at the confluence of five rivers: the Nadder, Ebble, Wylye and Bourne are tributary to the Avon, which flows to the south coast and into the sea at Christchurch, Dorset. Salisbury railway station serves the city, and is the crossing point between the West of England Main Line and the Wessex Main Line making it a regional interchange.



Although the current city was not established until 1220, there has been a settlement in the area since prehistory. There is evidence of Neolithic settlement on the hilltop of Old Sarum, which became a hill fort in the Iron Age. The Romans called this fort "Sorviodunum" and may also have occupied the fort. The Saxons established themselves there called it "Searesbyrig"[1][2][3] and the Normans built a castle or "Seresberi". By 1086, in the Domesday Book, it was called "Salesberie".

The first Salisbury Cathedral was built on the hill by St Bishop Osmund between 1075 and 1092. A larger building was built on the same site circa 1120. However, deteriorating relations between the clergy and the military at Old Sarum led to the decision to re-site the cathedral elsewhere. Even in the 12th century, Peter of Blois had described the old church as "a captive within the walls of the citadel like the ark of God in the profane house of Baal". He made the appeal -

Let us descend into the plain! There are rich fields and fertile valleys abounding in the fruits of the earth and watered by the living stream. There is a seat for the Virgin Patroness of our church to which the world cannot produce a parallel.[4]

The logic of this was inescapable, and in 1220 the city of New Sarum, now known as Salisbury, was founded on a great meadow called 'Merrifield'.[4] The building of the new cathedral was begun by Bishop Richard Poore in the same year. The main body was completed in only 38 years and is a masterpiece of Early English architecture. Some stones which make up the cathedral came from Old Sarum, others from the Chilmark Quarries from where they were floated down the River Nadder in small boats. The 123 m (404 ft) tall spire was built later and is the tallest spire in the UK.

The cathedral is built on a gravel bed with unusually shallow foundations of 18 inches (46 cm) upon wooden faggots: the site is supposed to have been selected by shooting an arrow from Old Sarum, although this can only be legend as the distance is over 3 kilometres (1.9 mi). It is sometimes claimed the arrow hit a white deer, which continued to run and died on the spot where the Cathedral now exists. The cathedral contains the best preserved of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta and a large mechanical clock installed in the cathedral in 1386 - the oldest surviving mechanical clock in Britain.

19th century milestone refers to the city as Sarum

The original site of the city at Old Sarum fell into disuse. Old Sarum was a rotten borough that was abolished as at the time, one MP represented three households. The bury element is a form of borough, which has cognates in words and place names throughout the Germanic languages. For a fuller explanation, see borough.

The origins of the name "Sarum" are obscure. It most likely derives from the fact that Sarum came into use when documents were written in contracted Latin. It was easier to write Sar with a stroke over the "r", than write the complete word "Saresberie". That mark was also the common symbol for the Latin termination "um". Hence "Sar" with a stroke over the r was copied as "SarUM". One of the first known uses of "Sarum" is on the seal of Saint Nicholas Hospital, Salisbury, which was in use in 1239. Bishop Wyville (1330–1375) was the first Bishop to describe himself "episcopus Sarum".[5]

Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum

Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, housed in The King's House

The Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum is housed in the King's House, a Grade I listed building whose history dates back to the 13th century, just opposite the west front of the Cathedral.

The permanent Stonehenge exhibition gallery has interactive displays about Stonehenge and the archaeology of south Wiltshire, and its collections include the skeleton of the Amesbury Archer, which is on display.

The Pitt Rivers gallery holds a collection from General Augustus Pitt Rivers, often called the "father of modern archaeology".

The costume gallery showcases costume and textiles from the area with costumes for children to try on and imagine themselves as characters from Salisbury's past.

The City

Great West Front of Salisbury Cathedral

In 1219 Richard Poore, the then Bishop of Sarum, decided to establish a new town and cathedral on an estate in his possession (confusingly known as Veteres Sarisberias - Old Salisburys) in the valley, on the banks of the River Avon.

The town was laid out in a grid pattern, and work started in 1220, with the cathedral commencing the following year. The town developed rapidly, and by the 14th century was the foremost town in Wiltshire. The city wall surrounds the Close and was built in the 14th century.

There are five gates in the wall; four are original, known as the High Street Gate, St Ann's Gate, the Queen's Gate, and St Nicholas's Gate. A fifth was created in the 19th century to allow access to Bishop Wordsworth's School located inside the Cathedral Close. A room located above St Ann's Gate is where the composer Handel stayed, writing several works while there. During the Great Plague of London, Charles II held court in the Close.

The novel Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd, published in 1987, is an imaginative retelling of the history of Salisbury.


Salisbury now falls under two authorities created in 2009, Salisbury City Council and Wiltshire Council. It was once at the heart of the now defunct Salisbury District, which oversaw most of south Wiltshire as well as the city. When Wiltshire's local government was reorganised under a unitary authority in April 2009, Salisbury City Council was formed, although with fewer responsibilities than the former district council. The city has one Member of Parliament, currently Robert Key (Conservative) who has represented the city since 1983.


Salisbury is located in a valley. The geology of the area, like much of South Wiltshire and Hampshire, is largely chalk. The rivers which flow through the city have been redirected, and along with landscaping, have been used to feed into public gardens. They are popular in the summer, particularly Queen Elizabeth Gardens as the water there is shallow and slow-flowing enough to enter safely. Close to Queen Elizabeth Gardens are water-meadows, where the water is controlled by weirs. Because of the low-lying land, the rivers are prone to flooding particularly during the winter months. The Town Path, a walkway that links Harnham with the rest of the city, is at times impassable.

A cause of concern to the people of Salisbury is the lack of adequate roads. There is no motorway that links the ports of Southampton and Bristol meaning that all traffic must pass through the city.

The closest town is Wilton which is the former county town of Wiltshire. To the north are the towns of Amesbury, which includes Stonehenge and Tidworth. Andover is north east. To the west of the city are Barford St Martin and Tisbury. Alderbury and Romsey are to the south, as is the nearest other city - Southampton.

To the north is Salisbury Plain. Much of this area is used by the British military for training. There are military airfields at Boscombe Down, Middle Wallop, Netheravon and Upavon. There are civil airfields at Old Sarum (where the experimental aircraft the Edgley Optica was developed and tested) and at Thruxton near Andover.


Salisbury experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) similar to almost all of the United Kingdom.

Climate data for Salisbury
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7
Average low °C (°F) 2
Precipitation mm (inches) 47.7
Source: [6] 2009-07-02


Salisbury has an estimated population of about 50,000.[7] As of the 2004 census of the former Salisbury District (which includes surrounding towns and villages) 98.67% of the population were white, 96.41% of whom were White British, 0.30% of the population were South Asian, 0.16% were Chinese, 0.13% were black and 0.57% were mixed race.[8]

88.50% of the population were born in England,[9] 4.77% were born elsewhere in the UK, and 3.12% were born elsewhere in the EU (including the Republic of Ireland). 3.60% of the population were born outside of the EU.

78.29% of the population declared their religion as Christianity,[10] while 13.58% stated "no religion" and 7.17% declined to state their religion. The second largest actual religion in Salisbury was Islam with adherents accounting for 0.24% of the population.


The 15th century Poultry Cross in the Market Place originally marked the section of the market trading in poultry.

Salisbury holds a market on Tuesdays and Saturdays and has held markets regularly since 1227. In the 15th century the Market Place was dotted with stone crosses marking the centres for certain trades and goods. Today only the Poultry Cross remains, to which flying buttresses were added in 1852.

In 1226, King Henry III granted the Bishop of Salisbury a charter to hold a fair lasting 8 days from the Feast of the Assumption of Mary (15 August). Over the centuries the dates for the fair have moved around, but in its modern guise, a funfair is now held in the Market Place for three days from the third Monday in October. However, there is still an ancient law stating that the fair can be held in the Cathedral Close.

The world famous Stonehenge prehistoric stone circle is about 8 miles (13 km) northwest of Salisbury and greatly aids the local economy. The city itself, Old Sarum and the original cathedral also attract visitors.

Shopping centres include The Old George Mall, The Maltings, Winchester Street and the Crosskeys precinct.

Major employers include Salisbury District Hospital and Friends Provident.


Salisbury High Street

Salisbury was an important centre for music in the 18th century. The grammarian James Harris, a friend of Handel, directed concerts at the Assembly Rooms for almost 50 years up to his death in 1780, with many of the most famous musicians and singers of the day performing there.[11]

Salisbury holds an annual St George's Day pageant, the origins of which are claimed to go back to the thirteenth century.

Salisbury has a strong artistic community, with galleries situated in the city centre, including one in the public library. In the 18th century, John Constable made a number of celebrated landscape paintings featuring the cathedral spire and the surrounding countryside. Salisbury's annual International Arts Festival, started in 1973, and held in late May to early June, provides a programme of theatre, live music, dance, public sculpture, street performance and art exhibitions. Salisbury also houses a producing theatre - Salisbury Playhouse - which produces between eight and ten plays a year, as well as welcoming touring productions.

Some buildings in Salisbury are reputed to be haunted. Ghost tours are popular with locals and visitors. One such building is the local Odeon cinema located in the House of John Halle - the oldest building in the UK to contain a cinema. The Debenhams department store is said to be haunted by Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham - the store is on the site where he was beheaded in 1483

Historical events

In May of 1289, there was uncertainty about the future of Margaret, Maid of Norway, and her father sent ambassadors to Edward I of England. Edward met Robert the Bruce and others at Salisbury in October 1289, which resulted in the Treaty of Salisbury, under which Margaret would be sent to Scotland before 1 November 1290 and any agreement on her future marriage would be delayed until she was in Scotland.[12]

In 1483, a large-scale rebellion against Richard III of England broke out, led by his own 'kingmaker', Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham. After the revolt collapsed, Buckingham was executed at Salisbury, near the Bull's Head Inn.

At the time of the Glorious Revolution, King James II gathered his main forces, altogether about 19,000 men, at Salisbury, James himself arriving in the city on 19 November 1688. His troops were not keen to fight William and Mary, and the loyalty of many of his commanders was in doubt. The first blood was shed at Wincanton, in Somerset. In Salisbury, James heard that some of his officers had deserted, such as Edward Hyde, and he broke out in a nose-bleed which he took as an omen that he should retreat. His commander in chief, the Earl of Feversham, advised retreat on 23 November, and the next day John Churchill deserted to William. On 26 November, James's own daughter, Princess Anne, did the same, and James returned to London the same day, never again to be at the head of a serious military force in England.[13]

At the time of the 1948 Summer Olympics, held in London, a relay of runners carried the Olympic Flame from Wembley Stadium, where the Games were based, to the sailing centre at Torbay via Slough, Basingstoke, Salisbury, and Exeter.


Salisbury is twinned with Saintes in France]] since 1990, and Xanten in Germany since 2006. Salisbury is also a sister city of Salisbury, North Carolina and Salisbury, Maryland, both of which are in the United States.[citation needed]

Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, was formerly named Salisbury although there is no sister city relationship.


The city has a good choice of public transport[14]. Taxis are available and buses run up to every 30 minutes, with links to Southampton, Bournemouth and Andover working seven days a week with limited services on Sundays. Salisbury also has a Park & Ride bus scheme with four sites around the city. By spring 2010, it will have five and become one of only four places in the UK with this many; along with Cambridge, Oxford and York.[citation needed]All these P&R buses run every 10–15 minutes.

Wilts and Dorset are the local bus company, part of the Go-Ahead group, with a bus station at 8 Endless Street and a bus yard in Castle Street. Stagecoach Hampshire runs the number 87 to Andover every two hours from Salisbury and also every other number 8 (Andover via Amesbury and Tidworth, branded activ8) along with Wilts and Dorset. Bodman's also runs the number 24 bus between Salisbury and Warminster[15], which replaced the X4/X5 service which used to run between Salisbury and Bath. All other buses that serve Salisbury are run by Wilts and Dorset.

The Park and Ride sites around Salisbury are:

  • 501 Beehive - A345 Castle Road to the north
  • 502 Wilton - A36 Wilton Road to the west
  • 503 Britford - A338 Downton Road to the south
  • 504 London Road - A30 London Road to the northeast
  • 505 Petersfinger - A36 Sothampton road, to the southeast (opens 2010)

Wiltshire Council (formerly Salisbury District Council) funds many bus routes (including all park and ride routes). In June 2009 parking a vehicle at the Wilton Park And Ride cost £2.50. This permitted up to six passengers a return trip into Salisbury city centre.


Salisbury Racecourse with the cathedral in the distance.
  • The Bishop's Walk on the edge of the city provides a popular viewing point
  • The city has a football team, Salisbury City F.C., and a rugby team. Salisbury City football club ( play in the Conference National. Their games are at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium on the northern edge of the city.
  • The Five Rivers Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool is located just outside of the ring road and was opened in 2002
  • The local theatre is the Salisbury Playhouse. [1]
  • Salisbury is well-supplied with pubs. 'The Haunch of Venison', overlooking the market, still operates from a 14th century building. One of its attractions is a mummified hand, supposedly severed during a game of cards. The hand vanished on 15 March 2004 but later reappeared under mysterious circumstances and can still be seen there.[16] Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower are said to have met in the small room at the front of the same pub whilst planning the D-Day landings[citation needed].
  • The City Hall is an entertainment venue and hosts comedy, musical performances as well as seminars and conventions
  • Salisbury Racecourse is a flat racing course to the south-west of the city
  • Salisbury Arts Centre has exhibitions and workshops.


Salisbury is served by two local radio stations. Spire FM is the local commercial station, and BBC Radio Wiltshire is the regional public service station for the whole county of Wiltshire.

The Salisbury Journal is the local paid for newspaper which is available in shops every Thursday, with some home deliveries coming on Wednesday night. The local free newspaper is the Avon Advertiser, which is delivered to houses in Salisbury and the surrounding area and made by the same company as the Journal.

For region-specific television services, Salisbury falls into the BBC Southern Region. Commercial TV is supplied by ITV Meridian.

Areas within and around Salisbury

  • Alderbury
  • Bemerton Heath
  • Bishopdown
  • Bishopdown Farm
  • Bodenham
  • Britford
  • Castle View (Persimmon)
  • Kingsmeade (Charles Church)
  • Churchfields
  • Clarendon
  • Constable Court
  • Downton
  • East Harnham
  • Ford
  • The Friary
  • Fugglestone Red
  • Homington

Notable people

In fiction

Salisbury is the original of "Melchester" in Thomas Hardy's novels, such as Jude the Obscure (1895). The BBC TV adaptation of Archer's Goon was filmed in the city. A lively account of the Salisbury markets, as they were in 1842, is contained in Chapter 5 of "Martin Chuzzlewit" by Charles Dickens.

See also


  1. ^ Samuel, Lewis.'Lewis's Topographical dictionary of England: Volume Four'. S. Lewis, 1835, Indiana University
  2. ^ Cameron, Kenneth 'English Place-Names'. Batsford, 1988, University of Michigan. ISBN 0713456981, 9780713456981. Length: 264 pages. Page 35
  3. ^ Blake, Norman Francis. Jones, Charles. University of Sheffield. Dept. of English Language. 'English Historical Linguistics: Studies In Development:Issue 3 of CECTAL Conference Papers Series, CECTAl (Sheffield)'. Centre for English Cultural Tradition and Language, University of Sheffield for the Department of English Language, University of Sheffield, 1984. Length: 313 pages
  4. ^ a b George Walter Prothero, The Quarterly Review, Volume 103, p. 115 online at
  5. ^ Victoria History of Wiltshire Vol. VI, pp. 93-94
  6. ^ "Averages for Salisbury". 
  7. ^ Wiltshire Council. Salisbury Census information
  8. ^ British government census statistics for race and ethnicity
  9. ^ British government census statistics for country of birth
  10. ^ British government census statistics for religion
  11. ^ Music and Theatre in Handel's World: The Family Papers of James Harris 1732-1780, by Donald Burrows and Rosemary Dunhill, Oxford University Press, USA (March 29, 2002)
  12. ^ Oram, Canmore Kings, p. 109
  13. ^ J. Childs, The Army, James II, and the Glorious Revolution (Manchester, 1980)
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ BBC Wiltshire
  17. ^ Pettigrew, Thomas (1849) Memoirs of the Life of Vice-Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson, K. B., Duke of Bronté (London: T. & W. Boone) p. 96

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

There is more than one place called Salisbury:


  • Salisbury (New Brunswick) - A village in the province of New Brunswick.

United Kingdom

United States of America


  • Salisbury is also the former name of the city of Harare in Zimbabwe.
This article is a disambiguation page. If you arrived here by following a link from another page you can help by correcting it, so that it points to the appropriate disambiguated page.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

="">See Salisbury (disambiguation) for articles sharing the title Salisbury.

SALISBURY, a city and municipal and parliamentary borough, and the county town of Wiltshire, England, 834 m. W. by S. of London, on the London and South-Western and Great Western railways. Pop. (1901) 17,117. Its situation is beautiful. Viewed from the hills which surround it the city is seen to lie among fiat meadows mainly on the north bank of the river Avon, which is here joined by four tributaries. The magnificent cathedral stands close to the river, on the south side of the city, the streets of which are in part laid out in squares called the " Chequers." To the north rises the bare upland of Salisbury Plain.

The cathedral church of St Mary is an unsurpassed example of Early English architecture, begun and completed, save its spire and a few details, within one brief period (1220-1266). There is a tradition, supported by probability, that Elias de Derham, canon of the cathedral (d. 1245), was the principal architect. He was at Salisbury in 1220-1229, and had previously taken part in the erection of the shrine of Thomas a Becket at Canterbury. The building is 473 ft. in extreme length, the length of the nave being 229 ft. 6 in., the choir 151 ft., and the lady chapel 68 ft. 6 in. The width of the nave is 82 ft. and the height 84 ft. The spire, the highest in England, measures 404 ft. (For plan, see Architecture: Romanesque and Gothic in England.) The cathedral, standing in a broad grassy close, consists of a nave of ten bays, with aisles and a lofty north porch, main transepts with eastern aisles, choir with aisles, lesser transepts, presbytery and lady chapel. The two upper storeys of the tower and the spire above are early Decorated. The west front, the last portion of the original building completed, bears in its rich ornamentation signs of the transition to the Decorated style. The perfect uniformity of the building is no less remarkable within than without. The frequent use of Purbeck marble for shafts contrasts beautifully with the delicate grey freestone which is the principal building material. In the nave is a series of monuments of much interest, which were placed here by James Wyatt, who, in an unhappy restoration of the cathedral (1782-1791), destroyed many magnificent stained-glass windows which had escaped the Reformation, and also removed two Perpendicular chapels and the detached belfry which stood to the north-west of the cathedral. One of the memorials is a small figure of a bishop in robes. This was long connected with the ceremony of the " boy bishop," which, as practised both here and elsewhere until its suppression by Queen Elizabeth, consisted in the election of a choir-boy as " bishop " during the period between St Nicholas' and Holy Innocents' Days. The figure was supposed to represent a boy who died during his tenancy of the office. But such small figures occur elsewhere, and have been supposed to mark the separate burial-place of the heart. The lady chapel is the earliest part of the original building, as the west end is the latest. The cloisters, south of the church, were built directly after its completion. The chapter-house is of the time of Edward I., a very fine octagonal example, with a remarkable series of contemporary sculptures. The library contains many valuable MSS. and ancient printed books. The diocese covers nearly the whole of Dorsetshire, the greater part of Wiltshire and very small portions of Berkshire, Hampshire, Somersetshire and Devonshire.

There are three ancient parish churches: St Martin's, with square tower and spire, and possessing a Norman font and Early English portions in the choir; St Thomas's (of Canterbury), founded in 1240 as a chapel to the cathedral, and rebuilt in the 15th century; and St Edmund's, founded as the collegiate church of secular canons in 1268, but subsequently rebuilt in the Perpendicular period. The residence of the college of secular priests is occupied by the modern ecclesiastical college of St Edmund's, founded in 1873. St John's chapel, founded by Bishop Robert Bingham in the 13th century, is occupied by a dwelling-house. There is a beautiful chapel attached to the St Nicholas hospital. The poultry cross, or high cross, an open hexagon with six arches and a central pillar, was erected by Lord Montacute before 1335. In the market-place is Marochetti's statue to Sidney Herbert, Lord Herbert of Lea. The modern public buildings include the court-house, market, corn exchange and theatre. A park was laid out in 1887 to commemorate the jubilee of Queen Victoria, and in the same year a statue was erected to Henry Fawcett, the economist, who was born at Salisbury. Among remaining specimens of ancient domestic architecture may be mentioned the banqueting-hall of John Halle, wool merchant, built about 1470; and Audley House, belonging also to the 15th century, and repaired in 1881 as a diocesan church house. There are a large number of educational and other charities, including the bishop's grammar school, Queen Elizabeth's grammar school, the St Nicholas hospital and Trinity hospital, founded by Agnes Bottenham in 1379. Brewing, tanning, carpet-making and the manufacture of hardware and of boots and shoes are carried on, and there is a considerable agricultural trade. The city is governed by a mayor, 7 aldermen and 21 councillors. Area, 1710 acres.


The neighbourhood of Salisbury is rich in antiquities. The famous megalithic remains of Stonehenge are not far distant. From Milford Hill and Fisherton many prehistoric relics have been brought to the fine Blackmore Museum in the city. But the site most intimately associated with Salisbury is that of Old Sarum, the history of which forms the preface to that of the modern city. This is a desolate place, lying a short distance north of Salisbury, with a huge mound guarded by a fosse and earthworks. The summit is hollowed out like a crater, its rim surmounted by a rampart so deeply cut away that its inner side rises like a sheer wall of chalk 100 ft. high.

Old Sarum was probably one of the chief fortresses of the early Britons and was known to the Romans as Sorbiodunum. Cerdic, founder of the West Saxon kingdom, fixed his seat there in the beginning of the 6th century. Alfred strengthened the castle, and it was selected by Edgar as a place of national assembly to devise means of checking the Danes. Under Edward the Confessor it possessed a mint. The ecclesiastical importance of Old Sarum begins with the establishment of a nunnery by Edward the Confessor. Early in the 8th century Wiltshire had been divided between the new diocese of Sherborne and that of Winchester. About 920 a bishopric had been created at Ramsbury, east of Savernake Forest; to this Sherborne was joined in 1058 and in 1075/6 Old Sarum became the seat of a bishopric, transferred hither from Sherborne. Osmund, the second bishop, revised the form of communion service in general use, compiling a missal which forms the groundwork of the celebrated " Sarum Use." The "Sarum Breviary" was printed at Venice in 1483, and upon this, the most widely prevalent of English liturgies, the prayer-books of Edward VI. were mainly based. Osmund also built a cathedral, in the form of a plain cross, and this was " traceable in the very dry summer of 1834. Old Sarum could have afforded little room for a cathedral, bishop's palace, garrison and townsfolk. The priests complained of their bleak and waterless abode, and still more of its transference to the keeping of lay castellans. Soldiers and priests were at perpetual feud; and after a licence had been granted by Pope Honorius III., it was decided to move down into the fertile Avon valley. In 1102 the notorious bishop, Roger Poore, by virtue of his office of sheriff, obtained custody of the castle and the grant of a comprehensive charter from Henry I. which confirmed and extended the possessions of the ecclesiastical establishment, annexed new benefactions and granted perpetual freedom in markets and fairs from all tolls and customs. This was confirmed by Henry II., John, and Henry III. With the building of New Sarum in the 13th century and the transference to it of the see, Old Sarum lapsed to the crown. It has since changed hands several times, and under James I. formed part of the property of the earldom of Salisbury. By the 16th century it was almost entirely in ruins, and in 1608 it was ordered that the town walls should be entirely demolished. The borough returned two members to parliament from 1295 until 1832 when it was deprived of representation by the Reform Act, the privilege of election being vested in the proprietors of certain free burgage tenures. In the 14th century the town appears to have been divided into aldermanries, the will of one John atte Stone, dated 1361, including a bequest of land within the aldermanry of Newton. In 1102 Henry I. granted a yearly fair for seven days, on August 14 and for three days before and after. Henry III. granted another fair for three days from June 28, and Richard II. for eight days from September 30.

The new city, under the name of New Sarum (New Saresbury, Salisbury) immediately began to spring up round the cathedral close. A charter of Henry III. in 1227 recites the removal from Old Sarum, the king's ratification and his laying the foundation-stone of the church. It then grants and confirms to the bishops, canons and citizens, all liberties and free customs previously enjoyed, and declares New Sarum to be a free city and to constitute forever part of the bishop's demesne. During the three following centuries periodical disputes arose between the bishop and the town, ending generally in the complete submission of the latter. One of these resulted in 1472 in the grant of a new charter by Edward IV. empowering the bishop to enforce the regular election of a mayor, and to make laws for governing the town. In 1611 the city obtained a charter of incorporation from James I. under the title of " mayor and commonalty " of the city of New Sarum, the governing body to consist of a mayor, recorder and twentyfour aldermen, with power to make by-laws. This charter was renewed by Charles I. and confirmed by Cromwell in 1656. The latter recites that since the deprivation of archbishops and bishops, by parliament, the mayor and commonalty have bought certain possessions of the late bishop of New Sarum, together with fairs and markets. These it confirms, constitutes the town a city and county, subjects the close to its jurisdiction and invests the bailiff with the powers of a sheriff. In 1659 with the restoration of the bishops, the ancient charter of the city was revived and that of 1656 cancelled. In 1684 during the friction between Charles II. and the towns, Salisbury surrendered its charter voluntarily. Four years later in 1688 James II. restored to all cities their ancient charters, and the bishop continued to hold New Sarum as his demesne until 1835. The Municipal Corporations Act of that year reported that Salisbury was still governed under the charter of 1611, as modified by later ones of Charles II., James II. and Anne.

In 1221 Henry III. granted the bishop a fair for two days from August 14, which in 1227 was prolonged to eight days. Two general fairs were obtained from Cromwell in 1656, on the Tuesday before Whit-Sunday and on the Tuesday in the second week before Michaelmas. In 1792 the fairs were held on the Tuesday after January 6, on the Tuesday and Wednesday after March 25, on Whit-Monday, on the second Tuesday in September, on the second Tuesday after October io, and on the Tuesday before Christmas Day; in 1888 on July 15 and October 18; and now on the Tuesdays after January 6 and October io. A large pleasure-fair was held until recently on Whit-Monday and Tuesday, but in 1888 this was reported as of bad character and it is now discontinued. A grant of a weekly market on Tuesday was obtained from Henry III. in 1227. In 1240 this privilege was being abused, a daily market being held, which was finally prohibited in 1361. In 1316 a market on Saturday was granted by Edward II. and in 1656 another on every second Tuesday by Cromwell. In 1769 a wholesale cloth market was appointed to be held yearly on August 24. In 1888 and 1891 the market days were Tuesday and Saturday. A great corn market is now held every Tuesday, a cattle market on alternate Tuesdays, and a cheese market on the second Thursday in the month. Salisbury returned two members to parliament until 1885 when the number was reduced to one. As early as 1334 the town took part in foreign trade and was renowned for its breweries and woollen manufactories, and the latter industry continued until the 17th century, but has now entirely declined. Commercial activity gave rise to numerous confraternities amongst the various trades, such as those of the tailors, weavers and cutlers. The majority originated under Edward IV., though the most ancient - that of the tailors - was said to have been formed under Henry VI. and still existed in 1835. The manufacture of cutlery, once a flourishing industry, is now decayed.

See Victoria County History. Wiltshire; Sir R. C. Hoare, History of New Sarum (1843); and History of Old Sarum (1843).

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Proper noun




  1. A city in Wiltshire, England.
  2. A town in Maryland, USA.
  3. The former name of Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe.


Simple English

For other uses, see Salisbury (disambiguation)

Salisbury is a city in southern England. Salisbury is close to many rivers. Salisbury has a cathedral that has a copy of the Magna Carta.

Salisbury has a population of 45,000 people. Salisbury is close to Stonehenge.[1]


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