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Encyclopedia > Old Sarum
Woodcut of Old Sarum as it was during its height
Woodcut of Old Sarum as it was during its height

Old Sarum is the site of the earliest settlement of Salisbury, England, with evidence of human habitation as early as 3000 BC. It sits on a hill about two miles (3km) north of modern Salisbury on the west side of the road that leads to Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plain. Download high resolution version (1419x1674, 131 KB)Old Sarum This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (1419x1674, 131 KB)Old Sarum This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Four horsemen of the Apocalypse by Albrecht Dürer. ... Salisbury Cathedral by Constable. ... (31st century BC - 30th century BC - 29th century BC - other centuries) (4th millennium BC - 3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC) Events 2925 - 2776 BC - First Dynasty wars in Egypt 2900 BC - Beginning of the Early Dynastic Period I in Mesopotamia. ... Stonehenge Stonehenge is a Neolithic and Bronze Age monument located near Amesbury in the English county of Wiltshire, about 8 miles (13 km) northwest of Salisbury. ... This article is about the plateau in southern England; Salisbury Plain is also an area on South Georgia Island. ...

Old Sarum was initially a hill fort strategically situated on the conjunction of two trade routes and the River Avon, Hampshire. The hill fort is broadly oval in shape and measures ≈1300 feet (405m) in length and ≈1200 feet (360m) in width, consisting of a single circuit of bank and ditch with an entrance in the eastern end. The term hill fort is commonly used by archeologists to describe fortified enclosures located to exploit a rise in elevation for defensive advantage. ... The River Avon is a river in the county of Hampshire in the south of England. ...

Among the earliest records, Old Sarum is described as a city of the Belgae, and its historical details have proved a boon for the researches of topographical illustrators. The Belgae were a group of nations or tribes living in north-eastern Gaul, on the west bank of the Rhine, in the 1st century BC, and later also attested in Britain. ...



Sir R.C. Hoare describes it as "a city of high note in the remotest periods by the several barrows near it, and its proximity to the two largest Druidical temples in England, namely, Stonehenge and Avebury." [1] Burial of Oleg of Novgorod in a tumulus in 912. ... In Celtic polytheism the word Druid denotes the priestly class in ancient Celtic societies, which existed through much of Western Europe north of the Alps and in the British Isles. ... Avebury is the site of an enormous henge and stone circles in the English county of Wiltshire, surrounding a village of the same name. ...

The Romans held it as a strong military station, and it was admitted to the privileges of the Latin law, under the name of Sorbiodunum. [2] The Roman Empire is the term conventionally used to describe the Ancient Roman polity in the centuries following its reorganization under the leadership of Octavian (better known as Caesar Augustus), until its radical reformation in what was later to be known as the Byzantine Empire. ...

Cynric, King of Wessex, was said to have captured the place in 552. Under the Saxons it ranked among the most considerable towns of the West Kingdom, and possessed ecclesiastical establishments soon after the conversion of the Saxons to Christianity. [3] Cynric of Wessex ruled as king of Wessex from 534 to 560. ... Wessex was one of the seven major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (the Heptarchy) that preceded the Kingdom of England. ... Events July - Battle of Taginae: The Byzantine general Narses defeats and kills Totila, king of the Ostrogoths. ... This article is about the Saxons, a Germanic people. ... This article should be transwikied to wiktionary Ecclesiastical means pertaining to the Church (especially Christianity) as an organized body of believers and clergy, with a stress on its juridical and institutional structure. ... See also: Timeline of Christianity Beliefs Jesus crucifixion as portrayed by Diego Velázquez. ...

In the early part of the 9th Century it was the frequent residence of Egbert; and in 960, Edgar assembled there a national council to devise the best means of repelling the Danes in the north. [4] This earthenware dish was made in 9th century Iraq. ... There are two historical individuals typically known only as Egbert. ... Events Edgar the Peaceable crowned King of England. ... EDGAR, the Electronic Data-Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system, performs automated collection, validation, indexing, acceptance, and forwarding of submissions by companies and others who are required by law to file forms with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC). Not all documents filed with the SEC by public...

In 1086, William the Norman convened in this city the prelates, nobles, sheriffs, and knights of his new dominions, there to receive their homage; [5] and probably, within its walls was framed the feudal law, as the Domesday Book was commenced in the same year. Two other national councils were held there; one by William Rufus, in 1096, and another by Henry I in 1116. Events Domesday Book is completed in England Emperor Shirakawa of Japan starts his cloistered rule Imam Ali Mosque is rebuilt by the Seljuk Malik Shah I after being destroyed by fire. ... William I ( 1027 – September 9, 1087), was King of England from 1066 to 1087. ... A prelate is a member of the clergy having a special canonical jurisdiction over a territory or a group of people; usually, a prelate is a bishop. ... The Lords and Barons prove their Nobility by hanging their Banners and exposing their Coats-of-arms at the Windows of the Lodge of the Heralds. ... Sheriff is both a political and a legal office held under English common law, Scots law or American common law, or the person who holds such office. ... A statue of an armoured knight of the Middle Ages For the chess piece, see knight (chess). ... This is a page about Dominions of the British Empire/Commonwealth. ... For a description of the medieval homage ceremony see commendation ceremony Homage is generally used in modern English to mean any public show of respect to someone to whom you feel indebted. ... Feudal law describes a political system which placed men and estates under the hierarchical distinctions of lords and vassals. Feudalism refers to the relations and interdependence between lord and vassal, based on the fief, or ownership of land. ... The domesday book was conducted in 1085 and was completed in 1086 which meant that it took William the Conquer 1 year to complete. ... William I ( 1028 – 9 September 1087), was King of England from 1066 to 1087, and as Guillaume II was Duke of Normandy from 1035 to 1087. ... Events Bernhard becomes Bishop of Brandenburg First documented teaching at the University of Oxford Beginning of the Peoples Crusade, the German Crusade, and the First Crusade Vital I Michele is Doge of Venice Peter I, King of Aragon, conquers Huesca Phayao, now a province of Thailand, is founded as... Henry I of England (c. ... Events Baldwin I of Jerusalem undertakes an invasion of Egypt The modern book of separate pages stitched together is invented in China Construction starts on the Chennkesava temple The Aztecs leave Aztlán searching for the site of what will eventually become Tenochtitlán and later Mexico City Births Deaths...

Peter of Blois, an early ecclesiastical writer, described Old Sarum as "barren, dry, and solitary, exposed to the rage of the wind; and the church (stands) as a captive on the hill where it was built, like the ark of God shut up in the profane house of Baal." [6] Peter of Blois (1135 (?) - 1203 (?)) was a French poet and diplomat who wrote in Latin. ...

After the Norman Conquest, the town was renamed Salisberie after the Earl who received the area. He built a wooden castle with a ditch, and in 1067 started a cathedral and bishop's palace. He completed it in 1092 (it burned down five days later), and in 1100 built a stone keep. A replacement cathedral was completed in 1190. Bayeux Tapestry depicting events leading to the Battle of Hastings The Norman Conquest of England was the conquest of the Kingdom of England by William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy), in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings and the subsequent Norman control of England. ... The main gatehouse of Harlech Castle, Wales. ... Events Constantine X emperor of the Byzantine Empire dies. ... A cathedral is a Christian church building, specifically of a denomination with an episcopal hierarchy (such as the Roman Catholic Church or the Lutheran or Anglican churches), which serves as the central church of a diocese. ... A bishop is an ordained member of the Christian clergy who, in certain Christian churches, holds a position of authority. ... The quintessential medieval European palace: Palais de la Cité, in Paris, the royal palace of France. ... Events May 9 - Lincoln Cathedral is consecrated. ... Events William II of England dies in a hunting accident - Henry I becomes King of England King Henry I proclaims the Charter of Liberties, one of the first examples of a constitution. ... Events March 16 - Massacre and mass-suicide of the Jews of York, England prompted by Crusaders and Richard Malebys kill 150-500 Jews in Cliffords Tower June 10 - Third Crusade: Frederick I Barbarossa drowned in the Saleph River while leading an army to Jerusalem. ...

Space eventually ran out and the water supply was taxed on the hilltop, and with cathedral and castle sitting in close proximity, and their respective chiefs in regular conflict, relocation was inevitable. In 1219 the bishop started construction on a new cathedral on the banks of the Avon, and a new settlement grew up around it, called New Sarum— eventually taking the name of Salisbury for the use solely for the new town. Old Sarum was slowly abandoned and fell into ruin. Nothing is still standing there, but visitors may easily trace the outlines of the old castle and cathedral. A cathedral is a Christian church building, specifically of a denomination with an episcopal hierarchy (such as the Roman Catholic Church or the Lutheran or Anglican churches), which serves as the central church of a diocese. ... // Events Saint Francis of Assisi introduces Catholicism into Egypt, during the Fifth Crusade The Flag of Denmark fell from the sky during the Battle of Lyndanisse Ongoing events Fifth Crusade (1217-1221) Births Christopher I of Denmark (died 1259) Frederick II of Austria (died 1246) Guillaume de Gisors, supposedly the... A bishop is an ordained member of the Christian clergy who, in certain Christian churches, holds a position of authority. ... Look up Avon on Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

What remains of the inner castle, circa 2005
What remains of the inner castle, circa 2005

There appears to have been but one entrance to the castle, on the east. There were five wells, four in the city and one in the castle, designed chiefly to support the garrison and inhabitants in time of war, or during a siege. I, the creator of this image, hereby release it into the public domain. ... I, the creator of this image, hereby release it into the public domain. ...


The decline of (Old) Sarum, rested principally on the disagreement between the civil and ecclesiastical authorities. Once New Sarum was developed, abandonment was virtually inevitable. By 1217, the inhabitants of Old Sarum had removed their residence, and constructed their new habitations with the materials they razed from their old.As one city increased in population and extent, so the other almost as rapidly decayed. Hence the establishment of New Sarum, or Salisbury. Old Sarum lives on, however as its long history makes it a popular location for historical reenactments. Civil authority is that apparatus of the State other than its military units that enforces law and order. ... Events April 9 - Peter of Courtenay crowned emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople at Rome, by Pope Honorius III May 20 - First Barons War, royalist victory at Lincoln. ... Raze is a dance music group assembled by instrumentalist and producer Vaughan Mason. ... Reenactors of the American Civil War Historical reenactment is an activity in which participants recreate some aspects of a historical event or period. ...

Old Sarum by John Constable, 1829
Old Sarum by John Constable, 1829

Old Sarum by John Constable, 1829 The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... Old Sarum by John Constable, 1829 The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... Categories: Stub | 1776 births | 1837 deaths | British painters | Romantic art | Suffolk | Romanticism ...

Legislative infamy (As a rotten borough)

From the reign of Edward II Old Sarum elected two members to the House of Commons, despite the fact that from at least the 17th century it had no resident voters at all. One of the members in the 18th century was William Pitt the Elder. In 1831 it had eleven voters, all of whom were landowners who lived elsewhere. This made Old Sarum the most notorious of the rotten boroughs. The Reform Act 1832 completely disenfranchised Old Sarum. The term rotten borough (or pocket borough, as they were seen as being in the pocket of a patron) refers to a parliamentary borough or constituency in the Kingdom of England (pre-1707), the Kingdom of Great Britain (1707-1801), the Kingdom of Ireland (1536-1801) and the United Kingdom... This article is about the fourteenth century king of England. ... The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and is now the dominant branch of Parliament. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... The Right Honourable William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham (15 November 1708–11 May 1778) was a British Whig statesman who achieved his greatest fame as war minister during the French and Indian War and who was later Prime Minister of Great Britain. ... 1831 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... The British Reform Act of 1832 (2 & 3 Will. ...

Read about Salisbury and Sarum

Several books of historical fiction capture the flavour of life in medieval England with specific attention to Salisbury. Among them:

Sarum could be Salisbury, or New Sarum, in Wiltshire, England Old Sarum, a settlement some way away from modern Salisbury A book by Edward Rutherfurd This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Edward Rutherfurd is the author of a series of books chronicling the history of settlements through their development. ... The Pillars of the Earth is a historical novel about the building of a cathedral in Kingsbridge (a fictional town located roughly where the present-day town of Marlborough, Wiltshire is) in England, written by Ken Follett. ... Ken Follett (born June 5, 1949) is a British author of thrillers and historical novels. ... Jean Plaidy was a pen name of British author Eleanor Hibbert, also known as Philippa Carr and Victoria Holt. ...


  1. ^  "Ancient Wilts," --Sir R.C. Hoare, speaking of Stonehenge, expresses his opinion that "our earliest inhabitants were Celts, who naturally introduced with them their own buildings customs, rites, and religions ceremonies, and to them I attribute the erection of Stonehenge, and the greater part of the sepulchral memorials that still continue to render its environs so truly interesting to the antiquary and historian." Abury, or Avebury, is a village amidst the remains of an immense temple, which for magnificence and extent is supposed to have exceeded the more celebrated fabric of Stonehenge; Some enthusiastic inquirers have however, carried their supposition beyond probability, and in their zeal have even supposed them to be antediluvian labours! Many of the barrows in the vicinity of Sarum have been opened, and in them several antiquarian relics have been discovered. In short, the whole county is one of high antiquarian interest, and its history has been illustrated with due fidelity and research. This has lead more recent scholars to doubt the original inhabitants were actually Celts. It is now believed they may have been the much earlier "Beaker People", so named for the beaker-shaped pots they made.
  1. ^  Richard of Cirericesler, p. 31, 68, 113.
  2. ^  Cott. Coll. Faustina, b. 3, MSS. Brit Mus.
  3. ^  Brompton Twysd. 866.
  4. ^  Dodsworth's History of Salisbury Cathedral.
  5. ^  Roger de Hoveden.
  6. ^  Petrus Blesensis, Epist, 105.

  Results from FactBites:
Old Sarum - Encyclopedia.com (1156 words)
The bishopric, moved to Old Sarum from Sherborne in 1075, was transferred to Salisbury in 1220.
Old Sarum's cathedral was torn down and parts of it were used in the construction of the cathedral at Salisbury.
Old Sarum was an important city until strife between the men of the castle and garrison and the men of the religious institution arose.
Old Sarum: A Layer-cake of History (1658 words)
The name "Sarum," which begins to appear in the early 13th century, seems actually to be the result of a sort of medieval typo.
Old Sarum was not simply another Norman fortress, however; it was a royal castle, the property ("juris proprium") of the king.
And there the history of Old Sarum might have ended, save for one last shameful entry in the booksÐas the most notorious of all "rotten boroughs." The term "rotten borough" was applied to Parliamentary constituencies that were controlled by a single person.
  More results at FactBites »



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