Old Sarum

Old Sarum

The story of Old Sarum goes back at least 5000 years with confirmed evidence of burial discovered on the outer banks.

During the Iron Age – 700 BC onwards – the building of hill forts became commonplace and a number were built in this area. The first hill fort here would have been built during this period and whilst the design was relatively simple it could only have been created by enormous co-operative effort of the entire community.

It is unlikely that it would have been continuously occupied nor was it created solely for defensive purposes. It would also have been used for local celebrations and the provision of services as an administrative centre and market place.

It was occupied by the Romans and the Saxons before the Normans built a motte and bailey castle on the site.

Old Sarum developed into one of the most flourishing settlements in early medieval England as castle, cathedral, king’s palace and thriving township.

Following the establishment of the new city of Salisbury in the 13 C it was abandoned but became politically infamous as a Rotten and Pocket Borough under private ownership providing its owner with 2 seats in parliament prior to a national realignment of electoral boundaries in 1832.

At the end of the 1800’s the site came under the care of the nation and is now under the control of English Heritage.