Old Sarum Near Salisbury – What To Expect
Old Sarum is probably somewhere that most visitors to London and England have not heard from. Its located a few miles from the world famous Stonehenge and just up the road from Salisbury Cathedral, one of England’s finest cathedrals. None of the big tour coaches go to Old Sarum, from London just a weekly small group tour run by International Friends visits Old Sarum along with Salisbury Cathedral, Stonehenge and Avebury Stone Circle.
If you are visiting Stonehenge independently using the Stonehenge Tour Bus from Salisbury, this also stops at Old Sarum.
So Old Sarum isn’t a grade A ‘must see’ tourist attraction you’ll find in all the guide books, but Bob thinks its well worth your while considering visiting if you are in the area.
The entrance is too small for the large tour buses to get access and most of the site is totally free access, only the castle remains has an admission fee. Its one of those low key places where visitors intermingle with locals taking their dog for a walk.
The aspect Bob finds most impressive is the original earthworks of the original Iron Age Hill Fort. We’re talking well over 2,000 years ago, when the villages for security resaon moved to hill tops, dug their defences around the hill and built their homes safe behind the defences. The earthworks even today are really impressive and as you go through the entrance with the earthworks towering above you its easy to imagain how hard it would have been to attack with just basic weaponry of the time.
When the Romans invaded England, they also made use of the fortifications and the site was an important crossroads of Roman Roads.
When the Normans invaded in 1066, it was a natural place to build a defensive castle within the original hill fort and next to it they built the original Salisbury Cathedral. The cathedral only lasted about 100 years before the religious people said goodbye to the military and found modern day Salisbury, down below in the river valley. They took many of the stones with them and partly as a result Salisbury Cathedral was one of the fastest built Cathedrals of all.
Today, the castle is in ruins and just the foundations of the old cathedral remain. For those with an interest in history, just scrape the surface and its a fascinating place. There are guide books in a small gift shop and some information boards around the site. The views are rather good to. Like so many ancient sites the site is full of magnetic ley lines and the dowser will be more than pleased. One ley line connects Salisbury Cathedral, Old Sarum and Stonehenge.
The clip below gives you a taster of what to expect …