Thursday, 25 June 2015

Old Sarum Cathederal

Until I visited Old Sarum I never knew it was a hillfort let alone have a cathedral there but the place is huge and the place dates back to 400BC. The Normans took it over and built a Motte & Bailey Castle along with a Royal Palace and Great Cathedral. 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.English Heritage now own the site and the outline of the cathedral is still there

This is a model of Old Sarum Cathedral which is part of a bigger one at Salisbury Cathedral picture is from Wickipedia  so it will give you an idea as to what I will be showing you in the rest of the blog.
The picture shows the Cathedral from the North so the chancel is on the left hand side beside that you can see the cloisters. 

This is what is there now just the outline

there is an information board telling you about the Cathedrals 

an another telling you about the fellow who had it moved.

 This looks from the east end of the site where the chancel & altar would have been

This to the old east gate of the castle 800 years ago I'd have been looking at a huge support pillar had I been stood in the same place

This view would be looking down the nave to the chancel

which they think looked like this according to the board in the photo

The information is on the right and you should be able to read it if you click on the photo

 Same view only from outside the west end wall
The South Transept 

If you remember the first picture you can see a building in front of the North Transept, well this is what is left of that.

This was the Vestry or Treasury  there were windows as we can see from the dips in the stonework, just beyond you can see the outline of the Cloister

the place was supported on these pillars
 Small alcove in the wall

Looking along to the Cloister end of the vestry
 This was one of the windows that let light in the place

The outer wall of the Cathedral and part of the cloister looking to the Vestry
and this was part of the cloister with the vestry at the end

The new cathedral can be seen in the distance and that is where all the robbed stone from the original went so if you visit the new one you will also be walking in parts of the old one

Hope you have enjoyed my little trip round Old Sarum Cathedral
Have a good Weekend


  1. Thank you Bill. I haven't been to Old Sarum since I visited with a party of students years ago when studying as a mature student myself. However, I can remember standing on the bank and looking over to see the spire of Salisbury Cathedral. I think you get a good idea of the lay-out size of the old cathedral at Old Sarum from the parts that are left and the information boards help. Hope you're having a good weekend.

  2. This images remember me about the damages throughout history... unnecessary but devastating.

  3. Wonderful countryside Bill. Tom The Backroads Traveller

  4. That is fascinating. Hard to imagine dismantling a cathedral. I wonder about the lives of the poor workers involved. And even though it was there only 300 years, that's more years than there's been a USA. We've hardly been a blip on the radar.

  5. What an interesting place. I would spend a lot of time taking photos there! Thanks for all the info.

  6. Not much left, but it's still interesting to see.

  7. In our visit to Sudeley Castle we learned that when Henry VIII tore done structures, locals would use the stone for other structures. Looks like that's what happened with Sarum. Have you been to Hailes Abbey?

  8. Another wonderful tour. Thanks Bill

  9. It just goes to show. The sheriff had the final word in the old days. Don't cross the sheriff, ever, hehe.

  10. Amazing place, amazing history. Years since I've been - I need to return with wiser eyes.

  11. Thanks, Bill, for sending me the link. No, we did not have time to stop at Old Sarum, but would love to another day. If y'all didn't have so much that's interesting in your country, it would help. ;-) We hope to spend more time in the area in the future.