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Coordinates: 51°04′26″N 1°47′37″W 51.0740°N 1.7936°W / 51.0740; -1.7936
City of Salisbury New Sarum


List of places: UK • England • Wiltshire

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury (pronounced /ˈsɒlzbri, ˈsɔːlzbri/ SOLZ-bree, or locally IPA: [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", but this term is also not commonly used. In 1990 Salisbury was twinned with Saintes in France, and in 2006 with Xanten in Germany, and then in 2008, with Salisbury, North Carolina, USA and Salisbury, Maryland, USA. 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.

City of Salisbury shown within Wiltshire

Population OS grid reference - London Shire county Region Constituent country Sovereign state Post town Postcode district Dialling code Police Fire Ambulance European Parliament UK Parliament

50,000 (est.) SU145305 85 Miles Wiltshire South West England United Kingdom SALISBURY SP1, SP2 01722 Wiltshire Wiltshire Great Western South West England Salisbury

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 also established themselves here, and the Normans built a castle and called it "Searesbyrig" 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. Thus the city of New Sarum, known as Salisbury, was founded in 1220, and the building of the new cathedral begun by Bishop Richard Poore in that year.


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Great West Front of Salisbury Cathedral Salisbury Cathedral from the Cathedral Close. At 123 metres (404 feet), the spire is the tallest in the UK. 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 (400 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. 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".[1]

Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum
The Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum is housed in the King’s House, a Grade I listed


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stayed, and whilst there wrote several works. 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.

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.[2] 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.[3] 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 and South Wiltshire Museum, housed in The King’s House 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
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

Salisbury has an estimated population of around 50,000. As of the 2004 census[4] 98.67% of the population were white, 96.41%


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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. 88.50% of the population were born in England,[5] 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,[6] 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.

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.

Sailsbury was once at the heart of the now defunct Salisbury District, which oversaw most of south Wiltshire as well as the city. When Wiltshire became a single unitary authority in April 2009, Salisbury City Council was formed although with significantly reduced responsibilities. The city has one Member of Parliament, currently Robert Key (Conservative) who has represented the city since 1993.



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 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.[7] 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


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theatre, live music, dance, public sculpture, street performance and art exhibitions. 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

• Xanten, Germany (since 2006) Salisbury is also a sister city of: • Salisbury, North Carolina, United States (since 2008) • Salisbury, Maryland, United States
(since 2008)

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

Transport in Salisbury has been deteriorating drastically over the years although the city has a very good choice of public transport. Taxis are always freely available and buses run up to every 30 minutes, with links to Southampton, Bournemouth and Andover working 7 days a week with limited services on Sundays. Salisbury also has a Park & Ride bus scheme holding 4 sites around the city. By Spring 2010, it will have 5 and become one of only 4 places in the UK with this many; along with Cambridge, Oxford and York.All these P&R buses run every 10–15 minutes. Wilts and Dorset are the local bus company, 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 (branded activ8) along with Wilts and Dorset. These P&R sites 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)

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 is twinned with: • Saintes, France (since 1990)

Bus prices have been rising steadily over the past few years, with outrage over some bus fares, such as a ticket from the Inn at High Post costing as much as a ticket to Bournemouth, a journey many time longer and further. These rises have been blamed on rising fuel prices and lack of customers, which have meant the increased funding and support of


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many routes (including all park and ride routes) by Wiltshire Council (formerly Salisbury Council).


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.


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 Blue Square Conference. 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. [5] • 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. [8] 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. • 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, workshops and an underground music scene with bands playing most weekends

Areas within and around Salisbury
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Alderbury Amesbury Bemerton Heath Bishopdown Bishopdown Farm Bodenham Britford Castle View Charles Church Churchfields Clarendon Constable Court Downton East Harnham Ford The Friary Fugglestone Red • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Homington Laverstock Lower Bemerton Milford Netherhampton Nunton Odstock Paul’s Dene Petersfinger Riding’s Mead Quidhampton Shady Bower Solstice Park Spire Views Stratford-SubCastle • Stonehenge • West Harnham • Woodford

Notable people
• Actor and winner of I’m a Celebrity Christopher Biggins was raised and still returns to Salisbury. His family still live there. • Michael Crawford, the original Phantom of the Opera was born in Salisbury. • The actor Anthony Daniels (who played C-3PO in the six Star Wars films) was born in Salisbury.


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• Dave dee, musician and the frontman of 1960s pop band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich was born in Salisbury. • The former Iron Maiden vocalist, Paul Di’Anno lives in Salisbury. • Ralph Fiennes lived in Salisbury and went to Bishop Wordsworth’s School in the Cathedral close, as did rugby international Richard Hill • Nobel prize winner and author of Lord of the Flies, William Golding worked as a teacher at Salisbury’s Bishop Wordsworth’s School. • Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Edward Heath lived and died in Salisbury. He lived in the Cathedral Close. His funeral took place in the cathedral and was attended by many respected political figures. • Author Susan Howatch lives in Salisbury. Her "Starbridge" and "St. Benet’s" series of novels are set in Starbridge, a fictional cathedral city based on Salisbury. • Bishop John Jewel 1522-1571, Author of The Apology of the Church of England. • John Levene (Real name John Anthony Blake), who played Sergeant Benton in Doctor Who, was born and brought up in Salisbury. • Jonathan Meades, author, born in Salisbury 1947 • Comedian, actor and writer David Mitchell was born in Salisbury. • Horatio Nelson was voted a Freeman of Salisbury[9] • John Rhys-Davies, actor, born in Salisbury 1944 • Edward Rutherfurd, author of Sarum, born in Salisbury in 1948 • Conductor Jeffrey Tate was born (1943) in Salisbury. • Entertainer Damon Scott Britain’s Got Talent runner up in series 1 lives and can be seen in Salisbury


See also
• • • • Salisbury City Council Salisbury Cathedral Wiltshire Salisbury railway station

[1] Victoria History of Wiltshire Vol. VI, pp. 93-94 [2] Oram, Canmore Kings, p. 109 [3] J. Childs, The Army, James II, and the Glorious Revolution (Manchester, 1980) [4] British government census statistics for race and ethnicity. [1] [5] British government census statistics for country of birth. [2] [6] British government census statistics for religion. [3] [7] 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) [8] BBC Wiltshire [4] [9] Pettigrew, Thomas (1849) Memoirs of the Life of Vice-Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson, K. B., Duke of Bronté (London: T. & W. Boone) p. 96 • Britain Express • with dates of charter for medieval fair.

External links
• Salisbury (England) travel guide from Wikitravel • Salisbury at the Open Directory Project • Salisbury City Council • Wiltshire Council • Official tourism website • Salisbury College • Salisbury Playhouse • Salisbury Arts Centre • Salisbury International Arts Festival • Historic Salisbury photos at BBC Wiltshire • Old Postcards of Salisbury • Photos of Salisbury in 3d (Anaglyphs)

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.

Retrieved from "" Categories: Salisbury, Cities in England


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