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Old Sarum is now open for you to visit. You now need to book your timed tickets in advance. We have introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you won’t be able to visit without your booking confirmation. If you’re a Member, your ticket will be free, but you still need to book in advance. There are other new steps in place to ensure everyone’s safety, so your visit will be a little different.
We have introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you won’t be able to visit without your booking confirmation. If you’re a Member, your ticket will be free, but you still need to book in advance. Click here to book your visit.
Although things might be a little different when you visit, you’ll still be able to enjoy exploring the places where history really happened. And you’ll still be given a warm and safe welcome by our friendly – if socially distant – staff and volunteers.
The outer ramparts are probably built to protect residents and livestock from danger.
Old Sarum (Sorviodunum) is continuously occupied during the Roman period. Two major settlements flourish outside the ramparts.
Find out more about the history of Old Sarum
Old Sarum functions as a religious centre, defensive refuge and stronghold for post-Roman British settlements.
William I builds a motte-and-bailey castle called Seresberi. It contains a new cathedral employing 36 priests.
Henry I builds the stone keep. Bishop Roger of Sarum rebuilds the cathedral on a lavish scale.
Queen Eleanor of Aquitane spends 16 years under house arrest for treason. Henry II undertakes major renovations.
The cathedral clergy decide to abandon Old Sarum for a new site in the valley below.
Bishop Richard Poore lays stones for New Sarum (Salisbury) cathedral.
Most of the old cathedral is demolished and its stones are carried 2 miles to the new cathedral at Salisbury, to be reused there.
Although the castle is still functioning as an administrative building, Henry VIII grants all remaining stone as building material.
Despite its lack of population, Old Sarum continues to send members to Parliament until the Great Reform Act of 1832 abolishes such 'rotten boroughs'.
A dry summer reveals the foundation of the cathedral. Antiquarian Henry Hatcher reconstructs the cathedral's probable original plan.
Sir William Hope excavates with the London Society of Antiquaries. Much stone and soil is removed. On Hope's death, the knowledge of these loose stone layouts is lost.
Under English Heritage, excavations continue. Modern technologies allow far more to be uncovered than was thought possible, despite missing stones.
Learn more about Old Sarum