Friday, May 30, 2008

WILTSHIRE Sarum, Salisbury area

Wiltshire, the District 
The area is a layer cake, as this site describes parts of it - history of Sarum, see below, at

From surface to deep below, are  successive cultures, religions for the ages. Burial practices, historical developments taking place within short distances, Cathedral, little hamlets with little Norman churches, like Mildenhall.  There ere are two Mildenhalls, one north of London with a military base, and then this little village they pronounce as "Minal" if you are looking.

In the area, an Iron Age hill fort, Caer Guorthigirn, or Vortigern;  then Roman Sorviodunum after the Roman invasion in 53 AD, Saxons fought over it in 554 AD, and more details (some reliable or not) from a travel chronicle dating back to 1480, see,

1.  Stonehenge:  see preceding post.

2. Old Sarum: 

Old Sarum is the original site of the town now located further to the south, where reliable water is, and known as Salisbury.  Work building the banks of this old site, the earthwork area began in about 5000 BC - a fort by 1000 BC, and the town on top of the mounded area. This town was in use through the time of the Romans and Normans, and finally the center of life moved to Salisbury, about 1219 AD. See
Old Sarum had religious significance from early Christian times.
"The Sarum Use" is an old liturgy that formed the basis for the later Book of Common Prayer, Church of England, the Common Prayer dating from 1549. View the Sarum Use, parallel Latin and the English, here - at 

Hear and see Sarum Use at
Or, go first to this site for an overview, and then click to view. See; overviews back at at
A new book is coming out on that liturgical Sarum Use, says The liturgy is also known as the Sarum Missal. See

Good older beach book: "Sarum - The  Novel of England," by Edward Rutherford, 1987, see
Salisbury. Apparently people needed water and the high earthwork town did not access it easily, thus the move to Salisbury and the vast Cathedral there,  see; and
It is possible to see much in a day.  FN 1

Fn 1.  Travel philosophy:  enjoy the full travel day, even after supper.
  • Getting around.  
 How do we cover so much in two weeks with a rented car?  Remember the short distances and small size of European countries. Go back to your globe and superimpose England, for example, on the US. Our car trips are not frenetic at all. They just unfold. Stonehenge, the Salisbury Plain; Old Sarum, 500 BC, see; Salisbury Cathedral, all an easy motorway drive from London and then south - short compared to the distances here. Easy to visit from London to Stonehenge, Stonehenge to Old Sarum, and then to Salisbury for the night.