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Historic England Research Records

Old Sarum Castle

Hob Uid: 1197078
Location :
Wiltshire
Salisbury
Grid Ref : SU1377032678
Summary : A Motte and bailey castle founded by William I soon after the conquest and constructed on the site of the Iron Age hillfort at Old Sarum. Additions to the castle were made during the reign of King Henry II, especially between 1170-79. Repairs were documented between 1201-1208 and the last known main phase of building took place during the early 13th century. Further repairs were also documented in 1247. During the 13th century, the military importance of the castle declined. Repairs to the castle took place during the 14th century, but it was demolished by 1514. The motte is situated on the highest point of the spur in the centre of the hillfort. It is oval in plan measuring 370ft by 320ft and is surrounded by a ditch 20ft deep and 75ft wide. The mound top covers an area of two acres and was enclosed by a stone curtain wall constructed 1170-80. It contained a range of buildings which included an adminstrative compound dating from the late 11th-early 12th century. The compound comprised the Great Tower, Herlewins' Tower, the Kitchen Tower and the courtyard house which was the principal domestic building for the castle. The foundations of these buildings are still visible. Excavations have also located the layout of additional buildings. The lower bailey originally comprised the eastern area of the hillfort, ultilising the hillfort defences. It was expanded in around 1140 AD, when the outer curtain wall was constructed to include the perimeter of the hillfort. The wall has no towers and is between 10ft-12ft wide and survives to a height of 12ft. It encloses an area containing the cathedral and Close which resulted in conflict between the castle and the ecclesiastical authorities, this eventually leading to the move of the cathedral (SU 12 NW 13) to Salisbury (New Sarum) in 1219 and subsequent abandonment of Old Sarum. The site is Scheduled and in the care of of the Secretary of state.
More information : A Motte and bailey castle founded by William I soon after the conquest and constructed on the site of the Iron Age hillfort at Old Sarum. Additions to the castle were made during the reign of King Henry II, especially between 1170-79. Repairs were documented between 1201-1208 and the last known main phase of building took place during the early 13th century. Further repairs were also documented in 1247. During the 13th century, the military importance of the castle declined. Repairs to the castle took place during the 14th century, but it was demolished by 1514. The motte is situated on the highest point of the spur in the centre of the hillfort. It is oval in plan measuring 370ft by 320ft and is surrounded by a ditch 20ft deep and 75ft wide. The mound top covers an area of two acres and was enclosed by a stone curtain wall constructed 1170-80. It contained a range of buildings which included an adminstrative compound dating from the late 11th-early 12th century. The compound comprised the Great Tower, Herlewins' Tower, the Kitchen Tower and the courtyard house which was the principal domestic building for the castle. The foundations of these buildings are still visible. Excavations have also located the layout of additional buildings. The lower bailey originally comprised the eastern area of the hillfort, ultilising the hillfort defences. It was expanded in around 1140 AD, when the outer curtain wall was constructed to include the perimeter of the hillfort. The wall has no towers and is between 10ft-12ft wide and survives to a height of 12ft. It encloses an area containing the cathedral and Close which resulted in conflict between the castle and the ecclesiastical authorities, this eventually leading to the move of the cathedral (SU 12 NW 13) to Salisbury (New Sarum) in 1219 and subsequent abandonment of Old Sarum. The site is Scheduled and in the care of of the Secretary of state. (1-5)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ministry of Works. 1950. Old Sarum Guide
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Source Number : 2
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : O3-July-1997
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Source Number : 3
Source : Old Sarum, Wiltshire [guide]
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Source Number : 4
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 2 : the Middle Ages
Source details :
Page(s) : 824-8
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Source Number : 5
Source : Ancient and historical monuments in the city of Salisbury: volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : Jan-13
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Source : SU 13 SW 30 (Old Sarum) (1965)
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Source : SU 13 SW 30 (Old Sarum) (1965)
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Founded soon after 1066
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Constructed from late C11-early C12
Monument End Date : 1132
Monument Start Date : 1067
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Outer curtain wall built c1140
Monument End Date : 1150
Monument Start Date : 1130
Monument Type : Curtain Wall
Evidence : Structure
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Additions of 1170-79
Monument End Date : 1179
Monument Start Date : 1170
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey, Castle
Evidence : Earthwork, Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Inner curtain wall built
Monument End Date : 1180
Monument Start Date : 1170
Monument Type : Curtain Wall
Evidence : Structure
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Early C13 construction
Monument End Date : 1232
Monument Start Date : 1201
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey, Castle
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Repaired 1201-08
Monument End Date : 1208
Monument Start Date : 1201
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey, Castle
Evidence : Earthwork, Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Repaired in 1247
Monument End Date : 1247
Monument Start Date : 1247
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey, Castle
Evidence : Earthwork, Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Demolished by 1514
Monument End Date : 1514
Monument Start Date : 1514
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey, Castle
Evidence : Earthwork, Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : NMR 4117/14
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Guardianship Number
External Cross Reference Number : 469
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 318843
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 26715
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : NMR 4117/15
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : NMR 4117/17
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 297
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 13 SW 149
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 218530
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1197111
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 660752
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD SARUM, EAST SUBURB
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date :
End Date :
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD SARUM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1796-01-01
End Date : 1796-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD SARUM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1835-01-01
End Date : 1835-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD SARUM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1854-01-01
End Date : 1854-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD SARUM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1909-01-01
End Date : 1915-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD SARUM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1918-01-01
End Date : 1980-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD SARUM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1957-01-01
End Date : 1957-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD SARUM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1963-01-01
End Date : 1963-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD SARUM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1964-01-01
End Date : 1964-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD SARUM, EAST GATE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1967-01-01
End Date : 1967-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD SARUM, WEST GATE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1969-01-01
End Date : 1969-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD SARUM
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1972-01-01
End Date : 1972-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD SARUM
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1987-01-01
End Date : 1987-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT OLD SARUM
Activity type : MANAGEMENT SURVEY
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, NEW RETAIL UNIT, OLD SARUM
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE BAKEHOUSE, OLD SARUM CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD SARUM BRIDGE
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD SARUM CASTLE, WALL AND PATH REPAIRS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2003-01-01
End Date : 2003-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, DEAN'S FARM, PHILLIPS LANE, STRATFORD-SUB-CASTLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2013-01-01
End Date : 2013-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, OLD SARUM LANDSCAPES
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2017-12-31