Inside the fortress, you reach the inner bailey with the remains of the old and new palaces respectively. There is not much left but it is all clearly labelled by English Heritage so you can read up on what you are looking at. As you cross the wooden bridge into the bailey, you need to pay an entrance fee at the English Heritage hut (where there is also a souvenir shop) and check the opening times on the web page below to see it's not closed when you want to visit. Sometimes the bailey is also used for jousting and other history reinactments.
It is amazing to think that the moat was actually started as early as in Neolithic times when people had only deer antlers to dig with. Even if it was improved by later people, those first tribes set the tone for the layout. The hill itself was also used and later improved in the design by William the Conqueror and must have been very hard to invade without great planning. You can look at all this for free just by strolling around the ramparts.
I found this the most fascinating with Old Sarum. From the old palace area you can look down onto the lawn where once stood the first cathedral in the area. You can see the foundations, making you realise just how it must have looked like when still there. To be ctd.
Not much is left of old Sarum, but what is left there is worth a visit. The ruins of an once proud castle are still visible and you can walk around there everywhere. Explanatory plates will help you understand, what all the rooms were for.
Outside of the fort, you will see the ruins of the cathedral. Here, you will those stones froming the outline of the cathedral - still looking very impressive. It was build between 1120 and 1130, but already demolished in 1250, when the cathedral in New Sarum (Salisbury) was nearing cowmpletition. A walk around the chalk ditch will give you a nice overview over Old Sarum, but also the landscape and the view on modern Salisbury is worth to do it.
You will have to pay a small entry fee to see the inner bailey with the castle from inside, but the cathedral and the surrounding areas are for free
This is an English Heritage site, which we did not visit except to look back at Salisbury plain.
Old Sarum is approached via an opening in two high Iron Age banks, which obscure the site from outside. The banks were begun almost 5000 years ago.
In 1070, William the Conqueror paid off his army here and, in 1085, demanded loyalty from his nobles. A castle, palace and cathedral were built inside the earthwork.
Today, the remains of the prehistoric fortress, of the Norman palace, castle and cathedral have been excavated. Even without going in, you can see the surrounding chalk downs, with many wild flowers.
Entry Costs (£):
EH Members Free
1 Apr - 30 June & 1 - 30 Sep 2003 10am - 6pm
1 Jul - 31 Aug 2003 9am - 6pm
1 - 31 Oct 2003 10am - 5pm
1 Nov 2003 - 31 Mar 2004 10am - 4pm
This place teems with people out taking their dogs for walks. The lower part of the site is free, and Brits have a very keen sense of public access, so you see lots more people out walking their dogs in rural areas rather than along the streets like at home in the States, or at least my part of the States. But, I never saw much of the residue expected from all those dogs. Either I am not very observant, very lucky, or the owners are cleaning up after their pets.
Many years ago I read Edward Rutherford's Sarum and adored it. Very long, very epic. If you haven't read it, pick it up at the gift shop at the admission gate and pick a spot to sit and read for an hour among the ruins.
I don't see much livestock in my part of the world, so seeing sheep just wandering the countryside was a bit of a thrill. I wanted to pet these animals, but they aren't really pet-able. And it probably isn't a good idea to get friendly with non-domestic creatures anyway.