|County||Wiltshire (6 castles)||Categories|
|Remains||Small amount survives||Access||Only open at certain times|
|Location||51.0934,-1.8057||Directions||Directions via Google Maps|
Using the prehistoric hill fort's defensive position to good use, the Normans built a new castle on the Old Sarum site. William the Conqueror paid off his soldiers here in this year.
The first cathedral at Old Sarum was built between 1075 and 1092. Its builder was Bishop Osmund, who was supposed to be William the Conqueror's nephew. From 1072 until 1078, Osmund was William's Chancellor and in 1078 Osmund was given the title of Bishop of Salisbury.
At the Council of London Archbishop Lanfranc instigated the movement of many English Bishoprics to more important locations. One of these was the Bishopric of Sherborne and Wilton which moved to Old Sarum.
Osmond was a Norman who came to England with William the Conqueror. He exchanged his noble title for that of a religious one and became Bishop at Old Sarum after Herbert. Osmond continued the construction work of a new cathedral at Old Sarum.
William the Conqueror called a meeting at Old Sarum where he invited his most important vassals and tenants-in-chief in England to swear allegiance to him. The oath is now known as the Oath of Salisbury.
The cathedral at Old Sarum was completed and dedicated to Blessed Virgin. The cathedral was damaged by a storm only five days after the dedication service and the roof destroyed. The location of the cathedral meant it exposed to the wind and the sermons were sometimes drowned out by the sound.
Bishop Herbert Poore presented plans to move the cathedral at Old Sarum to a new site nearer the river to be called New Sarum, or now Salisbury. Richard I approved the plan.
The defeat of the French fleet left Prince Louis without much hope of taking the English throne. William Marshall blockaded London from the sea and land and at Lambeth Louis accepted peace terms. Louis waived his claim to the throne of England and should have restored Normandy to Henry but did not. Louis was paid 10,000 marks to ensure he left the country as soon as possible. William Marshall pardoned all those who had supported Louis.
A new site 2 miles from the original site at Old Sarum was chosen for the new Salisbury Cathedral. For a cathedral the construction work was completed in a very short time and the building was consecrated in 1258 only 38 years later.
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