Sunday, January 17, 2010

Old Sarum Castle

click on any photo for larger image

Another day in England, cold and rainy. Another pile of rocks. The remains of Old Sarum Castle are just outside Salisbury. It has a long history as a fort. The pile we saw dates from around William the Conqueror. Eleanor of Aquitaine was kept prisoner here by her husband, Henry II. Here's a bit of political hanky-panky: from the 14th to 19th century with no residents, two members were elected to the House of Commons. Old Sarum was finally disenfranchised in 1832. So sad.

The filler for the walls is flint and cement, with quarried sandstone for the face stones. (Now I know that the gravel in our garden is flint.)

The castle had latrines. When the king left town, someone was lowered down... down... down to clean up the mess. This lends depth to the meaning of sanitation worker (pun intended).

We could walk around the outer walls, finding long views across Salisbury Plain.

Outside the castle were remains of earlier Salisbury cathedrals (yes, plural).

We never did get to Salisbury, but we could see the "new" cathedral in the distance.

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