A Tale of Two Cities: Old and New Sarum


23-24 April 2022

For the 2022 conference we are departing from our usual format, and plan to hold our conference and its associated field meeting over a single weekend. The weekend will be devoted to the development of the urban landscape of Salisbury in Wiltshire.


Saturday 23 April – Conference

10.00 at Salisbury Museum in the Cathedral Close.

First session – chaired by Bill Moffat of Wessex Archeology.

10.10 Charles Watkins (Chairman, Society for Landscape Studies) Welcome and housekeeping.

10.20 Phil Harding (Wessex Archaeology) Joining the dots, reconstructing Salisbury’s past from the archaeology: a case study

11.00 Dominic Barker and Kristian Strutt (University of Southampton) Old Sarum and its environs: Recent research and future directions

11.40 BREAK

11.50 Lorraine Mepham (Wessex Archaeology) The supply and use of pottery in Old and New Sarum – a time of transition

12.30 Alex Langlands (Swansea University) Old Sarum, proto-urbanism and the early medieval landscape of the Salisbury basin

13.10 LUNCH

Second session – chaired by Hadrian Cook of the Society for Landscape Studies and the Harnham Water Meadows Trust.

14.15 Christopher Daniell (Independent researcher) The early development of New Sarum and St Thomas’s Church 1219-1269

14.50 Jamie Wright (Independent researcher) Fisherton Anger, Salisbury’s older suburb

15.25 BREAK

15.40 Geoff Lang (Independent researcher) A history of Salisbury marketplace

16.15 Alison Daniell (University of Southampon) A card to the ladies: Married women traders in Salisbury in the Long Eighteenth-Century

16.50 Hadrian Cook (Society for Landscape Studies) Something old and something new: suburbanisation of Salisbury since 1800

17.25 Questions and concluding comments

17.45 CLOSE

Sunday 24 April – Field meeting

Meet at 10.00 at the Reading Room at Stratford-sub-Castle SP1 3LL, below the hilltop of Old Sarum.

Old Sarum: What lies beneath? Leader: Bill Moffat (Wessex Archaeology)

This tour is an excursion into deep time and the marks it leaves on the landscape. It will focus on the hillfort of Old Sarum and the landscape in which it sits. It will provide a timeline from earliest evidence through to the Salisbury Spitfires, D-Day and the site’s modern role as a city park. We will look at the site as a central place in the Iron Age and Roman periods, it’s absorption into the Kingdom of Wessex, its subsequent use as a seat of royal power and the decline of the site post movement of the Cathedral.

c.13.00 LUNCH (Bring packed lunch)

Reconvene 14.30 at St Thomas’s Church, St Thomas’s Square, Salisbury SP1 1BA

Salisbury City: What lies beneath? Leader: Alex Langlands (Swansea University)

This tour of the centre of Salisbury City will consider how the topography may preserve an earlier settlement focus. We’ll look at the layout of streets, historical references, toponyms and limited archaeological evidence and consider how the wider geography of the region indicates an earlier focus on the valley bottom. The tour will finish with a visit inside St Thomas’s Church.

c.16.00 CLOSE and depart from St Thomas’s Church, Salisbury

Conference proceedings

The Society for Landscape Studies is planning to produce a book from the conference proceedings. This will aim to capture much of the present research findings and associated ideas about the history of this unique area, concentrating on the past millennium.

Conference fees

Saturday 23 April – Conference at Salisbury Museum

Non-members £15
Members of SLS or Salisbury Museum £12

The above includes refreshments, but not lunch.

A buffet lunch is available for £6 – includes a vegetarian option.  Alternatively you can choose to bring a packed lunch. Eating away from the Museum is not advisable as time is limited.

Sunday 24 April – Field meeting at Old Sarum and Salisbury

This is available as an additonal option for those attending the first day. It cannot be booked separately. Limited number of places.

£10 to include morning refreshments but not lunch. A packed lunch is essential.

Registration is now closed

If you have any queries, please contact Hadrian Cook, Meetings Organiser