Conference Videos

The Society for Landscape Studies Annual Conference and Field Meeting 2022 is called ‘A Tale of Two Cities: Old and New Sarum’, held on Saturday 23rd and 24th April, here are the conference videos. Formal presentations were given at the Salisbury Museum on the Saturday, and there were field visits to Old Sarum and the City Centre on the following Sunday.

The scope of the conference covers current active research by archaeologists and historians in the Salisbury area, from late prehistory to the twentieth century. The main theme is the relationship between the two settlements, especially the move from Old to New Sarum. Contributions covered the archaeological evidence, markets and market places and urban change and development.

The two-day event was judged a great success, and we anticipate publishing a book from the proceedings in association with Archaeopress in Oxford. This is to be edited by Hadrian Cook and Alex Langlands.

We are pleased to announce the formal presentations are available on line at ****. The Society would like to thank Richard Laughton for his hard work in recording and editing the videoed talks, and also Niki Buskell for managing this website.

A Tale of Two Cities: Old and New Sarum

Society for Landscape Studies annual Conference 23rd and 24th April 2022

Day 1: Saturday 23rd April at The Salisbury Museum, The Kings House, 65 The Close, Salisbury SP1 2EN

Morning session. Chair: Bill Moffat (Wessex Archaeology)

Open doors at 10:00 hrs

Welcome by Prof Charles Watkins (SLS Chairman) and housekeeping: 1010 hrs

Joining the dots, reconstructing Salisbury’s past from the archaeology: a case study

Phil Harding (Wessex Archaeology)

Salisbury’s archaeological database has increased immeasurably over the last fifty years, from humble beginnings to more recent large-scale excavations. This led to Wessex Archaeology undertaking a study of the city’s development using the archaeological record, which will be published shortly under the title ‘Joining the Dots: uniting Salisbury’s past through holes in the ground’.

This presentation aims to demonstrate how this data can be used to reconstruct parts of the medieval city which now survive only as archaeological deposits. The work will concentrate on excavations by Wessex Archaeology and Cotswold Archaeology at the former Salisbury Bus Station, incorporating evidence from other selected sites across the city.

Old Sarum and its Environs: Recent Research and Future Directions

Dominic Barker and Kristian Strutt – Dept. of Archaeology, Univ. of Southampton

From 2014 until 2019 the Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton, has been conducting a project mapping the nature of the site of Old Sarum and its immediate environs, focusing on the monument and the zone between Old Sarum and the River Avon. To date the project has utilised methods of non-intrusive prospecting, and targeted excavation over several features located in the survey results. This talk will present some of the latest survey results associated with the western part of Old Sarum, Stratford sub-Castle, and the Romano-British settlement along the Portway, discussing findings, the hiatus in work during the pandemic, and future possible directions for the research.

The supply and use of pottery in Old and New Sarum – a time of transition

Lorraine Mepham – Wessex Archaeology

Pottery recovered from various locations at Old Sarum and across Salisbury has revealed a sequence running from at least the eleventh century, right through the medieval period and beyond. The move from Old Sarum to the new city is mirrored in a change in patterns of pottery production and distribution. The inhabitants of the older settlement were supplied with a range of pottery types from sources across a wide area of Wessex. From the early thirteenth century, however, the local market was dominated by a single source at Laverstock, and the growing mercantile basis of the new city, which had close links with the major port of Southampton, is apparently not reflected in an influx of exotic ceramics. This paper will explore the changes in ceramic production and supply and the possible reasons behind them.

Old Sarum, proto-urbanism and the early medieval landscape of the Salisbury basin

Alex Langlands – Dept. of History, Swansea University

A relative shortage of specific historical evidence for the Salisbury region in the early medieval period has stifled enquiry into what was a central and important component in the kingdom of Wessex. Adopting the landscape approach, mapping topographical details, archaeological finds, toponyms, and the evidence from early medieval charters can do much to flesh out this transformative period of the region’s history. This paper explores the impetuses for urban development, the tensions between topography, power, bottom-up economic expansion, and agricultural intensification, and how these played out across the poly-focal landscape of Old Sarum, Wilton and Salisbury

The Early Development of New Sarum and St Thomas’s Church

Christopher Daniell – Independent Researcher

The location of St Thomas’s church has puzzled historians and archaeologists since at the least the Victorian era because it does not sit within the regular pattern of the Chequers.  This anomaly has led to speculation that the church (initially a chapel) was founded before New Sarum, possibly in the Anglo-Saxon era.  This paper will explore the early history of New Sarum, with particular reference to the chronological sequence of events, the role of St Martin’s church, the Market Place, and St Thomas’s chapel. The conclusion will be a proposed phased development of the city from 1219 to 1269 and suggest a reason for the location of St Thomas’s church.

Fisherton Anger, Salisbury’s older suburb

Jamie Wright – Independent Researcher

Fisherton Anger, a parish before Old Sarum had a cathedral, was transformed when Salisbury moved to its present location. From being a small rural village largely dependent on fishing it rapidly became a suburb of the new city, the location of one of Salisbury’s friaries, the county gaol, Salisbury’s hospital, gas works, an asylum, the main railway station, and supplier of bricks – the main building material for half the life of the city. The assimilation is so complete that few local people now know where Fisherton’s boundaries are located. Described by Leland in the 1540s as a suburb of Salisbury, Fisherton’s development is followed from Domesday until the eighteenth century, when an explosion of data reveals how closely the neighbours were interrelated.

A History of Salisbury Marketplace

Geoff Lang – Independent Researcher

The marketplace has played a prominent role in the history of Salisbury and yet its continuous, multifunctional significance to the city has often been underplayed by historians. Using a range of primary and secondary sources, the research reported highlights the crucial importance of the marketplace to the economic, political, and social life of the city throughout its history. The marketplace was the driving force behind the bishop’s original New Sarum project and became the setting for one of the country’s great medieval markets. Its buildings have been homes and business places of medieval merchants, eighteenth century craftsmen and Victorian family shopkeepers. However, it has also been the centre of civic government, punishment, and authority with public whippings occurring into the nineteenth century. By the Victorian era, the marketplace had gradually transitioned into a more communal location, culminating in great public celebrations. Despite many challenges over 800 years, including actual and threatened building encroachments and the removal of the livestock market in the 1950s, this flat, open urban space encircled by its multi-period buildings, has survived, and flourishes today. This, it can be argued, is due to its highly adaptable and multifunctional history.

A Card to the Ladies: Married Women Traders in Salisbury in the Long Eighteenth-Century

Alison Daniell – Dept. of English, University of Southampton

Wives – as opposed to single women – have long been neglected as a topic of scholarly research. Issues relating to the invisibility of married women in England within the historic record, the complexities that surrounded their legal and economic status and an erroneous belief that women’s activities were confined to domestic issues has meant that comparatively little attention has been focussed on wives. As part of a fresh wave of scholarship about wives, this paper examines the economic activity of wives in eighteenth-century Salisbury through the use of trade directories and newspaper advertising. It builds on existing research by scholars such as Hannah Barker and Maxine Berg to show that women’s economic activity in the city was broadly in line with other areas of the country, including the expanding industrial towns of the north. It also interrogates the orthodoxy of ‘private sphere’ narratives by analysing how women deftly utilised newspaper advertising to promote their businesses and deconstructs these advertisements to reveal that the roles available to married women were more complex, nuanced, and dynamic than mainstream assumptions generally allow.
Keywords: Eighteenth century, economic history, women traders, Salisbury.

Something old and something new: suburbanisation of Salisbury since 1800

Hadrian Cook – Society for Landscape Studies

Long-term patterns of urban development around Salisbury and Old Sarum are complex when compared with elsewhere. Fisherton excepted, outward urban expansion of Salisbury was limited before 1800, so this paper concentrates on nineteenth and twentieth century expansion. Development was originally constrained by topography because watermeadows and downland constrained building, with river terraces experiencing land use competition for urban development. Never a major manufacturing centre in the modern period, Salisbury enjoyed commercial and market town functions. Development mirrors the social and economic evolution of Salisbury and its environs. Particularly since 1840, these echo national trends. Suburbanisation was strongest since the arrival of the railway c.1850, and in the twentieth century the process was stimulated by military and other publicly funded employers. Population density dramatically decreased after 1920 as the city expanded outwards. This study stresses contiguous relationships between settlements involved in suburban development

View all videos on our new YouTube Channel.