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*The parish of Old Sarum (with a population of about 13) was amalgamated with that of Stratford sub-Castle in 1894. [1]

CATHEDRAL of Bishops Herman and Osmund 1075-92. Bishop Osmund’s Deed of Foundation and Endowment of this Church bears date. (4 William 2.) in the fourth Regnal year of William II. An. Dom. 1091. [2]  


CATHEDRAL of Bishop Roger. Early 12th C to 13th C


WITHIN THE CATHEDRAL, the rebuilt cathedral included three chapels at the eastern end beyond the outline of the first cathedral. [3] One of these was Our Lady’s Chapel, possibly the central of the three, or this may have been elsewhere. It was in use at least until 1246. [4] John Leland reported around 1540 “Osmund Erie of Dorchestre and after Bisshop of Sares-byri erectid his cathedrale chirch ther in the west part of the town: and also his palace. Wherof now no token is but only a chapelle of our Lady yet standing and mainteynid.” [5] The North and South Transepts of both Cathedrals were used as side Chapels. The Chapel of St Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mary, may have been the same as that of Our Lady, or another name of a rebuild or another Chapel.

CHURCH OF ST MARY was the Cathedral(s), it still is today. Henry I, Henry II and King John were Benefactors to “this Church of St. Mary of Sarum”. [2]


WITHIN THE BISHOP’S PALACE. There is believed to have been at least one chapel within Bishop Roger’s palace. Indeed, it would have been an unlikely omission.



  • ROMAN TEMPLE. (?) A Roman temple somewhere in Sorbiodunum is probable and somewhere within the hillfort possible. [6] One may lie beneath the Norman Castle inner bailey. A Roman building was found just over 5 metres down by excavators in 1911 working sideways from the bottom of a well in the southern part of the inner bailey. Pottery, a coin, wall tiles, wall plaster and a piece of a Roman Rhine Feldspar grinding stone found could indicate a dwelling house rather than a temple, but it was substantially built. [7] No Roman votive artefacts have been found in or around Old Sarum. [8]  

  • CHURCH OF ST JAMES. Thought to be pre conquest (8th C). Site unknown, but possibly inside the hillfort under a charter in 720 granted by Wessex King Ine. [9], [10]

  • CHAPEL OF ST MARGARET, this still exists, with part of its altar, near a well in the centre of the castle inner bailey. It consisted of a nave of two bays and a chancel of one bay with a recess eastwards, 6 feet deep, for the altar. [11] In today's cathedral there is a Chapel to Saint Margaret of Wessex. She was educated at Wilton convent and had hoped to become a nun but became the Queen of Scotland and a Queen Mother to England. She died in 1093 but was not canonised until 1250.  All the records of The St Margaret Chapel in the castle however predate this. There are none after 1247. Its patron is therefore more likely to have been St Margaret of Antioch. She was a popular patron of churches and chapels by the 9thC and the patron saint of childbirth.

  • CHAPEL OF ST NICHOLAS. Was immediately above the chapel of St Margaret, though another theory places it and not St Margaret in the basement of the Great Tower. [12]

  • CHAPEL OF ST MARY or of the Virgin Mary, within one of the towers. This may have been within the Postern Tower above the vestibule. This may be the same as or confused with a Chapel of St Mary Magdalene in the tower to which a Chaplain was appointed in 1246 with a salary of 37s 6d. [13]


St Margaret Chapel and a tramway to remove the spoil from the excavations. This lantern slide was taken by Lt-Col W Hawley and published in the Old Sarum Excavation Fund Report of the Excavation Committee to the Society of Antiquaries for 1909 and 1910 (W.H St John Hope and W Hawley, published by the Society in 1911).

  • CHANTRY CHAPEL ie one that is for prayers for the dead. Permission was given in 1331 to build it but this may be the same as St Mary’s Chapel or a rebuild of it. [14]

  • CHAPEL OF THE HOLY CROSS, this may have been physically an upper storey of the East Gate house as the word “ultra” may mean it was above or over it, or just that it was sited higher than it, within the outer bailey and possibly alongside a market place so overlooking the East gate. There was a chamber above the gate, works on it were recorded for 1187-8. [15] It could mean beyond the Gatehouse and refer to the Church of the Holy Rood. Leland around 1540 however suggests that the two were separate, “Ther was a paroch of the Holy Rode beside in Old-Sares-byri: and an other over the est gate wherof yet sum tokens remayne.” [5] Paroch for parish remains today in the word parochial. On 4th December 1246, the sheriff was directed that “inasmuch as the body of the church of the Holy Cross above the great gate of the outer bailey of the King's Castle of Sarum threatened to become a ruin, it was to be taken down and another body of the church made anew.” [15]

  • ROYAL FREE CHAPEL in the castle received a presentation by the Crown in 1381. This may be one of the above chapels though, possibly a later name for the Chapel of the Holy Cross above the East Gate. [16] It may be that the Free Chapel in the castle, the Chapels of St. Mary, the Virgin Mary and that of Our Lady are all the same chapel. [17] A Royal Free Chapel is reported as predating the Cathedral. “The original property of the castle at Old Sarum, and of the free chapel within it, (for such a free chapel there was before any cathedral church was there built) was veiled, not in the earl or bishop, but in the king.” [18] Royal Chapels then and now are under Royal not Diocesan jurisdiction.



  • CHAPEL OF ST LAWRENCE. This predates the church. In 1228 Bishop Poor wrote “Know ye that we, by the of impulse of charity, have confirmed our beloved Master Harvey the Church of St Martin of our Manor in Stratford with the Chapel of Stratford which are in our gift.......and... the tithes of our mills in Sarum.” [19]

  • CHURCH OF ST LAWRENCE. One of a delayed batch of consecrations in 1326.

  • CHURCH OF ST PETER. is first mentioned in 1229 as a gift of the king to Wymund the clerk. In 1277 Richard Hutte escaped from custody for stealing wool. He was arrested by force at St Peter’s but a jury at Old Sarum Castle decided he was entitled to sanctuary there and was returned these (for up to 40 days) [20]. In 1279 Thomas de Dagenhal was appointed to serve there, [21] in November 1289 John de Pateneye, [22] in 1351 John de Colyngbourne  [23] and in 1412 as the last Rector, William Colville. [16]  In 1327 its parson instituted legal proceedings against the chaplain of the Holy Cross over the tithing income from the castle (and lost). The thirteen jurors noted the Castle of Sarum was not within the boundaries of the parish and Church of St Peter. [13]   More escaped prisoners sought sanctuary there in 1343-4. Site unknown. Possibly somewhere to the south west of Old Sarum and near the river and a mill according to a 1255 report. [24]

  • CHURCH OF THE HOLY ROOD or Rode or Cross. Funds were allotted to the rebuilding of the body of the Church of the Holy Cross, see above, in 1246. [13] This was probably moved to the east roughly where the A345 now runs. It is possible too that a Chapel or Church of the Holy Cross was built inside the outer bailey adjoining a possible market area. A Chaplain’s salary is recorded as 37s 5d in 1237 for a Chapel or Church “without” the gate of the castle. [13]

  • CHURCH OF STRATFORD COMMON as opposed to Stratford Dean where St Lawrence Church lies. Existence uncertain, site and dedication and dates unknown, possibly 12th to 17th C

  • CHURCH OF ST ETHELREDA. This is a Saxon saint so presumably pre Norman Conquest. Site unknown. Possibly to the south west of Old Sarum. In 1351 Hugh Amye was appointed “chaplain, to the church of St. Aldreda. Old Sarum, in the diocese of Salisbury” [25] and a bequest was made in 1361 to that of St Ethelred by John atte Stone who was executed. [13]

  • CHAPEL OF ST JOHN later Church and Hospital and also as St John and St Anthony’s. In 1260 a three year permit to collect alms was granted “to the hospital of St. John the Baptist and St. Anthony, Salisbury, and the brethren thereof. Protection with clause rogamus, for three years”. [26] Leland tells us (around 1540) “And yn the est suburbe was a paroch chirch of S. John: and ther yet is a chapelle stand inge.”  [5] This site was found (accidentally) along the road to Ford. [27] It was a leper hospital. It is possible the Church and Hospital of St John were separate entities. [4] In 1547 Richard Dunstall is described as the incumbent at “the Free Chappell of St. John's under the castell of Old Sarum. in the parishe of Stratford.” [28]

  • PROTESTANT DISSENTER Houses Registered under the 1672 Declaration of Indulgence. None

  • DISSENTERS OR NON COFORMISTS Places of worship in Stratford sub castle and Old Sarum registered as such under the Toleration Act 1689-1852. [29]

  • Certificate signed 20 Dec. 1797 (Certificate registered and licence issued 6 Jan. 1798). Stratford sub Castle. A dwellinghouse the property of Thomas Ogden inhabited by Thomas Lampard. Independent. Signed Roger Alexander, Thomas Lamppard, George Lamppard, John Price, the mark of William Tutt, the mark of William Smith. (WRO D1/2/29, Registrations. 507A)

  • Certificate signed 6 Aug. 1811 (Certificate registered and licence issued 17 Aug. 1811). The house of John Whatley. Baptist. Signed The mark of John Whalley, James Butler, William Penny, S. Lambert, John Penny, William Sworn, John James. (WRO D1/9/2/4. 707) John Whatley and Whalley are likely to be the same man and may be spelled Whatly in other documents. This MAY be Stratford Ton(e)y and not sub Castle. There was a certificate for Baptist worship in 1806 in the home of Samuel Short in Stratford Tony. A William Penny was married in Stratford sub Castle in 1789.

  • Certificate signed 10 Feb. 1816 (Certificate registered and licence issued 13 Feb. 1816). Stratford sub Castle. A house in the occupation of Jonathan Viney. [Methodist]. Signed William Sanger junior, of Salisbury. (WRO D1/9/2/1, Certificates. 805)

  • Certificate signed I Aug. 1823 (Certificate registered and licence issued 16 Aug. 1823). Stratford sub Castle. The house of George Dibden. Baptist. Signed John Saffery of Salisbury. (WRO D1/9/2/1, Certificates. 1039)

  • Places of worship in Stratford sub castle registered as such for Non Conformists under The Places of Religious Worship Certifying Act 1852. None. And the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 (Registration being optional for worship alone, compulsory if marriages performed). None. [30]

  • Places of Worship with postal address of Old Sarum recorded by the Registrar General under the provisions of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 for worship (optional) and marriage (compulsory). [31] The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, Westside Close, Old Sarum, Salisbury. This land was purchased by the Mormons in 1988 but building didn’t start till 2013. [32] The 20th C residential area called Old Sarum however lies outside the old castle and cathedrals, the Grade 1 listed, scheduled monument site of Old Sarum, outside the Old Sarum and Stratford parishes and so outside the scope of this list.


Kerry O’Connor

January 2023



[1] Slocombe, Ivor. 2005 The Establishment of Parish Councils in Wiltshire. Wiltshire Archaeological And Natural History Magazine (WANHM) vol. 98, pp. 49-70

[2] Dugdale, W 1693 Monasticon Anglicanum, or, The history of the ancient abbies, and other monasteries, hospitals, cathedral and collegiate churches in England and Wales. III p 303

[3] Old Salisbury: The cathedral', in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 6, ed. Elizabeth Crittall (London, 1962), pp. 60-62. British History Online [accessed 2 January 2023].

[4] Moffat, Bill 2005 The Archaeology of Wiltshire’s Towns An Extensive Urban Survey Old Sarum & Sorviodunum. Wiltshire County Archaeology Service

[5] Leland, J approx 1540 The Laboriouse Journey and Serche of JOHAN LEYLANDE FOR ENGLANDES ANTIQUITEES, Geven of hym as a Newe Yeares Gyfte to King HENRY the viii. in the xxxvii Yeare of his Raygne

[6] James, D 2013 The Medieval City of Old Sarum. Its Churches. Friends of St Lawrence Newsletter 19 p 5

[7] Hawley, William 1912 Proceedings Of The Society Of Antiquaries (of London) vol 24 p 57-8

[8] Smith, A 2022. The Long History of Old Sarum Part II The Roman Period. Friends of St Lawrence Newsletter 37 p6.

[9] James, D 2013 The Medieval City of Old Sarum. Its Churches. Friends of St Lawrence Newsletter 19 p 5.

[10] Jackson, J E 1867 On Ancient Chapels, &c, in Co. Wilts WANHM 10 p 303

[11] St. John Hope W. H. 1911 Report of the Committee for the excavations at Old Sarum during the past season: Proceedings Of The Society Of Antiquaries vol 23 p 503.

[12] ibid page 509

[13] Benson, R and Hatcher, H 1843 Old and New Sarum or Salisbury, in the Modern History of South Wiltshire, R C Hoare page 62-3

[14] 'Old Salisbury: The castle', in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 6, ed. Elizabeth Crittall (London, 1962), pp. 53-60. British History [accessed 2 January 2023].

[15] St. John Hope, W. H. Report of the Committee for excavations at Old Sarum during the past season.   Proceedings Of The Society Of Antiquaries Of London 2nd Series Vol.23 p 192-3   

[16] Jackson JE 1854 Leland’s Journey Through Wiltshire WANHM 1 p162 footnotes.

[17] Musty, J. Rahtz, P A. 1964 The Suburbs Of Old Sarum WANHM 59 p 132.

[18] Price, Francis 1774 A description of that admirable structure, the cathedral church of Salisbury.  With the chapels, monuments, grave-stones, and their inscriptions. To which is prefixed an account of Old Sarum. p34.

[19] as 13, p 44-5

[20] Pugh, Ralph B. (Editor) 1978 .  Wiltshire Gaol Delivery And Trailbaston Trials 1275-1306 . Wiltshire Record Society (Formerly The Records Branch Of The Wiltshire Archaeological And Natural History Society) Volume xxxiii For The Year I977. Case 118.

[21] Calendar of the Patent Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office. 1272-1281 Edward I. Entry for April 28th 1279 Westminster.

[22] ibid November 6th 1289 Clarendon

[23] Calendar Of The Patent Rolls Preserved In The Public Record Office 1350-1354 Edward III. May 12th Westminster

[24] Langlands, A. 2014 Placing the burh in Searobyrg: rethinking the urban topography of early medieval Salisbury. WANHM 107 p 91-105

[25] as 23 For July 10th 1351 Westminster.

[26] Calendar Of The Patent Rolls, Preserved In The Public Record Office: Henry III, 1216-1272. Entry for August 30th 1260 Wherwell

[27] Bartlett, ADH. 2003 Old Sarum “Chapel Site” Wiltshire, Report of a Geophysical Survey. For English Heritage. Centre for Archaeology Report 60/2003

[28] as 10, p310

[29] Wiltshire Record Society 1984 Volume XL Wiltshire Dissenters’ Meeting House Certificates And Registrations 1689-1852 Edited By J H Chandler

[30]. HM Passport Office, 2010. Places recorded by the Registrar General under the provisions of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855.

[31] HM Passport Office. Places of worship registered for marriage. 2015, updated to 2022

[32] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 2013 News-uk Press release 20th November 2013

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