Royal Retreats

King Ina, King Egbert. King Alfred The Great, King William I and subsequent Monarchs all had strong associations with Old Sarum and Salisbury.

Who would have thought that the wall around the Close, built in the 1300’s, would become the barrier for royalty to use to protect themselves from deadly diseases? Well it did for King Charles II in 1665. The plague was killing off London, so Charles II and his court took luxurious refuge in Malmesbury House. The house stands just within the walls and near St. Ann’s Gate.

Long before this plague hit England, William the Conqueror sought out the first site of Salisbury, Old Sarum, to demobilise his troops and to meet with all the landowners in the area. They all had to look into his eyes and swear the oath of allegiance. Poor Queen Eleanor, Eleanor of Aquitane, Henry 1st’s wife spent some long years at Old Sarum. She was imprisoned by her husband in 1173.

So, for some a retreat, for others a prison. It is worth remembering that Old Sarum and New Sarum, or Salisbury as it now known, saw it’s share of Royal Monarchs visits and still does. Why not walk where for hundreds of years monarchs and their courts also walked? Come and see the vistas that they also viewed, even if these vistas have somewhat changed over time.

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Our tour costs are based on a number of different factors including group size, location, transportation costs and more. We aim to offer bespoke tour packages that can include multiple tours and take place over half or full days. Please get in touch to find out more information about booking a tour with Salisbury Chequered History Guides.

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