10 fun facts about Salisbury

Timeless. Traditional. Quirky. Original. This is Salisbury. 

We have medieval architecture, a towering cathedral, historic markets and beautiful green spaces. What more do you need to know? Here are our ten fun facts about Salisbury: 

1) Salisbury is over 800 years old. It moved to its current location from a settlement at Old Sarum. The original site is one of the most historically important in southern England, with parts thought to date back as far as 400 BC. You can still see the remnants of the old settlement to this day. Make sure you visit!

Old Sarum

2) Since the late 16th century, the spire of Salisbury Cathedral has been the tallest in England, standing at 404 ft/123m. 

3) Salisbury Cathedral houses the best-preserved of four remaining copies of the Magna Carta and the world’s oldest clock! Make the most of the cathedral by taking a guided tour. Expert guides will make sure you don't miss all the interesting highlights.

Visitors viewing Salisbury Cathedral's oldest clock

4) Salisbury's Charter Market is one of the oldest in the UK. It has been running since 1227, seven years after the building of Salisbury Cathedral began! Soak in the atmosphere every week, each Tuesday and Saturday.  

5) It’s not just the market that has been running for a very long time, Salisbury's fair is also one of the longest running in the country. In 1227, King Henry III granted a Charter to the Bishop of Salisbury to hold a fair on the third Monday in October and it's happened every year since. 

The Charter Fair in Salisbury Market Place

6) The Close that surrounds Salisbury Cathedral is the largest in Britain at 80 acres. It offers plenty of perfect picnic spots to sit back and admire the towering spire. 

7) Stonehenge, one of the world’s great wonders, is located just 9 miles from Salisbury. The prehistoric monument has stood impressive in the Wiltshire countryside for 4,500 years. 

8) With over 200 independent shops, Salisbury offers a unique shopping experience and an opportunity to discover things you wouldn’t find on any other high street.  

9) Over the last 800 years, Salisbury has developed a strong tradition of arts and culture. The Salisbury International Arts Festival attracts visitors from around the world. Salisbury Playhouse is one of the UK’s leading producing theatres. Fisherton Mill is the largest independent art gallery in the South West. The city is a melting-pot of creativity. 

City Encounters at Salisbury International Arts Festival

10) In 2015, the rap artist, Jay Z, chose Salisbury Cathedral as the location for the global launch of the artwork for his new album Magna Carta…Holy Grail.  

There is much more to discover about Salisbury. Dig a little deeper and explore our timeless city.

Head to our Experience and Explore pages for more Salisbury inspiration.

There's a lot to experience in our beautiful city!

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