NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia


Salabieres, Salebieres, Salesbieres, Salesbires, Salesbiri, Salesbury, Salisberi, Salisbery, Salisberye

Salisbury is a historic city in Wiltshire, England.

The books of the Grail Adventures were kept in this city in presentday Wiltshire. Near here are the Salisbury Plain, the location of the final battle between Arthur and Mordred.

Malory does not say that Arthur ever held court here, but he likely did.

Geoffrey says that during Arthur’s reign, Anaraut and Galluc served as the earls of Salisbury, while Layamon gives this distinction to Arnold.

Salisbury | 0 to 9th century AD

Old Sarum | Iron Age – Roman Period
The area of Old Sarum, the original settlement, was occupied in the Iron Age. The hillfort provided a defensive position overlooking the surrounding landscape. The Romans later occupied Old Sarum, which they called Sorviodunum. However, Old Sarum did not develop into a major Roman town.

Anglo-Saxon Period | 5th – 9th century
With the decline of Roman rule, the Anglo-Saxons migrated to Britain. There is evidence of Anglo-Saxon occupation in the Salisbury area. During the seventh and eighth centuries, Christian missionaries played a role in the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. The spread of Christianity in the region likely included the establishment of churches and religious communities.

Viking Raids | 9th century
The ninth century saw Viking incursions and raids along the coast, posing a threat to settlements in the region, although specific records for Salisbury during this time are limited.

Relocation to New Sarum (Salisbury) | 13th century

By the late tenth century, Old Sarum faced challenges related to water supply and conflicts. In 1219, Bishop Richard Poore decided to move the cathedral and the settlement to a new location.

Construction of Salisbury Cathedral – officially known as the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary – began in 1220 and was completed in 1258. The move to the new location was a significant undertaking and marked the establishment of what is now the city of Salisbury.

The name “Old Sarum” is a more recent term used to distinguish it from the present city of Salisbury, which was established in the thirteenth century.

See also
Roman Empire | The Legend of King Arthur

Historia Regum Britanniae | Geoffrey of Monmouth, c. 1138
Roman de Brut | Wace, c. 1155
Brut | Layamon, late 12th century to mid-13th century
Vulgate Mort Artu | 1215-1230
Vulgate Merlin | 1220-1235
Post-Vulgate Mort Artu | 1230-1240
The Stanzaic Le Morte Arthur | 14th century
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470