Old images of Salisbury in Wiltshire

Salisbury Cathedral Wiltshire England UK local history videos

Salisbury is an attractive city in the rural county of Wiltshire of South West England, and home to an ancient Cathedral and many smaller historic buildings.

What is Salisbury famous for?

Salisbury is famous for its Cathedral, which is home to Britain’s tallest spire and the world’s oldest clock. Since March 2018, Salisbury has been known for the Novichok poisoning of former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal, his daughter Yulia, several British citizens and the subsequent death of Dawn Sturgess.

What is the meaning of Salisbury?

The building of Salisbury Cathedral started in 1220, two miles south of the hillfort town known during Anglo Saxon times as Searoburh, (searu =armour,  burh=town or fortress), Searobyrigand Searesbyrig and in the Domesday book as Sarisberie. An abbreviation of Sar̅ led to confusion with the Latin suffix -um, so by 1239 the town was Sarum. 

Why was Old Sarum a rotten borough?

From the 1220s onwards, residents abandoned the hillfort town of Old Sarum and moved to the nearby city of New Sarum (Salisbury). But Parliamentary seats didn’t change with populations until the Reform Act of 1832, so Old Sarum became a rotten borough with no residents and 2 Members of Parliament. 

Thanks to Julia Schwab for use of the image of Salisbury Cathedral shown at the top of this page.

A Century Of Salisbury 

A Century Of Salisbury And District On Film

Uploaded to YouTube on 13 Jan 2016 by Peter Elliott.

“This short clip is taken from “A Century of Salisbury and District on Film”, a DVD of old cine films and is available from Windrose Rural Media Trust, a registered charity, contact details below. Another title, “Salisbury in the Sixties” is also available.”

The End Of The Great War (World War I)

Peace Celebrations At Salisbury (1918-1919)

Uploaded to YouTube by British Pathé, this short film shows the Peace Celebrations at Salisbury, Wiltshire, following the end of the Great War (World War I).

Children’s historical pageant in city streets, with a parade in progress.

Lloyds Bank is seen in the background.

Children wear costumes and carry banners.

A bunch of boys in school uniforms march; each row holding a long bar which stretches across; and ropes stretch along sides of group, enclosing it. 

Children appear dressed in rags and furs as Stone Age kids.

Then different sections of children depict periods of English history.

Romans; Saxons; Bishop’s procession with altar boys; Group of peasants; Boys in school uniforms; Merrie Sarum – a dancing bush children in funny jester’s hats; Elizabethan collars; Mayor’s procession with banner – ‘John Ivie – Mayor’

Then there’s a crowd round the football pitch. The Cave Children appear with a dead animal hanging on a stick.

Lots of camera shots of children, adults, and officials.

Then we go back to the parade, to see teenage girls marching in white uniforms and more costumes.

Historical Pageant At Salisbury (1919)

Uploaded to YouTube by British Pathé. 

Pageant proceeding through Salisbury main street. People in historic costumes showing life throughout the ages.

Salisbury In The 1930s

Picturesque Society Wedding (1930)

Uploaded to YouTube by British Pathé.

Item title reads – Picturesque society wedding.  

Lady M. Douglas Hamilton, 21 year old daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton, weds Mr J. R. Drummond-Hay in Salisbury Cathedral. 

The bridal car arrives, the crowds stand and watch.  As a bridesmaid helps the bride out of the car, she laughs.  

Crowds stand in front of Salisbury Cathedral.

The bride and groom stood outside the cathedral after the wedding. They look very happy and are surrounded by bridesmaids.   

Then the couple walk down the middle and people throw rice on them. 14 bridesmaids and the other guests follow.

Army Manoeuvres (1930)

Uploaded to YouTube by British Pathé.

Full title reads:  “Salisbury Plain. A ‘Battle of Machines’ is the feature of this year’s Army manoeuvres – when ‘Southland’s’ army of 150 tanks and 15 armoured cars invade ‘Northland’ with its 50 tanks, 35 armoured cars and 2,000 cavalry!” 

Tanks move about town street on their way to manoeuvres. We see tanks move along the road. Field artillery guns fire. A mechanical tractor moves a field gun into place.

Salisbury (1930s)

Uploaded to YouTube by HuntleyFilmArchives, this is an amateur home movie of different locations.

“Italianate house by lake – Portmeirion in Wales. Shallow waterfall and water bubbling up – Llangollen?  

Town of Chester tram passes camera as policeman on points duty dressed all in white directs traffic. 

Bath in Somerset. Large church.  Cathedral. Centre of cathedral town. Cheddar Gorge. Car in ? Women stand outside hotel entrance porch. Children sitting on old monument in village.  

Criccieth Castle. Church with scaffolding round part of it. Town cross. Peacock on gravel driveway. 

Half-timbered housing in Stratford? Thatched half-timbered house, Shakespeare’s house.  

“The Noel Arms” pub sign in pretty old stone village. Old market place and attractive stone buildings. Church. 

Cotswold village? Moored pleasure boat River Thames? 

Two people sitting very low to row a punt.  Large lake, Lake District? Rowing boats drawn up on shingle shore. Mountains. Men wading in river and fishing (for salmon). 

Wiltshire – Salisbury Cathedral, the close, market place. “The Haunch of Venison – Ye Oldest Established Free House”.  

Country houses. Avenue of trees. Archway in stone buildings. Stone wall lined country lane. Entrance to driveway. Tall clock tower. Farm shed on stone toadstools. Women play with dog. 

Towers of bridge over Menai Straits? Mixed doubles tennis match on lawn at front of country house.  A town’s high street. Smashed windows in a derelict institutional building, possibly a hospital. Well maintained lawns. Large house. Amateur village cricket game and spectators.”

Salisbury Cathedral (1930s)

Uploaded to YouTube by HuntleyFilmArchives. 

Interior and exterior views of Salisbury Cathedral.

In & Around Salisbury (1934)

Uploaded to YouTube by British Pathé. 

Unused / unissued material – no paperwork – dates unclear or unknown. 

Title reads: “The City By The Plain – Salisbury”. 

Various views in and around the old streets of Salisbury. An old sundial on the wall. Views of an old house. Views monument in town square. Views of half timbered buildings. Views of Salisbury cathedral. Shots of the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge.”

The City By The Plain – Salisbury (1934)

Uploaded to YouTube by British Pathé. Titles read: “The City By The Plain – Salisbury”.

Various shots of the city of Salisbury.  Nice shots of the picturesque streets, houses and shops.  Several shots of the cathedral. 

We then see various shots of Stonehenge, with a few people wandering about right next to the stones. No ropes to keep the hoards away like there is now! 

A final scene of Stonehenge at sunset.

Salisbury In The 1940s

Salisbury (1943)

Uploaded to YouTube by British Pathé. Salisbury, Wiltshire.

Various shots of the ornate cathedral and its carvings, and of the vast cloisters. 

At the river Avon, a man fishes on the bank. 

A shot of a bridge, followed by the high street and archway.  

Then the house built by Christopher Wren, and rose covered cottages. 

Various shots of market day with farmers looking over the sheep and cattle. 

Finally, a shot of the spire over the river.

Salisbury In The 1950s

The George Inn in Salisbury, Wiltshire (1950s)

Uploaded to YouTube by HuntleyFilmArchives.

The George Inn in Salisbury, Wiltshire, 1950’s.

Salisbury Cathedral (1950)

Uploaded to YouTube by British Pathé. Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire. 

Salisbury Cathedral is in the distance, with the Cathedral spire in background. 

Then we see the Cathedral door, and a pan up the steeple showing the scaffolding on top of the spire. 

Interior shots of the steeple show an old winch wheel. A man treading the wheel pan round the top of the wheel, with the rope winch revolving. 

Interior views up the spire shows old scaffolding. We see a floor board, and old oak supports. Then a man climbs the ladder to the spire. He examines the spire and the ball on top of it.

The camera looks down at the camera man’s feet on the scaffolding, and the ground far below. From that high vantage point we see more of the church, and the views of Salisbury.

Then the man clubs down.

Salisbury In The 1960s

Salisbury Documentary (1962)

Uploaded to YouTube by Peter Elliott.

“This short clip was taken from “Salisbury in the Sixties”, a DVD of old cine films and is available from Windrose Rural Media Trust, a registered charity…. Another title, “A Century of Salisbury and District on Film” is also available.”

Salisbury In The 1980s

British Rail Network South East-Salisbury (1988) 

Uploaded to YouTube by Soi Buakhao.

“A video from the days of Cromptons on the Cardiff-Portsmouths. Salisbury was awash with them in early May 1988,as well as the Cardiffs they were on the TC sets on the Waterloo stoppers and a fair few on freight. Also seen are a couple of 50s on the 2 hourly Exeters. Another blast from the past for you all to enjoy!”

Salisbury In The 1990s

Antiques Roadshow Series 13 Episode 8 Salisbury (1991)

Uploaded to YouTube by UK VHS Archive.

The Antiques Roadshow episode from Salisbury was broadcast on the 17th February 1991. 

Salisbury (1991)

Uploaded to YouTube by John C. Earwicker.

“This video features class 33, 47 and 50 locomotives with various types of DMU and DEMU.”

More Wiltshire pages

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