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Why Was Old Sarum Abandoned In the 13th Century?

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Camilla Sampson Old Sarum Part 2 Why Was Old Sarum Abandoned In the 13th Century? Old Sarum was abandoned in the 13th century for the following reasons: defence was no longer need, as there was no threat of a Saxon rebellion; therefore defence was no longer important. The site was uncomfortable, it was small and you had to travel to the centre of Old Sarum to get to the well; this was where the palace was, so you could not get water frequently. The feudal society was beginning to be replaced by towns. The Clergy wanted independence and it could have also been because of social trends. The Bishop of Old Sarum had a vision from god telling him that the cathedral should be moved. Old Sarum was a major Norman settlement. William the Conqueror visited the site regularly. The site was established by c.1086. Defences were re-dug. Defences were added to the Norman style, motte and bailey, outer bailey and inner bailey. The perimeter wall was added. The clergy abandoned the site 1220 and the soldiers stayed for another 100 years. One issue for the abandonment of Old Sarum in the 13th century was because defence was no longer a major issue, England was safe and there was no threat of a Saxon rebellion or risk of a foreign invasion. ...read more.


It also states that no freeman will be imprisoned or punished without first going through the proper legal system. In future years the word "freeman" was replaced by "no one" to include everybody. The last few sections deal with how the Magna Carta would be enforced in England. Twenty five barons were given the responsibility of making sure the king carried out what was stated in the Magna Carta - the document clearly states that they could use force if they felt it was necessary. To give the Magna Carta an impact, the royal seal of King John was put on it to show people that it had his royal support. The king had been defeated by his most loyal subjects, the barons! Hence, by 1220 when Henry 3rd became king and the clergy applied to leave Old Sarum. The Political situation was to there advantage, it was perfect. Henry 3rd didn't want another political battle, with the church this was a good TIME, for the move to take place. If he had of refused the move of Old Sarum, he would have become unpopular in the first few weeks of reign. ...read more.


Many 2ND and 3RD sons of noblemen became priests and went into the church as a career. Bishops therefore did not think of the religious side of being a priest but all the money they could make. The Bishop of Durham could make his own coins and have his own army. Bishops associated their power and wealth with their cathedral (cathedral= bishops throne). Bishops Poore's ambitious project was part of his desire to become an important leader. Wells and Exeter Cathedral were all built in similar chronological period to Salisbury. The bishops and clergy wanted to establish an religious church and a market centre. In conclusion, I would say that the reasons for the abandonment of Old Sarum in the 13th century was because defense was no longer need and the Norman people did not need to stay on top of a cold and windy hill with a dreadful supply of water. The economic side to the abandonment of Old Sarum backed the move up, as not only would the residents of Old Sarum been happy, the church was able to make money. Therefore I would say the economic, comfort and geographical location side of Old Sarum was the key aspects for the abandonment in the 13th century. ...read more.

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