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Heritage Open Days


Salisbury Civic Society and the Salisbury and South Wilts branch of the Campaign for Real Ale
(CAMRA) collaborated on a very successful “Salisbury’s Historic Pubs and Inns” themed programme
for the Heritage Open Days during September 2017.

Starting the programme of public events was local archaeologist, Time Team member, and beer
lover Phil Harding. He unveiled a Salisbury Civic Society Blue Plaque dedicated to Agnes Bottenham
outside the Rai D’Or pub and restaurant on Brown Street. The plaque reads “Here dwelt Agnes
Bottenham Landlady of the Rydedorre who founded Trinity Hospital for the poor c 1370”.

Other co-organised free events in the programme included:
 tours of the Haunch of Venison in Salisbury, the only Salisbury pub on the CAMRA list of
historic pub interiors, and its “Churchill Bar” normally closed to the public;
 tours of the former Three Crowns Inn at Harnham, which has Civic Society award winning
restorations of its stunning C18th plasterwork;
 a Salisbury historic pubs walk led by Ed Garman, author of the recent book on “The Public
Houses and Inns of Salisbury: a History”. The Ox Row Inn and Boston Tea Party (formerly
the George Inn) kindly permitted photography for the tours and the Cloisters and Queens
Arms access for the tour groups;
 an exhibition of Salisbury pubs and inns in Salisbury Public Library displaying drawings by
local artist Fred Fieber and photographs by Mike Woolf;
 displays for the 30 th anniversary of Hop Back brewery at the Wyndham Arms, where its
beers were first brewed and the brewery founded; and
 a lecture on Romano-British Beer at Salisbury Rugby Club by Alison Freezer (company
secretary at Hop Back Brewery).

The pre-booked tours filled up quickly and there has been very good coverage of the events in
local press and social media. Hopefully all the events and publicity has helped raise the profile of
Salisbury’s many atmospheric pubs and inns and their contribution to the history and
architecture of the city.



The Civic Society Historic Open days took place over three days 10,11,12 September 2015. The focus was to the west of the city centre, the theme being ‘Go West- Award Winners and Hospitals’.

Around 200 people in total enjoyed the visits and the weather was kind to us. Working outward from the city centre; Pembroke House, part of the former Salisbury Infirmary. was open on Friday and Saturday and proved very popular. The residents had put together a display of the site through the years – not just in its days as an infirmary but also before the infirmary itself was built. Delicious home made cakes were available to purchase.

At St. Paul’s roundabout, both the church extension and the SP2 community building were open in the afternoons. Moving westwards to Wilton Road, a number of buildings which were either part of, or on the site of, the Old Manor Hospital were open. The Quaker Meeting House was open in the afternoons and the Quakers arranged a very interesting talk by Roger Harrison about the building in its hospital days but also about how attitudes and ideas about mental health had changed over the years.

The Salisbury Medical Practice incorporates the former ballroom of the Old Manor and a blue badge guide and a member of staff led groups on Thursday and Friday around a modern purpose built medical facility but giving a flavour of its rather different medical past.

Opposite, No. 4 The Paragon, a private house, was open to the public each day, which for many was the highlight of the event in seeing how an early Victorian house could be rescued from dilapidation and institutional use and restored to residential use once again. Many thanks to Nick Ludlow for generously opening his house to the public. Blue badge guides led this tour following on from a visit to Salisbury Manor Care Home. This also incorporated the shell of a building from the Old Manor days, but having been rebuilt and considerably extended to form a bright modern care home.

Finally, The Foyer, a modern building providing supported living accommodation for young people on the site of the former Orchard House of the Old Manor was open on Thursday and Friday where staff were on hand to explain about the purpose of the building and it’s energy saving features.

Feedback from participants in the event has been very positive. Many thanks to the blue badge guides: Margaret, Shirley and Kathy, and also to the owners, residents and staff of the ‘open’ buildings.