Handfasting at Old Sarum

Dec 24, 2013

What a privilege! I am a few weeks away from celebrating a handfasting at Old Sarum , Wiltshire. Yes, it may well be very cold and wet, but it will be a wonderful experience!

What’s special about Old Sarum?

Old Sarum is an intriguing and important historical site located on the conjunction of two trade routes and the river Avon.

The Iron Age site is some 5,000 years old. It is unique because it combines a royal castle and cathedral within its fortifications. It was a major centre of both secular and ecclesiastical government for 150 years.

The hill fort is roughly oval in shape and 400 metres long by 360 wide. There is a double bank with a ditch in between.

The hill fort became a town under the Romans before becoming a Saxon stronghold against the Vikings. Under the Normans, the perimeter was walled and a castle built in the centre protected by a dry moat. Finally, in the 11th century, a royal palace was built within the castle.

The cathedral was demolished in the 13th century in favour of the wonderful new building which still stands in Salisbury. The castle retained its administrative importance for another century or so before falling into gradual dereliction.

So this is where I am privileged to be conducting a handfasting later this month. An exciting prospect!

Michael Gordon can help prepare and conduct a tailor-made life-cycle civil ceremony in or around London or, indeed, in Europe.