Market Square and Guildhall, Salisbury

Market Square and Guildhall, Salisbury

Tuesday, the time is past midday, year 1219. Tuesday was better for older customers in the Market Square. The pace was more leisurely. Saturday was the busier day. Flash forward, it's Tuesday again, same time. The year is 2019. Tuesdays and Saturdays are still market days in Salisbury. Eight hundred years of Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Shopping days were formally proclaimed to be Tuesdays and Saturdays in 1361. The medieval market often spread to surrounding streets. Market stalls were grouped by the goods sold. Streets were called Fish Row, Silver Street, Oatmeal Row, Ox Row, and Butchers Row. Then as today, one might get anything at the Salisbury market.

In 1314 the "Bishop's Guildhall", built for Simon of Ghent, Bishop of Salisbury, was established on the Market Square. In 1585 the Council House of the Merchants Guild was erected next to the Guildhall. The Council House burned down after a banquet (a memorable party!) in 1780. In 1785 the old Guild hall was demolished and replaced.

The present building was designed by architects Robert Taylao and William Pilkington. The building has a portico with Doric columns surmounted by a triglyph frieze. There are tall window arches flanking the portico. The hall is the meeting place of the Salisbury City Council.

The main room at the Hall is the banqueting hall. Visitors have included King George III, Lord Nelson, Princess Diana, and Queen Elizabeth II.

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Market Square and Guildhall on Map

Sight Name: Market Square and Guildhall
Sight Location: Salisbury, England (See walking tours in Salisbury)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Salisbury, England

Create Your Own Walk in Salisbury

Create Your Own Walk in Salisbury

Creating your own self-guided walk in Salisbury is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Houses Tour

Historical Houses Tour

Founded more than 800 years ago, Salisbury understandably has a great number of historical, architectural and cultural gems worthy of a visit. The medieval houses, churches, inns and hospitals blend harmoniously with the modern sites of the city. Trace the threads of Salisbury's past on this self-guided walking tour of the city's historic buildings.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Salisbury Introduction Walking Tour

Salisbury Introduction Walking Tour

Old Sarum is not as old as neighboring Stonehenge, but it is old. A hill fort occupied the site as early as 300 BC. The ubiquitous Romans did not overly attend to it but it fell to Saxon King Cynric of Wessex in 552 AD. Danes and Norwegians invaded frequently enough until 1066, when William of Normandy settled matters among the parties.

A motte-and-bailey castle was established at the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Cathedral Close Tour

Cathedral Close Tour

Salisbury Cathedral, apart from being renowned as the holder of Britain’s tallest spire, the world’s best preserved original copy of Magna Carta (1215) and Europe’s oldest working clock, is also famous for its Close, the largest in the country, measuring 80 acres (or 32 hectares).

The areas surrounding cathedrals' grounds, sometimes extending for hundreds of meters from the main...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles