Special Sub-Topic: Salisbury
|If you were to travel to Salisbury from London, in which direction would you be travelling?|
West South West. You would travel down the M3 and A303, which is approximately 85 miles. Salisbury is the second largest settlement in Wiltshire (Swindon is the largest).
|Many visitors to Salisbury also visit this prehistoric monument. Thought to be over 4,000 years old, it is about eight miles north of Salisbury and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What is it?|
Stonehenge. One of the world's most famous manmade prehistoric sites, it is estimated that the construction of Stonehenge would have taken more than 30,000,000 hours of labour! Construction probably started around 3100BC, initially with just a ditch and bank before a wooden structure was added about 100 years later. Stones which appear to have come from South Wales were added in around 2600BC, although they may have been deposited closer to Stonehenge by glaciers. Over the next couple of hundred years the iconic Sarsen stones were added.
|What did the Romans call Salisbury?|
Sorviodunum. Sorviodunum was only a small settlement in Roman times and was centred on what is now Old Sarum. It lies on one of the six core Roman roads, which would have connected London (Londinium) to Exeter (Isca Dumnoniorum) via Silchester (near Reading), Old Sarum and Dorchester.
|William Pitt (the Elder) was an MP for Old Sarum. Why is there no longer an MP for Old Sarum?|
It was a 'rotten borough'. At one point Old Sarum had two MPs to represent seven constituents. The Reform Act 1832 redistributed the representation more fairly and Old Sarum lost its MPs.
William Pitt has been called the greatest British politician of the 18th century and his son (Pitt the Younger) went on to become the youngest Prime Minister at just 24.
|Possibly the best-known building in Salisbury is the cathedral, but which of theses can you NOT see at the cathedral?|
Longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England. The spire stands at 123m (404ft) and was added between 1310-1333. The best preserved of the four original copies of the "Magna Carta" (1215) can be found in the Chapter House, whilst the oldest working clock in the world (built in 1386) is situated in the North Nave Aisle. The original cathedral was designed to include 365 windows (for the days in a year), 8,760 marble pillars (for the hours in a year) and twelve doors (for months in the year)
The longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England can be found at Exeter Cathedral.
|Salisbury has a strong link with the military, with Larkhill, Tidworth, Bulford and Middle Wallop all within ten miles. What military landmark, from World War I, can you find nine miles to the west of Salisbury, on the A30?|
Fovant Badges. The Fovant Badges are a collection of eight military capbadges carved in chalk into the hillside by units based in the area during the First World War. There were originally twenty.
|The nickname of Salisbury City FC is?|
The Whites. Salisbury City FC is a relatively young club, having only been formed in 1947. The club went into administration in 2009 before being bailed out by a consortium in 2010. Their stadium is just outside Salisbury, next to Old Sarum Airfield.
|Name the England rugby internationals who both went to Bishops Wordsworth and both played for Salisbury Rugby Football Club (they also both have the same name!).|
Richard Hill. Richard Hill (senior) went on to play for Bath and was capped 29 times for England. He has gone onto coach several professional clubs, including Bristol.
Richard Hill MBE went on to play for Saracens, won 71 caps for England, five caps for the Lions and won the Rugby World Cup in 2003.
|During the Great Plague of London, King Charles II held court in the Cathedral Close in Salisbury. When was the Great Plague?|
1665-1666. The Great Plague of London is estimated to have killed 20% of the population of the city. As the plague was dying out, the city also suffered the Great Fire of London (September 1666) which destroyed 13,500 houses and is thought to have left up to 200,000 people without a home.
|What are the historic colours of Salisbury, as displayed on the shield of the city's coat of arms?|
Blue and Gold. Surprisingly, Salisbury City play in white and black and Salisbury Rugby FC in green and white (although the rugby club's change strip is blue and gold). Sarum Morris, Salisbury's Morris dancers, however, do wear Salisbury's blue and gold on their cummerbunds and sashes.
|The "Spirit of Salisbury," refers to its radio station. What is Salisbury's local radio station called? It alludes to a historical site that is associated with the city.|
Spire FM. Spire FM won the best company to work for in the "Sunday Times" 100 Best Companies to Work for in 2011. You can listen to them (if you are near Salisbury) on 102.0 FM.
|This city, the capital of Zimbabwe, was once called Salisbury until 1982. What is it now called?|
Harare. Originally called Fort Salisbury, after the then Prime Minister in Great Britain, the Fort was dropped and Salisbury was the capital of Rhodesia (in its various different guises) from 1953-1980. In 1982, two years after Rhodesia became the Republic of Zimbabwe, the city changed its name to Harare.
|Found to the north of Salisbury, this chalk plateau is home to Stonehenge and the largest military training area in the UK. What is it known as?|
Salisbury Plain. Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA) is approximately 150 square miles and, due to the restricted access to the public, has been compared to Area 51 - in fact the restricted areas are there to keep the public away from live firing and unexploded ordnance.
Salisbury Plain is home to many historical sites, including Stonehenge, the Westbury White Horse and the probable site of the Battle of Ethandun (where King Alfred the Great defeated the Vikings in 878).
|Thomas Montagu, Fourth Earl of Salisbury, was an English military leader during the Hundred Years' War who fought at the Siege of Harfleur and the Battle of Agincourt. Who was the king of England at the time of Agincourt (also the name of the play by William Shakespeare with the same name)?|
Henry V. Shakespeare refers to the household names, "Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester" during Henry V's "Band of Brothers" speech on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt.
Montagu's father was killed whilst plotting against King Henry IV (Henry V's father), but the fourth Earl would go on to a long and successful career leading troops against the French before being wounded at the Siege of Orléans and dying days later.
|And finally, what day has traditionally been celebrated with a pageant in the city since the 13th century?|
St George's Day. St George's Day is traditionally celebrated on the 23rd April, the anniversary of the saint's death in AD 303. St George is believed to have been born in Lod (near Tel Aviv in Israel) to a Roman soldier and Palestinian mother. After the death of his parents he moved to Nicomedia (now Izmit in Turkey) where he joined the army and became a military tribune.
When the emperor published his "Edict against the Christians," St George refused to convert to Paganism, despite offers of money, land and titles. Eventually he was tortured and decapitated by the emperor and his body returned to Lod.
He never fought a dragon...
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