Salisbury: St Martin's parish

A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1962.

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'Salisbury: St Martin's parish', A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 6, (London, 1962), pp. 79-81. British History Online [accessed 19 June 2024].

. "Salisbury: St Martin's parish", in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 6, (London, 1962) 79-81. British History Online, accessed June 19, 2024,

. "Salisbury: St Martin's parish", A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 6, (London, 1962). 79-81. British History Online. Web. 19 June 2024,


This was the oldest parish in the city, being in existence before the foundation of New Salisbury. (fn. 1) Until the formation of the other two medieval parishes it included not only the nucleus of parishioners around Milford Hill, but also all the scattered inhabitants on the bishop's manor of Milford. After the division of city and suburbs into three parishes in 1269, St. Martin's was bounded on the north by Milford Street, on the west by Brown Street and the east wall of the Close running down Exeter Street, and on the south by the Avon. Its eastern boundary was not defined until the 19th century, but was often taken to be the line of the ramparts, the road to the church, and the churchyard. (fn. 2) The church itself stood just outside what later became the protective ditch of the city, first begun in the 13th century. (fn. 3) In 1269 the parish included houses outside the eastern bars of the city in Milford and Winterbourne Ford, and also certain inhabitants who were said to have previously been parishioners of the hospital of St. Nicholas. (fn. 4)

Milford Street, the north side of which was in St. Edmund's parish, was called Winchester Street until the 16th century. The name also included the street now called the New Canal; the town ditch ran through this and the west end of Milford Street, and property was described as being 'in Winchester Street upon the ditch' (fn. 5) or 'in Winchester Street by the bars', (fn. 6) depending on its position in the street. A survey of 1580 mentions the 'Catherine Wheel' in Winchester Street 'otherwise called Milford Street', (fn. 7) and the inn can be traced to the present one of that name in Milford Street. (fn. 8) The name Winchester Street may have been applied to this road when the way to Winchester lay through Milford and Clarendon Park; (fn. 9) as this route was abandoned, probably in the later Middle Ages, the name was perhaps transferred to the present Winchester Street, which lèd into the road to Winchester via St. Thomas's Bridge. Milford Street now consists chiefly of buildings of the 18th century or later; most at the west end have modern shop fronts, but the east is mainly residential. Earlier survivals include nos. 15–17 and no. 41, slate-hung buildings of the 17th century or before, and no. 88 at the south-east corner with a projecting gable of halftimber and herring-bone brick, probably of the 16th century. No. 42 is an early 18th-century house of brick, with projecting bay window on the first floor. The Red Lion Hotel has an early 19th-century front with high arched entry into a courtyard surrounded by older buildings.

South of Milford Street and parallel to it is a street which until the 15th century was reckoned part of New Street. (fn. 10) The part in the parish of St. Martin subsequently acquired three separate names, beginning with Payne's Hill in the east. A family called Payne lived in this part of the street in the 17th century. (fn. 11) The street, which is a cul-de-sac, contains a notable brick house of the early 18th century, with a pedimented hood on carved brackets above the doorway. The next portion, Barnard Street, had at its east end the site of the medieval Barnwell's Cross, possibly named after the family called de Bernewell. (fn. 12) Near this Cross a cattle market was held in 1428 (fn. 13) and still in 1614. (fn. 14) Trinity Street, so called by 1751, (fn. 15) took its name from Trinity Hospital, which was the most important of the city's almshouses, founded by Agnes Bottenham in 1379. (fn. 16) The present building of 1702 is of brick, built round asmall courtyard, and includes a chapel. (fn. 17)

St. Ann Street, further south again, was one of the earliest built up ways, leading directly from the Close to St. Martin's church; it was known as St. Martin's Street until the 16th century, (fn. 18) and as Tanner or Tanner's Street from then until the 18th century, (fn. 19) when its modern name became current. (fn. 20) The way out of the city lay along St. Ann Street and St. Martin's Church Street, and then north of the church into the Southampton road. In 1611 the east end of St. Ann Street was closed by a row of houses, of which the present corner house of St. Martin's Church Street may be a survivor. (fn. 21) These houses still existed in 1781 but by 1800 part of the row had been demolished and the present Southampton Road, leading straight into St. Ann Street, cut through. (fn. 22) Although mainly of the 18th century St. Ann Street contains some notable earlier buildings; these include the half-timbered post office and adjoining buildings (nos. 60–66), and the Jacobean façade of the Joiners' Hall (nos. 56–58). (fn. 23) Windover House (nos. 22–24) contains the roof of a medieval hall and solar range, but was considerably remodelled in the early 17th century and later. (fn. 24) Surviving houses show that in the 18th century St. Ann Street must have been a fashionable address. Among many good examples from this period, nos. 8, 44–6, 49, 54, 68 and 82–4 may be mentioned, and nos. 34–8 are earlier timber-framed houses refronted in brick then. The street is still mainly residential.

Of the streets joining Milford Street to St. Ann Street, the name of Culver Street was in use in the 14th century. (fn. 25) Women of ill repute frequented it until banished by the assembly of the city in 1452. (fn. 26) In the 16th and 17th centuries it was referred to as Culver Street alias Bell-founder's Street, probably because it was there that John Wallis and other founders had their foundry until 1730. (fn. 27) This alias was also applied to Guilder Lane in the mid-17th century, which suggests that it had previously formed part of Culver Street. (fn. 28) Dolphin Street derives its name from a tavern called the Dolphin which stood there in 1830, when the street was called Little Culver Street. (fn. 29) The names of Gigant Street and Love Lane both occur in the 15th century. (fn. 30) In Gigant Street are various commercial premises, including the Anchor Brewery dating partly from the 18th or early 19th century. In 1751 the bishop's pound stood in Love Lane, but 100 years later a block of eight cottages stood on the site. (fn. 31) Brown Street was so called by c. 1270–80. (fn. 32) An alternative name, perhaps for one part of it, was Tuttebelles Street, in use in the 13th and 14th centuries. (fn. 33) The Priory (no. 95), near the south end, is a large brick house with a central two-storied porch and stone dressings, probably dating from the early 17th century. Remains of early windows in the side wall of the adjoining 18th-century house (no. 93) suggest that the Priory originally extended further north. It probably acquired its name in the 19th century, when the building was extensively restored in the Tudor style. This end of the street also contains several notable 18th-century houses including nos. 37–9, 81, and 87–91. Further north are smaller houses and commercial premises. In 1434 there were houses at the junctions of Chipper Street (now Salt Lane) with Brown Street and Gigant Street, so that these names must both have applied to longer stretches of street than at present. (fn. 34)

Exeter Street was known until the 18th century as Drakehall or Dragall Street, probably from the early residence there of William le Drake. (fn. 35) It has always been the only way leading south to Harnham, and its importance dates from the building of the bridge over the Avon in the 13th century. (fn. 36) Only the east side of the street is built up, for on the west the Close wall forms the boundary. By 1716 it contained houses as far south as Brickett's Almshouses. (fn. 37) North of these the street still largely retains its residential character and early-19th-century appearance, except where St. Osmund's church has been inserted into the line of buildings. The fronts, however, conceal some medieval buildings.

East of Exeter Street and south of St. Ann Street is a large area of low-lying land which has been called Bugmore (i.e. boggy moor) since at least the 14th century. (fn. 38) Meadows here were probably the property of the bishop from early times. In the 15th century the city chamberlains received rent from the city ditch, which extended along the eastern side of Bugmore meadows. (fn. 39) In 1593 rights over the ditch there and a meadow adjoining were claimed by both city and bishop; it was said on behalf of the former that the city had taken the profits for 300 years. (fn. 40) But from this date the claim of the bishop appears to have been undisputed. (fn. 41) In the 18th century the bishop owned two meadows, Great Bugmore (18 a.) and Little Bugmore (6 a.), (fn. 42) which were watered by the combined flow of the Canal and the street channels of the city. In the mid-19th century this made the Bugmores twice as valuable as other water-meadows below the city. (fn. 43) In 1874 they were bought by the city. Part of the area was used for building a sewage works; the remainder is allotment gardens. (fn. 44)

West of Bugmore and south of St. Ann Street lies a district called the Friary, reached by a lane called Friary Lane, formerly Freren Street (fn. 45) or Bugmore Lane. In the angle between this lane and St. Ann Street stood the church and house of the Grey Friars upon land acquired c. 1229. (fn. 46) Nearby, Friary Court and Cradock House were formerly one large house of the early 17th century. Both have 18th-century additions, and their former outbuildings are now Friary Cottage and Friar's Orchard, Behind were gardens called Friar's Orchard, which were built over in the early 19th century. (fn. 47) The commonalty established a workhouse for the poor and sick at Bugmore in 1623. (fn. 48) When the workhouse in Crane Street was set up in 1637, (fn. 49) the building in Bugmore probably became a pest house, for the commonalty ordered a pest house at Bugmore to be demolished or sold in 1668. (fn. 50) In 1763 Lord Folkestone bought a house and land at Bugmore and gave it to the city for a small-pox hospital. (fn. 51) In the 19th century it was usually leased to the overseers of the united parishes as a fever hospital, and was so used in the cholera epidemic of 1849. In 1851 it was described as a small, ill-built, and dilapidated house with a gable roof overhanging the open sewer. (fn. 52) It was pulled down in 1879 (fn. 53) and its site in Friary Lane has since been used as a corporation yard.


  • 1. See p. 144.
  • 2. See p. 92.
  • 3. See p. 88.
  • 4. Hatcher, Salisbury, 53; see p. 144.
  • 5. Sar. Corp. MSS. Domesday Bk. 1413–33, ff. 11, 44d., Ledger B. f. 188d.; W.A.M. xxxvii. 84; Ch. Com. no. 136777, f. 34; for the New Canal, see p. 82.
  • 6. Sar. Corp. MSS. Deeds J. 31. vii, 1502; Domesday Bk. 1396–1413, f. 13d.; Chamberlains' acct. roll 1469–70; B.M. Add. MS. 28870, f. 182.
  • 7. Sar. Corp. MSS. Ledger C. f. 62d.
  • 8. Haskins, Guilds, 327, 330. Hatcher (Salisbury, 92) was mistaken in calling this street Wyneman St., which was the medieval name of the present Winchester St. The corner of Winchester and Minster Sts. which he mentions (p. 93) was the junction of the present High St. and the New Canal, not the corner of Blue Boar Row and Castle St.
  • 9. This way was perhaps abandoned because of the difficulty of negotiating Milford Hollow; Winchester Gate still existed on the north-east of Clarendon Park in 1773: Andrews and Dury, Map (W.A.S. Rec. Brch.), pl. 6.
  • 10. See p. 82.
  • 11. W.R.O. 130/20a.
  • 12. Hatcher, Salisbury, 93, 123; in 1414 it was described as 'New Street above Barnwell's Cross by the city ditch'; Sar. Corp. MSS. Domesday Bk. 1413–33, f. 15. Adam of Bernewell: Cal. Close, 1333–7, 472; 1339–41, 620; Ric. Bernwell: 1381–85, 473.
  • 13. Hatcher, Salisbury, 123.
  • 14. Haskins, Guilds, 276.
  • 15. Naish, Map, 1751.
  • 16. See p. 168.
  • 17. W.A.M. xxxvi. 410.
  • 18. Sar. Corp. MSS. Swayne, Scrapbk., p. 28 (1510).
  • 19. e.g. Ch. Com. no. 136777, f. 126 (1545); Sar. Corp. MSS., Ledger B. f. 332 (1563); W.R.O. 130/20c (1738).
  • 20. Naish, Map, 1716.
  • 21. John Speed's England, ed. J. Arlott, i. pl. 7.
  • 22. B. Donn, Plan of Salisbury, 1781; W.R.O. Stratford and Milford Inclosure Award.
  • 23. See p. 137.
  • 24. See A. G. Little, 'Grey Friars of Salisbury', W.A.M. xlvii. 36–54, but there is no real evidence that this building was the friary.
  • 25. Sar. Corp. MSS. Swayne, Scrapbk., p. 48 (1390).
  • 26. Ibid. Ledger A. f. 158.
  • 27. Ibid. Swayne, Scrapbk., p. 38 (1502); W.A.M. ii. 45n. (1624); V.C.H. Wilts. iv. 252–3.
  • 28. Sar. Corp. MSS. Survey and Terrier c. 1611–76, ff. 61–2 (2nd nos.); see p. 83.
  • 29. Pigot, Nat. Com. Dir. (1830), 812.
  • 30. W.A.M. xxxvii. 69, 71.
  • 31. Naish, Map, 1751; Rammell, Report, 93.
  • 32. Cartulary of St. Nicholas Hospital, Salisbury, ed. C. Wordsworth, 146.
  • 33. Sar. Corp. MSS. Deeds A. 9. iii, c. 1300; Hist. MSS. Com. Var. Coll. i. 343. Some properties in 'Totebell St.' were acquired by de Vaux College, 1311–24: B.M. Add. MS. 28870, ff. 158d., 160d., 179, 180.
  • 34. Sar. Corp. MSS. Swayne, Scrapbk., p. 37.
  • 35. Wm. son of Wm. le Drake fl. 1268: Cat. Anct. D. iv. A 6778. Drakehall in Carter St. existed in the 14th century: D. & C. Sar. Deeds 1/2/8.
  • 36. See p. 88.
  • 37. Naish, Map, 1716. See below, p. 168.
  • 38. Sar. Corp. MSS. Deeds E. 8. ii, 1381; P.C.C. 36 Marche.
  • 39. Sar. Corp. MSS. Swayne, Scrapbk., pp. 15, 17.
  • 40. Hatcher, Salisbury, 299–300.
  • 41. Ch. Com. no. 136776, f. 265 (1613); Hatcher, op. cit., 816 (c. 1700).
  • 42. Ch. Com. no. 136779, pp. 70, 75.
  • 43. Rammell, Report, 18.
  • 44. See p. 115.
  • 45. So called in 1362: P.N. Wilts. (E.P.N.S.), 20.
  • 46. V.C.H. Wilts. iii. 329.
  • 47. W.R.O. 451, plan c. 1807 and other papers.
  • 48. V.C.H. Wilts. v. 320.
  • 49. See p. 111.
  • 50. V.C.H. Wilts. v. 320.
  • 51. Hatcher, Salisbury, 525.
  • 52. Rammell, Report, 14.
  • 53. Sar. Corp. MSS. Council Min. Bk. 1876–83.