So, today, after a morning which involved some baking (not, I think, 100% successful - I should have listened to my instincts, and added some more extra flour - the shortbread tastes OK but is not perfect) I made a small picnic and drove to Salisbury, and thence to Old Sarum itself.
|Bridge to inner fortifications|
You can see, even now, what a defensible place it is - the pictures above shows the inner Motte, which is big, with a huge, steep ditch around around it, and there is then a further, outer ditch, which is huge.
|Outer ditch (with Salisbury cathedral in the background)|
However, King John (who did use the castle) and his bishops had a falling out, and by 1220 the cathedral was abandoned and they built a new one in what would become Sailsbury.
The castle is mostly ruins, now, and the cathedral has gone altogether apart from the foundations, but the original earthworks are till there, and very impressive.
|Castle ruins, from gatehouse|
There were also lots of bumble bees, and other insects - there was a tiny little spider with a lime-green body, and some beautifully iridescent beetles,which appeared to come in both green and red varieties.
Across the ditch I could see sheep, grazing in single file on the top of the far side of the ditch, and at one point I heard (but didn't see) something larger than an insect - perhaps a snake or a mouse, among the grass.
There were birds, too - lots of crows, and pigeons, but I also saw (as I walked around the earthworks) goldfinches, and blackbirds, and red-legged partridges.
It was a lovely sunny day, and I really enjoyed my visit.
And after I got home, I learned that Andy Murray won Wimbledon, which is nice to know, as it will make lots of people very happy, and I completely missed the tennis match, which is ideal for me!
A very good day.