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English Heritage – Old Sarum – History & Geography School Trips Wiltshire

English Heritage is to be applauded for the development of the Discovery Visits, which interpret the story of the site and give a sense of time and place to visiting schools.

Discovery Visit leaders say: 

‘It’s feelings and experiences that are important. Through them, the true story of a place can be brought alive’

‘Re-enactment is a brilliant way to teach. It engages children who then become interested and start listening to what you say’

This mighty Iron Age hill fort is a unique location where Iron Age people, the Romans, Saxons and Normans have all left their mark on an impressive landscape. Once home to Salisbury’s first cathedral and William the Conqueror’s castle, Old Sarum was a major centre of royal and religious power for 150 years. Today, it offers an opportunity to cover multiple topics across the curriculum.  


  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places in the locality. Similarities and differences in ways of life in different time periods 
  • KS2 History: A local history study. Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to Iron Age. The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain. The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor. A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS2 Geography: Human geography: types of settlement and land use, identify the manmade defensive features of the site
  • KS3 History: A local history study. The development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509. Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day. A study of an aspect or theme in British history that consolidates and extends pupils’ chronological knowledge from before 1066
  • KS3 Geography: Understand the key processes in human geography; understand how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes
  • KS4 History: OCR Specification B: Introduction to history around us


Book a free self-led visit to Old Sarum and organise your day to suit your curriculum needs. See the impressive ramparts of the original Iron Age hill fort, and cross the wooden bridge to explore the ruins of William the Conqueror’s royal castle built in the centre of the site. You can also stand inside the footprint of Salisbury’s original cathedral in the outer bailey, and see the layout of the buildings. Download our free resources below, with site information and activity suggestions to help you make the most of your visit to Old Sarum.


Use our free ‘Hidden Now Heard’ activity backpacks during your visit, with character cards, maps, handling objects and activities to discover each of the following time periods as you explore: 

  • Early: Iron Age to Vikings, 120BC-1003AD
  • Middle: Medieval, 1086-1260
  • Modern: Victorian to the 21st century, 1830-2008

Reserve the activity backpacks when booking your visit. Read our Guide to Using Free Resources for information about our free resources.


We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. Download our free resources to help you make the most out of your visit and create unique learning experiences before, during and after your trip.

We also offer free planning visits for group leaders once you have made a booking. Our Education Booking Team is on hand to advise and help you create the best possible school trip to suit your needs and area of study.

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