Detailed History

A survey of St Lawrence by the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (RCHM), published in 1980, commented on how well the church was maintained and that it was particularly interesting for the many periods represented in its structure; especially for the continued use of a "medieval" style in the enhancements and improvements in the early 1700s.

In 2002 English Heritage made St Lawrence, St Thomas's and the Cathedral, the only Churches in Salisbury with Grade 1 Listed Building status.

Grade 1 status is only given to buildings of exceptional national interest and historical importance, as they are the cornerstones of our heritage. What makes St Lawrence so special is that its origins go back to the time when it was part of the thriving "old" Salisbury. Now it is the sole surviving church of that early medieval city. Architecturally and historically St Lawrence is undoubtedly an important structure which has been looked after continuously, and lovingly, for over 800 years.

The present church, built of flint, rubble and ashlar (square-hewn stones some of which have almost certainly come from Old Sarum), is typical of an English country church with a Nave, small rectangular Chancel, western Tower, and a south Porch (Fig 1). Although consecrated in 1326, in the reign of Edward II, an earlier document refers to a Chapel at Stratford in 1228. Archaeological evidence shows that at least part of the Chancel was standing in the latter part of the 1100s, during the life of the first Cathedral on Old Sarum.