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What are those beams of light coming from Old Sarum Castle?

What are those beams of light coming from Old Sarum Castle?

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 11:25am 21st February 2020.

2 minute read

You might have noticed some unusual lighting coming from the site this week - we can explain all.

There have been three white beams shining above the monument for the last couple of evenings.

They've been installed to coincide with the Sarum Lights event at Salisbury Cathedral.

Old Sarum - Salisbury 2020 - Sarum Lights  -  Photo by Ash Mills
The lights have been seen over Old Sarum for the last few nights

WHEN CAN WE SEE THEM? 

The lights will be on at Old Sarum from 7.00pm for 2 hours, until Saturday 22nd February.

That's the same timings as the light displays at Salisbury Cathedral.

If the weather conditions are right, they can be seen for 2 and a half miles in each direction.

Old Sarum - Salisbury 2020 - Sarum Lights  -  Photo by Ash Mills
The lights are designed to be seen from a distance

WHY LIGHTS? 

It's all part of the Salisbury 2020 celebrations, marking 800 years since Salisbury's Cathedral was relocated from Old Sarum to its current site.

The lights beams, which have been created by Audacious, are to represent where the old Cathedral stood.

With the lights visible from 2.5 miles away, that's the same distance that the place of worship moved eight centuries ago.

Old Sarum - Salisbury 2020 - Sarum Lights  -  Photo by Ash Mills
It's actually better to see the lights in cloudy conditions

Phil Harding, Wessex Archeology archaeologist and former Time Team presenter said:

"The Cathedral's move from Old Sarum was politically, logistically and commercially bold, made in defiance of the Kings' men, with an ambitious building plan that would challenge even modern, technologically-advanced builders. In just 38 years the Cathedral building was constructed 'floating' on a bed of sand, gravel and water, and just over fifty years later the building boasted a soaring Spire, 123m high, visible for miles around, and to this day the tallest medieval Spire still standing in this country." 

The lights have popping up on social media too:

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