"SALISBURY, (or New Sarum) comprising the parishes of St. Martin, St. Thomas, and St. Edmund, it is a city, market town, municipal and parliamentary borough, having separate civil jurisdiction, but locally in the hundred of Underditch, county Wilts, 82 miles S.W. of London, and 28½ from Winchester. It has stations on the Basingstoke section of the London and South-Western and Salisbury and Warminster branch of the Great Western railways, communicating directly with the metropolis, and another an the Bishopstoke branch of the South-Western, connecting it with the port of Southampton.
This city owes its origin to the decline of Old Sarum, which is believed to have been a seat of the Belgæ prior to the Roman invasion of Britain, and was selected by the latter people as a station on the highway to the W., the three roads to Winchester, Silchester, and Dorchester branching off at this point, and probably three others to Bath, Ilchester, and a station on the Kennet; but these last are only traceable in certain localities: numerous coins of the several Roman emperors have also been found within its area. Under the West Saxons it first became the seat of a bishopric, founded by Ina in 704, but for a time resident at Sherborne, in Dorsetshire, whence the see was removed in 905 to Wilton, in Wilts, and afterwards to Old Sarum, or the ancient Salisbury, which William of Malmesbury describes as more properly a castle than a city, being situated on a barren hill, and encompassed with a high wall."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]