From Salisbury to Andover (17 miles)

After four nights in Salisbury, Henry resumed his journey on Monday 13 Nov 1497 (Julian calendar) and headed for Andover. The day was dedicated by the Catholic Church to St. Didacus, confessor and St. Stanislaus Kostka.

Imagining Henry’s procession out of Salisbury, perhaps he exited the cathedral close via the Cathedral Close Ditch, and proceeded up High Street crossing the Town Ditch.  That would have allowed him to cross the Market Place diagonally, past cheering crowds, before exiting the town via Winchester Street and proceeding northwards along the outer edge of the city.

Henry’s entrance to and exit from Salisbury imagined on this map dated 1716. The rampart is highlighted in green and the Bishop’s Palace in orange.

He must have admired the city’s luxurious water supply, which ran in shallow channels down the centre of almost every street. Gradients probably dictated the city’s layout for this purpose. Then, as he exited the city, the London Road (nowadays Rampart Road) ran partly along the bottom of the rampart ditch below Milford Hill. The new Salisbury was less solidly defended than many towns. New Sarum appears never to have had a wall, and the dry ditch and rampart were only completed in 1440.

Joining what is today’s A30 the first bridge was after two miles, crossing the River Bourne at St Thomas Bridge (the modern bridge dates from around 1700).  Roads here seem to follow Roman routes less often, but there’s an intersection with a Roman road after 3 miles.

Then Henry would have passed Winterbourne Down (ancient woods) which are on the edge of Porton Down (danger!).  Henry was getting right up onto the isolated Salisbury Plain again.  Six miles out of Salisbury today there is the Pheasant Inn, the haunt in the 18th century of the highwayman Thomas Boulter, but there’s no evidence to suggest the hostelry was there in Henry’s time.

Seven miles out, the road diverges at Lopcombe corner with the modern A30 going on a more southerely route to Stockbridge, while the Andover road heads north east on the A343. This was certainly a junction between turnpike trusts by the 18th century.

After 10 miles he would have crossed Wallop Brook using Middle Wallop bridge (near the Museum Of Army Flying today). Then only a few miles outside of Andover he would have passed through Little Ann.  There’s a building there today named Pennymarsh, which was there when Henry crossed Little Ann Bridge over the Pillhill Brook.

Pennymarsh at the village of Little Ann

Finally, he would have crossed over the River Anton and entered the thriving market town of Andover.  The road here combined the Harrow Way (from Seaton in Devon to Farnham in Surrey and onwards to Canterbury), and the road from Southampton to Newbury.

The Angel at Andover, where Henry stayed, was re-fronted with brick in Georgian times

We think we know where Henry stayed that night, at an inn called The Angel, a timber-framed courtyard inn which remains on the High Street to this day. It was always intended as a venue for high-end customers and hosted Katherine of Aragon some years later, and James II later still.  The innkeeper at the time of Henry’s stay was called Edward Chamber and was probably of some standing in the town. A record in 1633 noted that the inn had 91 beds and 15 fireplaces at that time.

The next stop would be at Freefolk.

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