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Her Salisbury Footprint Revisited

For our June meeting we planned to take advantage of the warm summer weather and long evenings to revisit Her Salisbury Footprint, the walking trail developed through Her Salisbury Story. The weather was sunny and the evening light. A group of us met in front of the Guildhall where we heard about Lady Edith Hulse the first female mayor of Salisbury. Along the south side of the Market Square, we marvelled that Jane Botly had raised seven children above the Ox Row Inn, as well as running the cutlery business.

Passing the Poultry Cross we paused at the Haunch of Venison to hear about Louisa Potto who took on the license after the death of her husband. The family were not just innkeepers, but also wholesale wine and beer merchants with cellars under what is now Culver Street carpark.

On the corner of High Street and Fisherton Street we admired the building now used by Barclays Bank, but which was built as a wine store by Francis Hale when she ran her building firm. Her Blue Plaque is on the front of the Cosy Club on New Canal Street, another of her remarkable buildings.

In the Close we learned about Dorothy Lawrence, the only female ‘soldier’ to reach the front in WWI. Although her time in Salisbury was not altogether happy and she ended her life in an asylum and was buried in a pauper’s grave.

Further along North Walk we passed the houses of Maria Fawcett, not just the sister of Henry Fawcett! Nearby, Geraldine Symons, children’s author, lived with her family during WWI and used her childhood experiences in her novel ‘Children of the Close’. Aula Le Stage, next door, was where Sara Fielding, author and sister of Henry Fielding, went to school.

Before exiting The Close onto Exeter Street we passed the houses of Mary Turbeville and Dorothy Brooke.

Mary was an oculist (eye specialist) alongside her brother Daubney Turbeville in the 1600s. She also claimed a supernatural experience, righting a wrong done to a previous occupant of the house.

Dorothy Brooke has a Blue Plaque acknowledging her as founder of the Old War Horse Hospital in Cairo in 1934. The charity continues in family hands today and is now known as The Brooke.

Other members met at the new Safer and Supportive Salisbury premises in Catherine Street, thanks to Liz opening it up for them. They were able to see the space available to community groups.

The remainder of the evening was a social at the New Inn, where we took over a small room with lots of chatter!