Monday 4 April 2011

Salisbury Bone Trinket Market and Poultry Cross


An answer taught to young children by their parents and which when in later years is returned fivefold, never wears out. But here and an answer, with this picture, of why Salisbury is the most wonderful of places and the more to me for being so long absent. Salisbury is an attractive city, mocked quite literally by anywhere that wishes it had so much history in every brick, side by side and getting the same tan.

This is the Poultry Cross, the last of the four that marked the marketplace and markets are why cities like Salisbury are cities at all. Not too hard a think to get you to what was sold here, initially in 1307 and then improved to much of what you see now a century or three later. Across where the library is now was once the Cheese Cross, forming another point the Corn Market and last and not far from the Magic Lantern previously described, the Bone Trinket Mark. This last where the night market was raised, and every stall there allowed from sunset to rise but with all goods ‘of no manne’. What this meant was that goods typically stolen and often from miles around came here and could be sold, but also had to be guarded. It became after the initial run of dire murder and oddly inappropriate market lews (rules) rather organised.Given the nature of the Church in England it will come as no surprise to many that it was the Bishop of Salisbury that took over. His men kept the peace, or rather were paid what amounted to protection money to ensure that stolen, smuggled and bloody-fingered wares could be fenced in peace.

The Bone Trinket was also a cross, one of wood that marked the centre (now a Taxi park) of that market and which contained a relic, a finger bone of the Breton Knight Mensonges. This was within a year stolen and sold, and don’t we love the imps of irony for that! The name however stuck, even after the market was swept away like so much under the rule of Oliver Cromwell.   

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