Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Downton Moot: A Norman Castle Under 18th Century Gardens

The village of Downton, just six miles outside Salisbury, has a history stretching back to the neolithic. A motte and bailey castle, built in the early 11th century, forms the basis for eight acres of landscaped gardens next to the River Avon, which are open to the public and free to visit. They make a great place to visit for a walk, or as the starting point for one of the many longer river walks in the area.

Historical Background

The Roman Villa

The Castle

Map of Downton Moot

Downton Moot Plan
A plan of Downton Moot as it is today.

Visiting Downton Moot

How to Get to Downton Moot Using Public Transport: Catch the X3 bus from Salisbury and get off at The Bull in Downton, then walk 15 minutes to The Moot – it is a pleasant walk past some old houses and cottages.

Official Website

Opening Hours

The Moot is open from dawn till dusk.

Ticket Prices


There are no toilets refreshments available at the Moot, but there are good cafés and pubs in Downton. I particularly recommend The Borough Café, which is an 8 minute walk away.

Free parking on site.

Archaeology Travel Writer

Sarah Nash

Sarah has a Bachelors degree in Philosophy and a Masters degree in Archaeology. Besides an interest in archaeology and history, Sarah is also a travel obsessed bookworm. Given her aim to get her children to be equally interested in history and travel, Sarah started our History with Kids series of articles. Sarah has also written about places and museums to visit in Salisbury and London.

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