Display caption

Old Sarum is the site of William the Conqueror’s court, where he ‘confirmed that great event, the establishment of the feudal system’. It had been abandoned in the 13th century.

The site has the romance of a long-abandoned seat of power, but it was notorious in 1830 as the seat of  a ‘rotten borough’, targeted by radicals seeking parliamentary reform. Constable was by then passionately opposed to reform and the print was seen by at least one contemporary as a political protest.

September 2004