Church House, which stands in Crane Street, is one of Salisbury’s most historic buildings.

The establishment was once the Salisbury Workhouse and we might consider ourselves lucky that the building is still with us!

In 1881, a newspaper reported the following story under the heading: ‘Old Salisbury workhouse threatened with demolition’.

About a year ago the antiquarian world was shocked at an advertisement issued by the Town Council of Salisbury offering the ancient building, which had for some time served as the city workhouse, for sale, with the condition appended that the purchaser should pull the building down, and erect something new on its site, setting it back so as to allow of the street being made wider, and a new bridge being erected.

“Audley House,” or The Old Workhouse at Salisbury, was erected during the fifteenth century, by one of the Audley family.

After going through various changes the structure at last became the City Workhouse, and continued to be used until some three years back. The buildings surround three sides of an irregular quadrangle.

We are glad to hear that there is some chance of this curious and interesting old building being preserved from the destruction which threatens it, as it has been purchased by a member of the cathedral chapter, who is anxious to utilise it without pulling it down and rebuilding it.

We have not yet heard whether the Town Council have abandon their scheme of widening the street and rebuilding the bridge, and until this is settled the fate of the old building hangs in the balance.

It is, however, to be hoped that the people of Salisbury will do all in their power to preserve this interesting relic of antiquity.

Unlike many other historic buildings in Salisbury, Church House survived and it will feature in a visit as part of this year’s Salisbury History Festival. Detail at