Christmas Tree Festival

The Christmas Tree Festival 2019 was the first public outing of Her Salisbury Story. Soroptimist International of Salisbury had decorated a tree at the festival at Saint Thomas’s Church for the last two years and thought it would be a good idea to use this year‘s tree to begin to raise awareness of our new project Her Salisbury Story.

We decided to decorate the tree with gift tags with pictures of Salisbury women past and present who had achieved something of note in their lives. The list included writers, musicians, women in the church and philanthropists among others. We also had a box of little silver Christmas trees that people could hang on the tree themselves having written the name of somebody they wanted to celebrate. The plan is to record and follow up on at least some of these names.

This led to a craft evening taking place where volunteers cut, pasted and stamped the labels to make the decorations.

Our research into women of Salisbury was  at a very early stage when we decorated the tree so many of the women that we would include now were undiscovered by us at the time.

See below the picture for a list of women included on the tree.


Brief Details

Dorothy L Sayers

Author, Godolphin school, Wimsey at Cathedral Hotel

Elizabeth Goldolphin

Founded Godolphin School

Dorothy Brooke

Founder of the Old War Horse Memorial Hospital in Cairo 1934

Edith Oliver

Author, Mayoress of Wilton

Ela of Salisbury

Countess of Salisbury founder of Laycock Abbey

Agnes Bottenham

Founder of Trinity Almshouses

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Queen of England ( Henry ll) imprisoned at old Sarum

Mary Herbert

Alchemist and hostess. Wilton House was like a college, there were so many learned and ingenious persons. She was the greatest patroness of wit and learning of any lady in her time.”

Joan Popley

Gave properties in London for the relief of the poor in Salisbury

Dorothy Lawrence

An English journalist, who posed as an infantryman in order to report from the front line during World War 1.

Rosemary Squires

A professional singer worked with Ted Heath, Geraldo, Cyril Stapleton and other big band conductors 

Cornelia Funke

Wrote the children’s book Ghost Knight set in Salisbury Cathedral School

Sarah Mullally

Formerly Cannon Treasurer at the cathedral now Bishop of London

Edith Hulse

Established the Hulse Clinic for Child Welfare at the Infirmary in 1924 became the first woman Mayor of Salisbury  in 1927

Minette Batters

First woman president of the NFU

Annie Moberly

First principal of St Hughs College Oxford

Barbara Townsend

Artist lived all her life at Monpesson House

Geraldine Symons

Children’s author wrote a memoir of life in The Close before and during the great war

Susan Howatch

Author wrote the Starbridge series set in Salisbury

June Osborne

Previously Dean of Salisbury now Bishop of Llandaff

Salome Pelly

Daughter of Bishop Wordsworth. Doctor (Crane St Practice), philanthropist, socialist and artist

Florence Nightingale

The founder of modern nursing. she had close links with the Salisbury Infirmary through her work  with  Sidney Herbert and Edith Joanna Bonham-Carter

Millicent Garrett Fawcett

Millicent was a frequent visitor to Salisbury where she inspired local suffragists including her sister-in-law Maria Fawcett who worked locally for the ‘Society for the Education of Girls’

Christmas Tree Festival

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