Saint Clements Way is on Salisbury’s ‘Bishopdown Farm’ estate, which is to the north of the city, off the London Road. It shares the theme of many of the roads on the estate of being named after a saint. Most of these have no local connections at all, at least as far as I can see, but Salisbury does have a connection with Saint Clement, in that for many years there was a Saint Clements church in Fisherton.
Saint Clements church, Salisbury
‘Churchfields’ is named after Saint Clement’s Church. A small graveyard still exists – if you walk from Churchfields Road down towards Queen Elizabeth Gardens, then there is a small gateway in the wall on your right. The gate is kept locked, but you can see through it into the old graveyard.
If Google’s ‘embedded maps’ feature is working, then you should see the location below – if not then this link should show you the location.
View Saint Clement’s Graveyard in a larger map
I will take and upload a photo of the entrance to the churchyard at some stage.
From Saint Clements to Saint Pauls
There is a really good article by Trevor Wright about Saint Clement’s church in the 2007 edition of the Sarum Chronicle. Saint Clements church was, in brief, too small to accommodate the people in the Fisherton area who wanted to attend the church, and it would not have been cost-effective to extend it.
The decision to build a new church was taken at a vestry meeting in January 1850. The last service was held at Saint Clements in February 1852, and the new Saint Paul’s Church (which coincidentally is actually being extended at the time of writing) was consecrated in February 1853 by Bishop Denison.
Mr Wright concludes with an interesting discussion as to why the new church was called Saint Paul’s rather than Saint Clement’s. He suggests that given the explicitly anti-Catholic sentiments of some of those who supported the building of the new church, it may be that Saint Clement, being a first century pope, was felt to be too close to Rome. ().
I think this could well be right. I might add, though, just as a thought, that perhaps Saint ‘Pauls’ just has a more prestigious ring to it. St Paul, had an ‘influence on Christian thinking arguably … more significant than any other New Testament author’ () whereas the name of St Clement, perhaps inevitably carries echoes of ‘Oranges and Lemons’.
- Trevor Wright, “The Last Days of St Clement’s Church, fisherton Anger”, Sarum Chonicle 2007 [↩]
- Paul the Apostle – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [↩]