Wrenscroft, Salisbury

1024px RockWren 1JAN2018 Image: By ADJ82 - Own work, CC BY 3.0, Link

‘Wrenscroft’ is on the Ridings Mead estate to the south of Salisbury in which all the roads are named after birds - there is also ‘Heronswood’ and ‘Falconsway’.

The word ‘Wren’ comes from Old English. Wikipedia says:

The English name “wren” derives from Middle English wrenne, Old English wraenna, attested (as wernnaa) very early, in an eighth-century gloss.1

The wren is seen in folklore as the King of the Birds. This is from Country Life magazine:

Ireland offers a fulsome version, which recounts that all the birds gathered in a secret green valley on the south coast to discuss which of them should be king. It was decided that the bird that flew the highest should take the crown and the eagle soared way above the other contestants - only to discover that a wren had ridden on his back and launched itself above him at the last moment.2

‘The Wren’s Croft’ is also the name of a Scottish traditional dance.3


  1. Wikipedia, “Wren - Wikipedia”, Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wren#Etymology_and_usage. Retrieved: 10 January 2020
  2. Country Life, “The wren: 8 things you ought to know about Britain’s most common bird - Country Life”, Link: https://www.countrylife.co.uk/nature/wren-8-things-know-britains-common-bird-174338. Retrieved: 10 January 2020
  3. I found this in an 1895 magazine, thankfully online, called Caledonia: A Monthly Magazine of Literature, Antiquity, and Tradition Chiefly Northern
    We will describe at some length the dance called Crait an Dreathan (the wrens croft), which is danced by one man who personifies a farmer. The character comes into the hall, and begins with telling the story of his difficulties in labouring the farm of Crait an Ih’eathan ; he then stops short and desires the piper or fiddler to play up the tune peculiar to the dance ; and then he dances the tune once over and stops to relate some of the particulars of his story, then renews the dance and so on.

    Alexander Campbell, “Highland Dancing in the Olden Times”, Caledonia: A Monthly Magazine of Literature, Antiquity, and Tradition Chiefly Northern, 1895. Link: https://archive.org/stream/caledoniaamonth00lowsgoog/caledoniaamonth00lowsgoog_djvu.txt. Retrieved: 13 January 2020 [return]