About this image
Showing the side of the Salutation Public House, looking up Hounds Gate (prior to the building of Maid Marian Way in the early 1960's) from the junction with Spaniel Row and St Nicholas Street. All of the shops seen here were demolished by 1960 ready for the new road's construction, and an extension to the pub was built. (See NTGM005269). Today a plaque near the Maid Marian Way entrance gives information about the inn, and states: 'The present house was built c. 1240 on the site of the 13th century Ale House known as 'The Archangel Gabriel Salutes the Virgin Mary.' Its name and sign refers to the salutation 'Ave Maria, plene gratia,' given by the Archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin; and as this sign was not infrequently associated with inns belonging to religious houses, an idea exists that this inn may have been the guest-house of either the Carmelite or the Franciscan friary of Nottingham. '1240 AD' is displayed on the apex wall but apparently the first building on the site then belonged to a 'tanner' (someone who made animal skins into leather). Their workshops were on the ground floor, with living accommodation above for both the 'tanner' and his workers. (In 1992, Nottingham University's Department of Archaeology's tree dating labs put a date of the oldest timber (the inner ring) in the pub as being circa 1360' apparently in those days timber was not left to season so that date is probably an accurate estimate as to when the pub we know today was actually built, and not 1240 as is stated on the apex wall (which was probably the date of the first building on the site). In 1440, borough records recorded this date as having a private dwelling on the site, belonging to a man named John Alastre. During The Civil War, in the 1640's, it was used by Oliver Cromwell's Roundheads as a recruiting room. In 1937 following an investigation by the Thoroton Excavation Society, it was thought that the 9th century caves beneath the pub were lived in by the local Saxon folk (the ghost of a young four year old girl is rumoured to haunt the caves). In directories, The Salutation's name varies and is sometimes referred to as 'Ye Olde Salutation'. In the late 1970's-1980's 'The Sal', as it was popularly known, was regularly frequented by bikers and the heavy-rock fans. There have been two major refits since the early 70's; The latter being the introduction of a second public staircase allowing access to the upstairs bar. Within the last two year's Tony Robinson and the Channel Four Time Team programme visited and tried to date all three of Nottingham's oldest pubs (the Bell, the Trip to Jerusalem, and the Salutation).