SALISBURY was often considered to be the city with the most pubs in proportion to residents than any other city or town in the whole of England.  

Whether this was factually true or not, a considerable number of boozers were in place around the city centre and the hospitality industry dates back centuries.

Many of the pubs were converted into residential properties or became retail outlets. 

This article takes a stroll through the history of Salisbury's lost pubs from A-M. 

The Anchor Inn – Gigant Street

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The origins of the building date back to the 16th century but the pub first appeared in the licensing records in 1867. It is likely that the brewery existed prior to the purchase by Bridger Gibbs (Gibbs and Mew). In 1859, a license was applied for but was refused due to there being enough public houses in the city at that time. Eventually, it became the Anchor Tap, and then, the Anchor Inn. It was demolished in 2001.

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The Albion Inn – St Ann’s Street

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First known as the Albion Inn, possibly dating back to the early 1850s, it became a free house in 1993 with the name changed to the Baker’s Arms. The pub was converted into a single bar at that time. The Baker’s Arms closed in the latter part of 2006.  

Bar 44 – Fisherton Street

The pub was originally the Fisherton Brewery dating from 1870. It gained a full licence in the latter part of the 1940s and was renamed the Fisherton Arms. In 1997, it reopened as the Ale and Cider Press. In 2005, it was renamed again, this time as Bar 44 and was later converted into a shop.

Barley Mow – Greencroft Street

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Dating back to the 1700s, and once refused a full license, the Barley Mow continued as a pub into the 20th Century. It was an Usher’s house and then, a Chef and Brewer House, and in 1988, the licence was transferred to Gibbs Mew and became a single bar. The pub closed in 2004.

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Bell Inn – Exeter Street

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With a history dating back to the 1500s, the pub was also known as the Coach and Horses during a period of time in the 1700s. From the 1930s, the inn became known as the Old Bell and was a free house. It operated as a hotel too but closed permanently in 2005.

The Bird in Hand – North Street

Opening in 1865, the pub was located on the corner of North Street. From 1932, it was owned by Eldridge-Pope of Dorchester until the mid-1970s. It continued until 2006 when it closed permanently.

The Blackbird – Churchfields Road

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The Blackbird pub was located at the city end of Churchfields Road and dated back to the 1870s. It was called the Churchfields Beerhouse in the early 1880s. It became known as the Blackbird in 1901 and was owned by the Lamb Brewery (Frome) which was taken over by Ushers of Trowbridge in 1957. It closed in the 1980s but reopened as a free house in 1995. It eventually closed permanently as a public house in 2000.

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Bull Hotel – Fisherton Street

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The Bull Hotel was located in Fisherton Steet and was in existence since 1713. In 1892, the license was transferred to brewers in Blandford Forum and was purchased by Hall & Woodhouse in 1901. The pub closed for good in 2004.

Cactus Jack’s – Water Lane

This bar was first known as Reuben Langford’s bar in 1984, then changed to Maxwell’s and then, to Cactus Jack’s in 1994 where it became a bistro. It closed permanently in April 2022.

The Coach and Horses – Winchester Street

The earliest record of the Coach and Horses was in the mid-1700s. It may have gone by other names during its long history. The building dates back to the late 15th century or the early 16th century. In 1986, it was converted to a single bar. The pub closed in 2015.

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The City Hall – Fisherton Street

Originally built as a picture house in 1937, it was purchased by the District Council in 1961 as a public hall. The original entrance on Fisherton Street was not used as part of the conversion but it was opened as Café Bar Circolo in the early 1990s, but this closed in 1999.

Cornmarket Inn

The pub on the corner of the Market Walk by the Library was originally called the Slurping Toad when it opened in 1998. It was renamed the Cornmarket Inn but closed in the latter part of 2006.

Crown and Anchor – Exeter Street

The Crown and Anchor which was located on Exeter Street had a variety of names. The building dated back to the 1600s and it was first known as the Griffin. In the 1700s, it became The Dragon, and then, again, was renamed Griffin.

In the early 1800s, it became the Northumberland Arms, then the Horse and Jockey. It became the Crown and Anchor in the early part of the 1800s and was an Usher's pub for many years. It closed permanently in 2002.

King’s Arms – Fisherton Street

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The building dated back to the 16th century, and it became the Cross Keys in the 1800s. It became a Gibbs Mews pub until the brewery closed. The King’s Arm’s closed for good in 2010.

Mortimer’s Bar – Fisherton Street

The bar opened in the former building of a department store on the corner of Fisherton Street, and it was first called the Chicago Rock Café. Later, it became Mortimer’s Bar or Bar M. It closed in 2010.

How many of these pubs do you remember and have we missed any from the city centre? Share your favourite pub stories with us.