Friday, 28 February 2014

The Salisbury in New Wakefield Street and a new name for an old pub

© 2013 Peter Topping
Now the Salisbury on Wakefield Street is another one of those old Manchester pubs which seems to offer the past up with your pint.

It dates from at least 1841 and can be found on the OS map of Manchester and Salford for 1849 surrounded by mean houses which were packed together in between Oxford Street and the railway line.

In total there were three of these narrow streets consisting of James Leigh Street, Cayley Street and Mary Street, which took in 28 small back to back properties.

And on the corner was our pub which was then called the Tulloghgorum Tavern, a name it retained till 1895 when it became the Salisbury.

Now the origin of its name is obscure but there is a Scottish poem and Highland reel with the same name, and I am reliably informed that in Gaelic the word is variously spelled - Tullochgorm, Tulloch Gorm, Tulloch Gorum, Tulach Gorm. Tulach or tulloch and means a hill, hillock, knoll while Gorm is Gaelic for blue, green, or blue-green, so the meaning of the two words could be translated "blue-green hills."

The area in 1849 showing the pub
All of which is way beyond me, although it is worth noting that the name of the Lass O’ Gowrie just across Oxford Street also has a Scottish connection.

And given that we are on edge of the infamous slum area known as Little Ireland perhaps the Gaelic could have Irish connections.

That said the change of name is certainly linked to the Conservative leader Lord Salisbury who formed a government in 1895.

By then most of the mean little streets had gone, cleared away by the railway company, and industry.

But it is still possible to get a sense of what it might have been like a century and a half ago.

You drop down from Oxford Street into a hollow and then as now the place is dominated by the tall railway viaduct and two of those narrow streets.

And while the back to backs have long gone, and Little Ireland is just a page in a history book at least the names of the people who built the houses are still there.

James Leigh, and perhaps his wife or daughter Mary left their mark as did Mr William and Mr Frank just round the corner in the streets they built.

Map; New Wakefield Street and the surrounding area from the OS map of Manchester & Salford, courtesy of Digital Archives Association, http://www.digitalarchives.co.uk/

Painting; The Salisbury, © 2013 Peter Topping, 
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