History of the Lord Nelson
The Inn standing on the north east side of Fore Street, opposite the east end of Salthouse Street, was not always known as the Lord Nelson. Until sometime between 1790 and 1805 it was called the Noah’s Ark, which was often abbreviated to Ark.
The earliest reference traced of the Noah’s Ark is 1672, during the reign of Charles 11, when the local Headboroughs ordered William Stephens to repair his pavement. The fact that the Noah’s Ark was an Inn rather than just a tavern or alehouse is confirmed by an entry in the borough records of 1696, where in a payment to the Landlord is recorded for billeting a soldier or soldiers.
Many references to the Noah’s Ark can be traced throughout the 18th Century, in treasurer’s accounts, Sessions records, parochial accounts of St. Clement’s Parish and land tax valuations. In 1715 the landlord was again in trouble with the Headboroughs when he was accused of having ‘muck’ in the vicinity of his Inn. The usual fine was 3d. (slightly more than 1p. of today’s currency) and often 6d. for repeated offences
The advertisement of 1790, mentioned in the previous paragraph, was the last reference traced of the name Noah’s Ark. In 1805 the new name of the Lord Nelson was first noticed in the Overseer’s accounts of St Clement’s parish. The license to trade in intoxicating liquor, dated 1811, is extant and cost £9 indicating that the establishment was more than just a common beerhouse. Many other licenses of the first half of the 19th Century have survived together with alehouse recognizances of 1824 and 1825. In 1996 the Lord Nelson underwent complete refurbishment in a style appropriate to its age and location.
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