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Former Salt Tax Office

The escutcheon carrying the Southwold coat of arms and the date 1673 is sometimes taken to suggest that this may be the original site of Southwold's Town Hall. This is unlikely for there is good evidence that the cottage-style building that preceded the current one, started life as a hastily built hospital to tend some of the casualtties of the Anglo Dutch Wars who inadvertently found themselves on the Sole Bay coast. To read Southwold Museum's illustrated account of how the war casualties were treated, click here to download a pdf..

The building became the Salt Tax office in the early18th Century

This is the year that the Treasury sets up a dedicated Salt Tax Department, separate from the Boards of Customs and Excise. In consequence, local salt offices are set up throughout the country wherever salt is manufactured. It is probably about this time that the Southwold Salt Office is established. The salt works itself is close by in Ferry Road at the bottom end of Constitution Hill

Thomas Gardner - is recorded as the Salt Tax Officer at this time. He is better known as a distinguished local historian and author of 'An Historical Account of Dunwich, Blythburgh and Southwold'. His home is just a few yards away in Park Lane.

The Salt Tax Office building is demolished and the adjacent Victorian house extended over the site.

Acknowledgement to Rosemary Williamson, author of 'The Saga of Southwold Salt Makers'.












Do you have any memories or records about this address? Can you correct any of our information or fill in any of our blanks? If so, please email Barry Tolfree
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BSD - Bernard Segrave-Daly
BCS = Bygones & Characters of Southwold by Barrett Jenkins
C = Census
CP = Cinema Programme 1958
CSP = Coronation Souvenir Programme 1953
G = Gales Trade Directory
GRO = General Register Office
K = Kelly's Directory
LM = Local memory
M = James Maggs' Southwold Diary 1818-1876
MCG = Methodist Church Guide 1930
NA = National Archives
PP = Pantomime Programme 1933
PLR = Petrol Licence Records

POD = Post Office Directory
PPP = Pier Pavilion Programme 1924, 1926
RCE = Rotary Club Exhibition 1969
SCM = Southwold Catholic Magazine 1923
SCTG = Southwold Corporation Tourist Guide
SER = Southwold Electoral Register
SFP = Southwold Scouts Fete Programme 1947
SG = Southwold Guide
SGCH = Southwold Golf Club Handbook
SLHR = Southwold Local History Recorder 1980s 1990s (Mrs R. McDermot)
SMHS = Southwold Museum & Historical Society

SN = Southwold & Neighbourhood 1903
SPM = Southwold Parish Magazine 1895 -1954
SR = Southwold Recorder 1927, 1932, 1934, 1935
SRB = Southwold Rate Book
SRT = Southwold Railway Timetable 1915
SSAS = Southwold Sea Angling Society Handbook 1909
SST = Southwold Summer Theatre Programmes
SSW = Southwold Shopping Week Programme, June/July 1922
STG = Southwold Town Guide 1930
SVL = Southwold Visitors List 1907, 1930
SVCP = Southwold Victory Celebration Programme 1946
SWCG = Southwold Wesleyan Church Guide

TTR = 'The Town Revisited' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 2000
TTT = ''To The Town' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 1988
W = White’s History, Gazetteer and Directory of Suffolk 1874

Note on dates
Unless otherwise stated, dates given do not indicate the years in which the business started or finished but those for which there is firm evidence that it was trading at this address. Sources in brackets; key at bottom of page.

The house on the site today, still displays the 1673 carved stone panel of Bailiff Robert Milbourne (below).
At the top are the arms of Southwold. Below are those of Strickland and Chapman. The dates and initials have been painted over and are hard to discern in this photo but may be seen in the 19th Century photo beneath. Various differences are apparent between the two photos, suggesting that the escutcheon has been largely remade.

The building on South Green which may originally have been part of the old Town Hall. Later it became the office of the Salt Works. The carved panel may be clearly seen.
Click the picture to enlarge.

This photo and the one above, reproduced from Barrett Jenkins' book 'A Visit to Southwold' by kind permission of the author's daughter, Ann Thornthon

The Salt Office in 1890. (The low building in the middle)
Southwold Museum P2799

Click the picture to enlarge

Approximately the same date as above.

Photo reproduced courtesy of Stephen Francis of Hove Books

Click the picture to enlarge