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Renewed hope for Saltersgate Inn
THERE is fresh hope that an historic North Yorkshire pub could be saved, after it was put up for sale again and attracted great interest.
The Saltersgate Inn, on the A169 between Pickering and Whitby, dates back to 1648, but has been closed since 2007.
Local builder Joseph Woodhead bought the pub in 2008, intending to restore it, but his plans were scuppered by the recession.
The derelict building is now being sold by Knight Frank as a hotel, restaurant and/or pub opportunity, with planning permission for a nine-bedroom hotel and restaurant expansion.
Mr Woodhead said: “I could not get funding for it and have decided to sell it. I have got planning permission to add a hotel with rooms to let and a restaurant, and rather than leave it to go to ruin, I would rather sell it.”
He said there had been more than 40 expressions of interest in the building and has said he is willing to discuss prices with interested parties. The inn was most famous in recent decades for its fire, which was said to have never been allowed to burn out.
It was known in its early days as The Waggon & Horses, and prospered from the trade in smuggled salt for fishermen and from its strategic location, offering a view across the moors towards the coast and any approaching excisemen.
But according to local legend, salt smugglers more than 200 years ago killed a Customs & Excise officer who caught them red-handed after hiding nearby, and then buried his corpse beneath the fire, thinking nobody would ever look there for the body.
Local folklore variously suggested that if and when the fire was ever to burn out, the excise-man’s ghost would be aroused or the village would be beset by the plague.
The pub closed in 2007, but although Mr Woodhead bought it the following year, restoration work stalled in early 2010 and has never resumed.