Image Bank

Odeon Cinema, Salisbury

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Type: Foliage-spewer
Location: Exterior of the Odeon Cinema in New Canal, Salisbury
OS GR: SU 145299
Period: Nineteenth century 'tudor'
Medium: Wood carving
Foliage: Acanthus type
Mood: Rustic, rather comic

Our much-appreciated assistant green-man-hunter, Lis, came across this fine nineteenth-century fellow on the facade of the Odeon cinema in New Canal, Salisbury.  Probably the only cinema in the country to be housed in a mediaeval merchant's hall, the Odeon occupies the Hall of John Halle, a wool merchant who built the house in 1470-83.  The hall itself was restored by Pugin in 1834, and in 1881 Fred Bath added the "grossly overdone timber-framed Tudor facade", as Pevsner comments with his characteristic asperity (Pevsner 1975, p.452).

So, is our green man original mediaeval, or added by Pugin, or part of Fred Bath's additions?  My guess is the last of these.  He looks like a Victorian rustic who has gone down to the woods and is whiling away his leisure hours by sticking his head out of the leaves at passers-by, gurning at them frantically. 

Also at the Odeon cinema

  • Inside is the mediaeval hall itself, the core of the original building, curiously preserved.


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Page created on 18 January 2009.  Last updated on 18 January 2009.