The manorial history of Salterford is complicated and incomplete, and traces of any possible former settlement are not now evident, but its name is still represented, on larger scale maps, by Salterford Farm and by nearby Salterford Dam on the Dover Beck.( )
In the Domesday survey, it is recorded as belonging to Osbern son of Richard and being six bovates (perhaps 90 acres) of ‘waste’, which may have meant that it was uninhabited or uncultivated, or both. It is referred to in the 1330 Assize rolls as Molendin de Salturford so that a watermill must have been built there by that time.
In the early Tudor period it seems to have belonged to a family of landowners called Revell who sold the land, with a pond, to Thomas Hockynson (or Hutchinson) in 1551. The 1589 perambulation of Sherwood Forest includes Salterford Dam as a landmark on the boundary of the royal hunting ground, so evidently the dam (or body of water confined by an embankment [OED]), was already there as a source of water for a mill by the Dover Beck.
A correspondent of the Nottinghamshire Guardian writing in 1883 referred to a manor house at Salterford, said by Dr Thoroton to have been occupied by Sir Thomas Hutchinson (1587–1643) father of the roundhead Colonel John Hutchinson. The site of this manor house was supposed to have been ploughed up in the making of flood meadows by the 5th Duke of Portland (1800–1879). The Revd T. Woollen Smith (vicar of Calverton) in replying to this correspondent referred to a scribbled note, of 1760, in the parish register, probably written by Revd Maurice Pugh. There were two burials in June 1614 of women who had been (wrote Pugh), …inhabitants of a house yt stood at Salterford Dam now a Rabit Warren 1760 it looks like some plague. There was a corn mill there and a manor house within a Mote near the Dam head the Mill below it some distance served wh Water by a cut from ye Dam. Despite Pugh’s assertion, the 1609 map of Sherwood Forest, while listing ‘Mr Randall Barton’ and ‘Mr Hutchinson’ as freeholders of both ‘Saunterforde Manor’ and ‘Saunsham Woods’, had showed no habitations or buildings of any kind.
In 1662 Colonel Hutchinson sold the manor of Salterford to William Willoughby of Hunsdon in Hertfordshire.Five years later the manor (including ‘ground where a mill lately stood’) was sold to two London gentlemen and, soon after that, in 1676 Humphrey Jennens, the ironmaster of Erdington, was authorised by the Sherwood Forest Court to enclose nearby Sansom Wood. In January 1709 Charles Jennens (son of Humphrey and father of the celebrated Charles Jennens) sold the land to John Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle. In July of that year Salterford was being rented to a warrener called John Bagulie of Blidworth.
By 1716 Salterford belonged to Lord Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford, as it had evidently been bequeathed to his wife, who was the only child of the late Duke. In 1721 Salterford was being leased at £20 p.a. to Samuel Wilkinson of Calverton as a rabbit warren, with permission also to make brecks (q.v. ) to take three crops. It seems that Samuel Wilkinson was the son-in-law of the vicar, Revd Maurice Pugh and was receiving letters from him concerning the tithes for corn, sheep, and even rabbits, up to 1750. The enclosure map of 1780 shows that the vicar had been awarded the area at the junction of Salterford Lane and the Old Rufford Road, ‘in lieu of tithes’, while ‘Sansome Warren’ covered the area where now there are woods and ponds. The Revd T. Woollen Smith noted in 1883 that he had spoken to a man who, as a boy, ‘remembered… seeing remains of an old manor house when the present Salterford dam was being made’.
Salterford may well have originated as a place where salters used a ford, at a low-lying point on the trackway through the forest, now known as the A614 or Old Rufford Road. It seems however to owe its continued existence in the records to the construction of a mill, at an early time, a few hundred metres away, at the point where the Dover Beck enters Calverton parish. It appears to be the only place in the parish where there was sufficient water power to turn the wheel of a mill and it is therefore to be associated with other ancient mills on that river, such as those formerly at Oxton, Epperstone and Gonalston. While there may have been a miller’s house, at Salterford, to accompany the water-mill, documentary evidence for a Manor House or settlement at the location is lacking. This may well have been simply a landholding, given a collective name in the taxation records, without a central, nucleated settlement ever having existed.