is obvious that a history of Wincanton would be very incomplete if all
reference to its public houses was omitted. Wincanton has been noted
for several years as having a large number of places of worship, but
it will be seen that the number of public-houses has by far exceeded
the churches and chapels.
the years 1574-7 there were but 100 Inns in the County of Somerset.
Besides these were 16 Taverns and 215 tipling houses or ale-houses.
The latter were for the most part kept by women, who kept open during
the greater part of the night. The proprietors were required by law
to have a lantern hanging at the door until 9 o'clock in the evening,
at which time they were expected to close. At these houses home-brewed
ale was retailed at a half-penny per gallon! Inns were for the use of
travellers, who required beds for themselves and stabling for their
horses. At these Inns, doctors met their patients and lawyers their
clients. At some of these Inns the signs were of a gorgeous description
and very costly.
1558, there was in this parish only one Inn mentioned by name and that
was "The Hart." It was a corner house situated on the south
side of the High Street, and at that time held by the heirs of Henry
WILLIAMS. On the opposite side of the said High Street there was a brewhouse
called"Prior's House," probably beforetime the property of
the Prior of Stavordale, but at the time in question held by one John
VINING, a name of which there was an unconscionable number at that time
and after. It may be that where "The Hart" stood became the
site of "The White Horse," it being a common occurrence to
change the name.
High Street. The site now occupied by one shop of Mr G.F. BENJAFIELD.
Kept in or about 1678 by Jasper STACEY.
1774 - Andrew IVY.
1792 - Angel LANE is mentioned in the accounts of the Feoffees.
1797 - James THORN.
1801 - Joseph HUTCHINGS. Census of that year.
1811 - John WAY. Census of that year.
Apparently Way was the last tenant who held a licence in this house,
for the people to be "drunk on the premises." Mr MELHUISH,
after this, kept a wine and spirit store here. He was followed by Mrs
John GOODFELLOW, who had a ladies school. Some time in the eighteenthirties,
Mr George RUSSELL, senr, opened a drapery shop, and called it "London
House." After several other changes of tenants it still beared
this name in 1908.
is the date on the sundial on the front, bearing the intials P.R.D.
(Roger and Diana PERRIOR)
1745 - John WEBB's name for Poor rate stands for The Bear.
1767 - His name is still found against it. A Feoffees meeting held here
in that year.
1770 - Mr and Mrs LEACH were here, and in that year both appear to have
died. Then Mr James BACON, late butler to the Rev Mr SANDFORD, near
Taunton, entered, and was here in 1774
In 1784, Mr OLIVER, who succeeded Mr Bacon, was then quitting.
In 1791, Mr James LINTERN, afterwards landlord of the Greyhound Hotel,
was in possession. He held it till 1801, when John PERRIOR entered.
His name again appears as land lord in 1811. In 1820, Diana PERRIOR,
widow, entered on a new lease of 7 years. In 1824, Daniel ENGLISH again
appears. It is said that he came from the ship of East Stower to The
Bear, and when he left went to the Half Moon at Horsington. The same
is said of Thomas GRIST, who followed him here. During Mr Grist's occupation
the house was flourishing ; the coaches stopped here, a dozen or so
every day, but the Railways made great havoc with the trade. In 1861,
Mr William NEWMAN was here. During his time, an old quaint part of the
house was taken down and modernised. After Mr Newman's death and that
of Mrs Newman, there were several changes ; first Mr MILLER, then Mr
YELLS in May, 1879 ; Mr FORD, now of Sturminster, (1908) came in 1884
and left in 1886. Mr Henry William ANDREWS came on 19th April, 1886,
and died on April 5th, 1887. Mrs Andrews his widow, carried on the business
till her death on June 1st, 1902. The licence in 1908 was held by the
husband of one of her sisters, namely, Mr W. J. DYKE.
The name PERRIOR was a well known one in the parish, and Roger was a
frequent christian name in the family. The last of the name lived in
Church Street. Until the last few years a headstone marked his grave.
It bore the following inscription: "To the memory of Roger Perrior,
who died June 10th, 1825, aged 73 years."
South Street, where Stuckey's bank stands.
1608. - Left by will of Thomas EWENS, of Kingston, Yeovil, in trust
for the poor of Wincanton.
1693. - Conveyed by Robert FREKE to Richard CHURCHEY and others.
1699. - Granted by Philip BENNETT and others for lives to Thomas BEACON.
1721. - In possession of Mr Wm. PLUCKNETT, who held it for lives.
1752. - Mr Henry PLUCKNETT, jeweller, took a 99 years lease of it, depending
on the lives of his wife and Dr. ROSEAMZER for 30 pound in hand and
10/- per annum.
1774. - Mr HINDLEY was the holder of the lease. Land Tax Return.
1823. - Richard RING is mentioned as having held it on the life of Mrs
HINDLEY, but who had recently died. About this date a new house was
erected by a Mr BARRETT, to whom it was granted for three lives. The
house cost Mr Barrett 500 pound to build, and he paid a ground rent
of 2 pound per annum.
Stuckey's Banking Company purchased the interest of the lessees, and
a few years since bought the freehold, when they greatly enlarged the
Black Lyon" or "Lyon"
in the market place where Mr J. C. HINKS' shop now stands. With the
exception of the shop windows it looks very as when built. "Benjamin
LEWYS," or as the token issued in 1667 calls him "Ben Lewes,"
was living there when the token was made. There were three of the same
name living in the parish at that time. Ben died in 1679. He belonged
to a family of some position, himself being churchwarden in 1667.
In 1710, a Mr SMITH was landlord there.
In 1736, Bernard JAMES occupied the house, and was there in 1745.
In 1774, Mr William DAY paid Land Tax on the house.
By 1806, it had been transformed into a bank, and was occupied by Mr
In 1822, James LONGMAN married Mary HINE, and carried on the business
of Draper. He died in 1844 when his widow succeeded him. She gave up
to her son, S. H. LONGMAN, who carried on the business for many years.
He died in 1886, when his widow succeeded. She retired, and disposed
of the business in 1891 to Mr J. C. HINKS, who was in possession in
Britannia" on Rock Hill
- Opened by Robert GUTCH, continued by his widow, and by Mary GUTCH
his daughter till 1862, when it was closed by Mr E. CROUCH, who went
there to live.
No: 14, Market Place - Shewen's Ironmongery.
Although this has not been used as a public-house for many years, it
was formerly one of the most flourishing in the town. If it does not
date back as far as the White Horse, (which it probably does) it had
existed long enough by 1662 to have changed its name. It can be clearly
traced back to the date mentioned as "The Crown," and some
time previous to that date as "The King's Arms." It was a
place of some importance, inasmuch as it covered a considerable portion
of ground, including the whole of Mr Shewen's present premises, from
the High Street back to the end of the garden ; Mr BLAKE's, if not Mr
KNIGHT's house ; and Mr EDEN's stores, in the White Horse Lane. There
were several stables in connection with it, known as "The Long
Stable," "The Shelf Stable," and "The Hackney Stable."
In 1662, the occupier was "Gartrude BAUNTON." The surname
is that of the owners of Roundhill, who succeeded the DYERS, to whom
they were related. It is probable that this Gartrude was the widow of
Henry BAYNTUN, who died in 1641 ; several of that surname are mentioned
in the parish register as "gent." Her name does not appear
in the parish register, unless she married again, in which case the
entry would be made under her new name.
In 1678, it was occupied by Peter STONE, who at that time had several
licensed houses, as this list shows. Here he died in 1695. One wife
died before him, but he appears to have married another, who outlived
him. Peter does not appear to have been the owner, the property apparently
having passed in 1662 to John VINING, the owner of the White Horse,
who at that time divided the buildings, granting the upper part to Walter
HENDERSON, shoemaker, for 99 years.
In 1707, the lower and larger premises, namely, "The Crown,"
were owned by Samuel CROSS, but they were in that year transferred to
Thomas GAPPER, of Suddon. Margaret WAY was the tenant. For a long period
I find no trace of the owners or occupiers, nor any inkling as to when
it ceased to be a licensed house.
In 1736, Samuel CROSS was carrying on the trade of a turner on the premises.
In 1745, his son John had succeeded him. It appears as if the last named
Cross was followed by a Mr Henry COOPER, upholsterer, who was an elderly
man. On the first Sunday in August, 1794, he had been to Redlynch in
a "one horse shay" and was returning, when he was thrown out,
one of his legs broken, and he was otherwise injured. He died sonn after,
leaving his widow in the business, which she carried on "With an
assistant until she can get a purchaser." In the following year,
Angel COOPER, the widow, disposed of her business to a Mr Robert DOWDING.
In the census of 1801, Robert Dowding is described as a joiner.
In 1811, Harry COOPER, auctioneer, was living in the house. He was Secretary
of the French Masonic Lodge, "Le paix desiree." Mrs Cooper
appears to have been in business in the house in 1830. She must have
been followed shortly after by Mr George CROCKER, who removed to Yeovil
about 1840, when Mr Thomas RICHARDS entered and remained till his death
in February, 1889. In the next month the business was divided ; Mr J.
W. EDEN purchasing the house below, and Messrs. Wm. and George GILBERT
taking the Ironmongery. They remained till February, 1895, when they
dissolved partnership ; Mr John SHEWEN then entered and is still in
house was in 1774 called the Rainbow Inn, and was kept by William HARVEY.
In 1794, it was occupied by Robert BESSANT under the name of "Daulphin."
He remained till 1817, in which year he died.
In 1826, George LAPHAM was living there.
1830 - John LAPHAM's name appears in a County Directory. (Query, should
he not have been described as George?)
1840 - George FORWARD was in possession.
1841 - Thomas Nimrod WHITE went there and remained till March, 1861,
when he drowned himself in a water-tank!
1861 - Charles HUNT, who left the Swan Inn, now entered, and carried
on a baking business as well. He died on his 51st birthday, Febraury
2nd, 1875. The house and business were then sold. A Mr PALMER occupied
the premises for three years when in
1878 - Mr Charles HOWES migrated from the New Inn to the Dolphin, and
for many years carried on the dual businesses. Some years ago he declined
the baking in favour of farming.
Mr HUTCHINGS Tailoring establishment in Market Place.
In 1774, kept under this name by Rachel, widow of William JONES. It
had formerly been known as the "Hare and Hounds," and was
afterwards again changed to "The Trooper."
- Owned by Peter STONE. Authority, Borough Rents.
owned and occupied by Mr George LOCK.
In 1671, Mr William SWANTON lived there. Hence the orchard at the back
was until recent years known as "Swantons Orchard." "Spring
Clos" was also called "Swanton's."
In 1678, it was kept by "Swanton's heirs," Mr Swanton having
died in 1671. At another time "George de FORWEILLE" lived
In 1792, Thomas YEO kept the house, as an advertisement in the "salisbury
and Winchester Journal" for October 15th of that year shows. The
advertisement runs, viz. -
"Andrew IVEY, Wincanton deceased. To be peremptorily sold by auction
by J. HODDINOTT, auctioneer, at the following lands situate in Wincanton,
late the lands of Mr Andrew Ivey, deceased. The George Inn, situated
near the Market Place, now rented by Thomas Yeo, & Co." A different
advertisement appeared a week later with the following description:
- "The George Inn being a stone built roomy house, with outhouses,
large stable, garden etc: Situated near to and very convenient for the
market, now rented by Thomas Yeo as tenant at will." From that
time it has been used for the business of butcher. For many years, embracing
three generations, the OBORN family lived there, but from 1877 it has
been occupied by Mr Lock. The house was greatly enlarged about the year
the foot of Mill Street.
In 1836-7, it was opened by William LINDSEY, carrier, (who had vacated
the White Hart previous to its demolition.) He carried it on till his
death. He was succeeded by his widow. Henry VINING followed, and he
was succeeded by his widow.
In 1861, William HALE was in occupation, and was was followed by his
widow. She was successively followed by Messrs. FOOT, HOLE, WARREN,
and William REX.
On October 16th, 1897, Robert George HENNING entered and still occupied
the premises in 1908.
- William DAY.
1745. - ______ HAREBOTTLE.
been for many years one of the principal Inns of the town ; probably
so named in honour of the CHURCHEY family. It formerly bore the royal
arms because the body of the Duke of Sussex once laid there, and Queen
Victoria as a child spent a night there. On the front, too, was painted
"Inland Revenue Office." 1743 is the first year that reference
to it is found in the parish books.