Public Houses in Barnstaple 1837-1897

By Jonathan Frayne

Note that until 1869 only fully licensed premises needed a license from the magistrates. Beerhouses were not required to be licensed until then having hitherto only paid a fee to the excise department and automatically received the license they needed. Beerhouses were often shortlived and were commonly known as "tiddlywink shops". At the annual fair time there was a widely exercised "right" for anyone to sell liquor. All they had to do was to display "bush" outside their front door to let everyone know they were open for business.

In 1837 there were 81 fully licensed premises according to the Magistrates' Clerk office:

Name Landlord Address (as of 1847)
Admiral Vernon W. Hill Maiden Street
Angel Inn Mary Vicary Quay
Antelope J. Pulman  
Bakers' Hotel W. Arnold Green Lane
Barley Mow J. Herring Boutport Street
Bear Inn J. Symons Green Lane
Bell Inn Eliza Green Quay
Black Horse G. Bobbett  
Braunton Inn R. Frayne High Street
Brickmakers' Inn G. May Back Lane
Britannia Inn J. Ley  
Bull Inn Robert Seldon Boutport Street
Castle Inn J. Stribling High Street
Chichester Arms H. Sloley Pilton
Commercial Inn J. Waldron Boutport Street
Crown and Anchor Inn Maria Hill Litchdon Street
Ebberley arms J. Dowling Bear Street
Elephant Inn J. Parminter Elephant Lane
Exeter Inn James Tinson Litchdon Street
Falcon J. Gliddon Joy Street
Fortescue Arms J. A. Pearce Well Street
George and Shakespeare Mary Beer Boutport Street
Golden Anchor R. Chapple Castle Street
Golden Lion John Marsh Square
Green Dragon W. Warren Boutport Street
Greyhound Inn A. Stanbury  
Hearts of Oak Mary Davy Boutport Street
Horse and Groom R. Pengelly Boutport Street
Ilfracombe Inn James Priscott High Street
King's Arms W. Pugsley High Street
Lamb Inn Peter Camp Boutport Street
London Inn W. Vickery Litchdon Street
Malsters' Inn H. Street  
Mariners' Inn W. H. Leworthy Back Lane
Masons' Arms R. Oatway Hardaway Head
Nag's Head Tavern R. Blackwell Anchor Lane
New Inn R. Westacott Back Lane
Newington Inn W. Seldon Derby
Newport Inn E. Jones Newport
North Country Inn J. Randall Boutport Street
North Devon Inn G. Kelly  
Northmolton (sic) Inn W. Burgess Bear Street
Public Rooms J. Martin  
Red Lion R. Blackmore Quay
Reform Inn J. Rice  
Ring of Bells R. Holland Anchor Lane
Ring of Bells W. Harris Pilton
Rising Sun T. Stevens Boutport Street
Rolle Arms Edward Crabb Bear Street
Rose and Crown T. Pedlar Newport
Royal Ash J. Pugsley  
Royal Exchange Thomas King Joy Street
Salutation Inn W. B. Lee Castle Street
Seven Stars James Ford Anchor Lane
Shakespeare Tavern R. Bastin  
Sheepmarket Inn John Curtis Castle Street
Ship Inn T. Chapple Quay
Shipwright's Arms T. King Square
Smiths' Arms J. Terry Holland Street
Star Inn G. Tyte  
Sun Inn G. Gould Newport
Swan Inn J. Oatway Holland Street
Theatre Inn R. Vicary  
Three Tuns James Easton High Street
Unicorn Inn J. Knill Pilton
White Hart Mary Bealy Joy Street
White Horse S. White Boutport Street
White Lion J. Shobrooke Silver Street
White Lion W. M. Shapcott Castle Street
Wine and Spirit Cellars J. Knill Cotton  
Wine and Spirit Cellars O. V. Pengelly  
Wine and Spirit Cellars S. Linnington  
Wine and Spirit Cellars H. Simons and M. Snell  
Wine and Spirit Cellars Hannah Wilkinson  
Wine and Spirit Cellars E. Harris and Co.  
Wine and Spirit Cellars Samuel Ware  
Wine and Spirit Cellars J. Trive  
Wine and Spirit Cellars J. Dickery  
Wine and Spirit Cellars R. T. Partridge  

Additionally in 1847 are listed:

Name Landlord
Railway Hotel Boutport Street
Victoria Inn High Street
Crown and Sceptre Tuly Street
Steer Quay
Carpenters' Arms Vicarage Street
Albion Inn Back Lane
Mermaid Inn Boutport Street
Royal Oak Holland Street
Town Arms Anchor Lane
Rising Sun Newport

It seems reasonable to assume that most of these premises are listed above, but have changed their names. The Railway Hotel and Victoria Inn clearly couldn't have had those names in 1837.

For comparison here are the inns listed in White's Directory of 1850, there are 59 of them I believe, but the beerhouses and Wine and Spirit Cellars are separately listed:

Name Landlord Address
Admiral Vernon Charlotte Hill Maiden street
Angel Thomas Avery Quay
Barley Mow John Jenkins Boutport street
Bear John Bate Green lane
Beehive James Smith Green lane
Bell John Geen Quay
Braunton Inn Richard Frayne High street
Bull Charles Widden Boutport street
Castle William Britton High street
Chichester Arms Thomas Hancock Pilton
Commercial Inn John Waldron Boutport street
Crown & Anchor James Hunt Litchdon steet
Ebberly Arms John Cole Bear street
Exeter Inn Maria Tinson Litchdon street
Falcon Elizabeth Gliddon Joy street
Fortescue Arms (& posting) William Cory Boutport street
George & Shakespeare Benjamin Skinner Boutport street
Golden Anchor Mary Chapple Holland street
Golden Fleece John Otway Tuly lane
Golden Lion (& posting) John Marsh Boutport street
Green Dragon Philip Pyke 130 Boutport street
Heart of Oak John Delve Boutport street
Horse & Groom William Seldon Boutport street
Ilfracombe Inn James Priscott High street
King's Arms Frederick Jefferey 30 High street
Lamb John Hartnoll 31 Boutport street
London Inn William Sluman Litchdon street
Mermaid John Baker Boutport street
Nag's Head Thomas Hill Anchor lane
Newport Inn Joseph Perrien  
North Country Inn Sally Robins Boutport street
North Molton Inn Joanna Irwin Bear street
Railway Inn George Blight Boutport street
Red Lion Edward Hooper Quay
Ring of Bells Henry Knill Pilton
Ring of Bells David Thorne Anchor lane
Rising Sun John Berry Boutport street
Rising Sun William Squire Newport
Rolle Arms Michael Burgess Bear street
Rolle's Quay Inn Samuel Rawle  
Rose & Crown William Baker Newport
Royal Exchange Thomas King Joy street
Royal Oak John Easton Holland street
Salutation Peter Camp Castle street
Seven Stars Richard Beer Anchor lane
Sheep Market Humphrey Britton Holland street
Ship Thomas Bailey Quay
Shipwrights' Arms Thomas King Square
Smiths' Arms John Snell Diamond street
Star (fishmonger) George Henry Paterson Quay
Swan William Slocombe Holland street
Tap James Parkin Well street
Three Tuns James Easton High street
Town Arms Henry Geyton Anchor lane
Unicorn William Copp Pilton
White Hart William Parkin Joy street
White Horse William White 29 Boutport street
White Lion Richard Rumson Castle street

Beerhouses (26 of them):

Name Address
John Bennett Derby
John Bowden Salem street
Robert Budd Silver street
John Edwards Newport
Robert Essery Boutport street
William Featherstone Newport
William Gaydon Silver street
John Greenslade Anchor lane
Mary Grigg Pilton
Thomas Hancock Pilton
Charles Jones Derby
Mary Mountjoy Silver street
William Laramy Pilton
Thomas Norman Salem street
John Parminter Page's lane
Thomas Oliver Back lane
John Petherick Back lane
John Oatway Hartway head
Elizabeth Richards Bear street
William Robins Quay
Thomas Seldon Salem street
Robert Seldon Derby
Charles Snow North walk
John Stoyle Derby
John Taylor Cross street
Mary Ward Newport

Wine and Spirit Merchants (8 of them):

Name Address
John Bowden 41 High street
J. K. & son Cotton Cross street
  Fisher & Joce High street
Oliver V. Pengelly High street
Michael Snell Queen Anne's place
Samuel Ware Boutport street
John Wilkinson Joy street
William Yeo Quay place

In 1855 the number of licensed premises fell to 73, but again there were new names:

Name Address
Turf Tavern Diamond Street
Beehive Green Lane
Stafford arms Trinity Street
Golden Fleece Tuly Street

In 1867 there were 84 fully-licensed houses. The new names include:

Name Address
Curriers' Arms Derby
Locomotive Holland street
Globe Queen Street
Millers' arms Boutport Street
Albert Inn Diamond street
Prince of Wales Newport
Fraser's arms Pilton
Traveller's Inn Belle Meadow
Windsor Hotel Bradiford
Farmers' Inn Holland Street
Reform Inn Pilton

Note that the Farmers' Inn in Holland Street was formerly the Royal Oak.

By 1875 the 'new' licensing system had bedded down and the beerhouses had become licensed premises. In that year there were 89 licenses granted. The new names included Castle Hotel, Park Hotel, Devon and Somerset Hotel (formerly Mariners' Arms) and Poltimore Arms (formerly Bull Inn).

In 1887 the Braunton Inn is licensed under the name of the Clarence Hotel.

Here are the names and addresses of all 67 fully licensed houses in Barnstaple in 1897:

Name Address
Wine and Spirit Vaults Boutport Street
Wine and Spirit Vaults High Street
Masons' Arms Hardaway Head
Rose and Crown Newport
Golden Fleece Tuly Street
Reform Inn Pilton
Three Tuns High Street
Taw Vale Tavern Taw Vale Parade
New Inn Silver Street
Wine and Spirit Vaults Cross Street
Horse and Groom Boutport Street
Exeter Inn Litchdon Street
Rising Sun Inn Newport
Barnstaple Inn Trinity Street
Great Western Hotel Trinity Street
Globe Inn Queen Street
White Lion Silver Street
New Inn Silver Street
Albert Inn Diamond Street
Lion Tap The Square
Bell Hotel Strand
White horse Boutport Street
Angel Inn Strand
Farmers' Inn Holland Street
Wine and Spirit Vaults Strand
Red Cow Holland street
Castle Hotel Castle Street
Swan Inn Holland Street
"Dening's" High Street
Wine and Spirit Vaults High Street
Mermaid Inn High Street
Green Dragon Boutport Street
North Country Inn Boutport Street
Poltimore Arms Boutport Street
Wine and Spirit Vaults Joy Street
Royal Exchange Joy Street
Nag's Head Anchor Lane
King's Arms Hotel High Street
Devon and Somerset Refreshment Rooms Victoria Road
London Hotel Litchdon Street
Admiral Vernon Diamond Street
Clarence Hotel High Street
Golden Anchor Holland Street
Ilfracombe Inn High Street
Wine and Spirit Vaults Boutport Street
Wine and Spirit Vaults Boutport Street
Wine and Spirit Vaults Strand
Barley Mow Boutport street
Lamb Hotel Boutport Street
Ebberly Arms Bear Street
Rolle Arms Bear Street
Stag's Head Bear Street
Commercial Inn Boutport Street
Rising Sun Boutport Street
Queen's Head Boutport Street
Golden Lion Hotel Boutport Street
Fortescue Hotel Boutport Street
Fortescue Tapp Well Street
New Inn Pilton
Reform Inn Pilton
Chichester Arms Pilton
Bear Inn Green Lane
Union Inn Derby
Curriers' Arms Derby
Carpenters' Arms Derby
Windsor Hotel Bradiford

The Great Western Hotel was formerly the Devon and Somerset Inn and that in its turn was formerly the Mariners' Arms. Over the 60 years the following licensed premises closed by 1897. The list is not intended to be exclusive :

Shipwrights' Arms, Square
Greyhound, Square
Black Horse, Square
The Coach and Horses, Maiden Street
Hollow Tree, Newport
Prince of Wales, Newport
Ebrington Arms, Newport
Newport Inn, Newport
The Bristol Inn, Litchdon Street
Dolphin, opposite Brannams Pottery
Malt Scoop, Ship, Britannia (all where Bridge Buildings now stand)
Red Lion (opposite the Black Horse)
Star Inn (demolished when the fish shambles were removed)
White Lion, Castle Street
Bremridge's Arms, Tuly Street
Miller's Arms, Boutport Street
Unicorn, Pilton
Ring of Bells, Pilton
Priory Arms, Priory, Pilton
Ilfracombe Inn, Littabourne
Fountain Inn, Holland Street
Elephant Inn, Elephant Lane
Sailors' Home, Cross Street
Theatre Inn, High Street,
Boot, High Street
Jolly Butcher, High Street
Boar's Head, High Street (both these latter removed in 1826 but once stood on either side of the Guildhall)
Wellington Arms, High Street
Castle, High Street
Falcon, Joy Street
Malt Scoop, Anchor Lane
Fox and Goose, Anchor Lane
Butchers' Arms, Anchor Lane
Seven Stars, Anchor Lane
Town Arms, Anchor Lane
Ring of Bells, Anchor Lane
Beehive (formerly Bakers' Inn), Green Lane
Malsters' Inn, Boutport Street
Railway Hotel, Boutport Street
Golden Shakespeare, Boutport Street
Victoria (formerly the Golden Ball), Boutport Street
Fullers' Arms (later Turf Tavern), Boutport street
Albion Tap, Trinity Street
Brickmakers' Inn, Trinity Street
White Ball, Trinity Street
Northmolton Inn, Bear Street
Newington Inn, Derby
Dolphin, Higher Maudlin Street
Victoria, High Maudlin Street
King William, Higher Maudlin Street
Half Moon, Higher Maudlin Street
North Star, Lower Maudlin Street
Masons' Arms, Gaydon Street
Recruiting Sergeant, North Walk

From these latter addresses it is likely that many of the addresses of the premises not found in 1837/47 could now be identified.

The foregoing is drawn from W. F. Gardner, "Barnstaple 1837-1897", Barnstaple (1897). Additional material has been taken from White's Trade Directory 1850.