Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Kendal, The Rainbow Tavern\Horse and Rainbow

The Rainbow Tavern\Horse and Rainbow
Kendal Cumbria

Situated almost opposite the top of Lowther Street, the Rainbow is one of a number of public houses that stretch from here to the bottom of Windermere Road. It is another fine example of one of the older public houses that has stood the test of time, with some records mentioning an inn here as far back as 1638.

Above. The Rainbow Tavern as it was in 2006. 

Indeed....1638 is when the inn is first mentioned, along with its Catholic landlord, Oliver Platt. Oliver is mentioned in Cornelius Nicholson's 'The Annals of Kendal' a fine book that details the historical streets and buildings of Kendal. Cornelius tells us that Oliver was the landlord a tthis time, and that there was a fine oak table and some oak panneling bearing the inscription 'OP AP 1638' which were discovered when the building was being rennovated.

Above. The old\un-imaginative tavern sign (2006)

In 1716, the building was owned by Robert Stephenson, and with other neighbouring properties formed a charitable trust. The profits from this trust were distributed annually to local poor families with a small amount being given to the local Catholic priest of Kendal. 

Above. The Horse and Rainbow, 2018

Again it is Cornelius Nicholson that confirms this arrangement, stating that the Stephenson Trust was set up for the poor and destitue of the town. Stephenson died in 1723. He left a number of properties in his will, one of which was Dodding Green, which, it was stipulated, was to be used for the housing of Catholic priests from the district. Most of his properties and estate, were left to the Catholic church.

In 1795, the inn was the meeting place of the New Union Society.

In 1881, the inn seems to have changed its name to simply 'Mrs Lawson's'. It wasn't until a James Harker took over as landlord, that the inn gained its first sign. James is listed as the tennant and landlord between 1829 and 1856. Whilst he was the landlord, the premises were used by Lodge Number 151 of the Freemasons as a meeting place. It's no surprise then, that James Harker was a leading Freemason in the area.

During 1875 and 1875, John Robinson, warden of the Unitarian Chapel on Branthwaite Brow, was the licensee. Records of this time, state that the Rainbow offered stabling for a staggering sixty hourses! 

Other notable landlords, are William Robinson, who was licensee until 1896. John Graham, who took over on the 1st of December 1906, with Messrs. Truman Hanbury and Buxton of Company of London, who took over in 1945, placing Charles Harriman as the landlord.

These days, the Rainbow, or Horse and Rainbow as it is now known, has been refurbished and is open for business.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Shoreham Redbout, Shoreham

Shoreham Redoubt
West Sussex

Not the greatest photos I've ever taken of a an important site, but considering I was on the top floor of a double decker bus, I think they're OK, and I'm happy that I managed to capture the redoubt in the distance. The 19th century shore fort is situated on Shoreham beach, a sliver of land that stands between the mainland and Shoreham harbour. 

Above. Aerial shot of Shoreham Redbout (Bing maps)

It stands at the far East end of Shoreham beach, and was built to protect the entrance to the West and East sides of the harbour. Plans for a fort here, were put forward in 1850, at a time when a French invasion was thought very likely. The fort was completed at a cost of around eleven thousand pounds, and was ready for its garrison by 1857. It is also known as Shoreham fort, and Kingston Redbout. 

 Above. The fort and the searchlight tower from the A259.

This area of the Sussex coast, had traditionally been undefended.....there was never a pressing need to fortify the harbour, such was the poor silted state of the waters here, and, with other areas along the South Coast considered easier for invading armies to disembark from their ships, no fortifications were built or defences provided. 

Above. The fort from the A259. 

Above. The fort and the searchlight tower, again from the A259.

However, as Napoleonic France extended its influence across Europe, there was a fear that newly built iron, steam powered battle ships would be able to easily defeat the Royal Navy. Forts were raised at Bognor, Selsey and Littlehampton,, and lastly at Shoreham, to provide an element of protection against any French aggression. 

The fort is constructed in a lunette (half moon) shape, with a gun platform that sits some fifteen feet about sea level. The gun platform and ramparts were defended by a ditch with a carnot wall; a wall that was built in the bottom of the ditch, with loop holes for defenders to stop attacking forces from traversing the external defences. The fort was also equipped with three caponiers; buildings that provided cover for riflemen to fire at attackers along the carnot wall, within the safety of these brick buildings. Barracks were built to the rear of the fort, and provided housing for thirty eight men.

By 1873, the fort was deemed to be out of date, and plans were put forward for a replacement to be built on the site.....the plans however came to nothing, and in 1886, the fort was provided with two 80 pounder and three 64 pounder guns. 

The fort found a new, cultural lease of life in the early 1900s, when it was used as an open air film studio, with four films made there in 1914.

As WWII loomed, the fort was armed with two six inch guns which were housed on the nearby beach, and searchlights. The barracks were demolished after the war, with a coastguard tower replacing it. 

Check out the Shoreham Fort website for loads of information, including a great floor plan of the site.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Kendal, Union Tavern

Union Tavern
Windermere Road

The first and last public house on Windermere Road, the Union has probably been opening its doors to thirsty drinkers since possibly around 1834.....a Poor Law Amendment Act was passed in 1834, meaning that Kendal workhouse and Milnthorpe workhouse formed a partnership. This became known as the Kendal Union, and at this time, records show the building at 159 Stricklandgate as The Union Tavern.

Above, The Union Tavern in 2006. 

The building itself dates from around 1800, and before its life as an inn, it was used as a Spinning House...otherwise known as a Jack Shop. There is possibly some indication as to how the inn obtained its name here, the Union taking its name from the Union Jack...the flag of the United Kingdom, signified in its hanging sign by the floral emblems of England, Scotland and Ireland.

Above. The hanging sign of the Union Tavern.

As the name suggests, the Union is epitomised by the presence of the Thistle (Scotland), the Shamrock (Ireland) and the Rose (England) in its hanging sign. 

The Union was sold at a public auction in 1847, to its first named landlord, Thomas Tate, for the grand sum of £600. The Alexanders, a brewing family of Kendal owned the building from 1871 until 1947, with only around 10 years break in this period. The stables were still to the rear of the inn up until recently...I'll have to check to see if they're still there. 

After being closed for a number of years, from 2013, a victim of the general decline of Kendal's collection of great hostelries, the Union has been re-branded as the New Union Tavern. 

Check their Facebook page for more information.

Kendal, Hyena Inn

The Heyna Inn

The Hyena, situated on Fellside and hidden amongst the maze of backstreets that makes up the area to the West of Highgate, was one of Kendal's smallest inns....challenging the Ring O'bells for the honour of the most bijou hostelry in town! 

Above. The Hyena Inn, pre 1966.

Records show that the Hyena was open for business from sometime before 1834...it was sold at this time and described as "all that newly-erected inn known by the sign of the Hyena". 

Above. The Hyena Inn in 2010.

Business continued at the Hyena, known affectionately amongst its regulars, as the 'Tina', until 1966, when the landlord of the day, Martin Dawson, decided it was time to close the doors for good. 

At the time of its closure, Kendal could boast 33 inns, though with the closure of the Hyena, the number of drinking establishments in Kendal was reduced to 32. The building, now a cottage, has survived the building clearances of the 1960s and a great deal of development in the area....another old inn that has managed to survive.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Kendal, Wheatsheaf Inn

Wheatsheaf Inn

The Wheatsheaf.....one of the first or the last pubs on a good night out round Kendal....depending on which way you went around town!. The difference between the somewhat shabby 2006 pub in the photo below, and the newly renovated building shown in the last photo is pretty amazing. The Wheatsheaf Inn is situated in Kirkland, next to the entrance to Kirkbarrow Lane, or the T’ crack. This ancient lane leads past the site of the stable block and the bowling green that belonged to the inn. Brendan Jameson was always very dismissive of the green plaque that Kendal's Civic Society have put up at the entrance to the yard....as a youth, he told me that he never heard anybody refer to the lane as T' crack....but we'll go with it for the sake of this post!

Above. The Wheatsheaf in 2006

The ancient Kirkbarrow House that is shown on John Speed’s map of 1611, still stands at the end of the lane. Kirkland had around twenty three inns and pubs, and the Wheatsheaf was, up until a few years back, one of only three surviving inns in this area. That's a lot of beer-drinking choice for the residents of this part of town!

The outline of the inn and it bowling green can clearly be seen on John Todd’s map of Kendal from 1787. The maypole that would have been the centre of gatherings in Kirkland, was removed in either 1782 (as stated by Cornelius Nicholson) or 1792 (as stated by J.F. Curwen) Both historians give different locations for the maypole, but agree on the general locality…i.e. outside the Wheatsheaf. The stonework for the base of the maypole was reportedly found buried outside and had to be removed when cutting trenches to make way for gas pipes in 1825. This small stretch of road is indeed wider than the rest of Kirkland....so it may just have been the place a maypole would have been situated?

Above. The Wheatsheaf's last hanging sign

The area that the Wheatsheaf occupied was the most extensive in Kendal, taking up two hundred and fifty four feet from its frontage in Kirkland, to Kirkbarrow house at the rear. A good percentage of the property held was taken up by the bowling green, gardens and according to a for sale advert of 1854 “six neatly arranged cottage houses”. To the rear of this section of the property, was the stabling  for six horses, with access to the stables gained via Cross Street and Chapel Lane. The fact that the inn had stables is a little odd, as it had no rooms for let prior to 1896. It is possible that the stabling was for dray horses, there were after all many breweries in the locality. It’s also possible that the owner during the mid 19th century, Henry Martin, lived in Kirkbarrow, and used the stabling for his family and visiting friends.

Above. The Wheatsheaf in 2017

In the1850s the inn had a frontage of no more than 28 feet, with a yard at the North side of the frontage, offering access to the rear of the property. By 1854, the frontage had reduced to just thirty odd feet. From the 1850s to 1896, the frontage was extended to include space taken up by the entrance to the yard. This area later became the Vault Room.

In 1896, under the ownership of Spencers of Whitehaven, the inn was virtually rebuilt at a cost of £2000. Between 1894 and 1897, William Cropper was tenant of the inn, with the owners being listed as Jonas Alexander and Sons. Sometime between 1940 and 1960, the frontage of the inn was again extended, taking over the shop further up the street. This was part of the bar area. In the mid 1980s, another property was obtained, and the bar was further extended. 

There is no evidence to suggest that the Wheatsheaf existed before 1728.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Kendal, Victoria Tavern

Victoria Tavern

Never on the normal round on a Friday or Saturday night, I think I only frequented this a few times during lunch time during my years at Bridge Mills whilst working for Prolific Life and Pensions\Scottish Provident. The inn closed a number of years ago now, and has joined the ranks of first class redevelopments. It now houses a number of flats.

In the early 19th century, wool merchant James Gandy owned a large estate comprising of land at the Northern edge of the town. Development schemes were undertaken on Longpool, where Union Row, a terrace of two storey cottages was built. Number 15 was the Victoria Tavern, and it was built in conjunction with the Kendal Union Building Society in 1820. Behind the tavern and the cottages, runs Stock Beck, which was very prone to flooding, and producing the ‘Long Pool’, one of the causes of so much flood damage during Storm Desmond in 2015. Number 15 was once called The New Crown Inn, probably relating to the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1837.

Above. Victoria Tavern in 2006 

By 1854, the inn was being used as offices by the Kendal and Windermere Railway company. The railway had opened by 1847, and the offices served the temporary station that had been built there. When the station was replaced in 1861, the offices were sold off, and in 1864  number 15 became a Temperance Hotel owned by Edgar Robinson, and occupied by Bindloss Woof. Sometime between 1864 and 1869, the building again became an inn, the Victoria Tavern.

The tavern was known as on of the four surviving Jerry houses in Kendal. These sold only beer, ale and porter. In a police report of 1892, the tavern, under the ownership of George William Howells, was recorded as having three drinking rooms, five bedrooms, no dining room, no seating and no stabling. Since 1932, there were only 5 landlords in 65 years. 

The current swinging pub sign replaced a larger one that pictured Victoria’s head and shoulders. This sign was so large it had to be fixed flat to the front of the building. It was to be sold to a buyer in America, but was not taken. For a time it was fixed to the rear of the building.....whether it's still there I'm not sure.

Above. The Victoria Tavern's sign...not the original.

The inn still possesses the ornamental windows of Duttons Blackburn Brewery, which took over the inn from local brewer Jonas Alexander between the late 1940s and 50s. 1950, new ladies and gents toilets added to the ground floor. In 1954, the ground floor living area was made into a smoking room. The inn ceased trading sometime before 2015.

Kendal, White Hart

White Hart

Another notch on a Friday and Saturday night out round town, the White Hart was a regular haunt back in the day, and is still going strong today. Brendan Jameson once told me that the inn was at sometime known as Robbins Coffee House, though if he told me when this was, I've long since forgotten. Records state that the building was an inn as early as 1702, although it’s only in 1711 that records first note the owner of the inn when it was purchased by Robert Wilson for £248.

Above. The White Hart in 2006.

Between 1711 and the mid 1700’s the White Hart was linked with a dissenting chapel, a hat shop and a newsroom. The building seems to have gone through a number of uses, before reverting back to an inn.

Above. The White Hart's sign, 2006.

An 1882 Westmorland Gazette article states “in Gilpin Rents (Steward to Alan Bellingham of Levens) there is mentioned a purchase by the same Bellingham of certain rents belonging to the chapel of St Ann, a portion of which rents, £1 10/- 6d, was due from the White Hart Inn or coffee house.” This possibly indicates that a portion of the building was let as a (dissenting) chapel, though whom this would relate to is not known, and I don't remember Brendan Jameson telling me. There is some confusion over whether the chapel of St Ann was at the inn. Local historian, John Marsh, though it may have been situated at Dockray Hall, although he indicated that it had a rental agreement with the owners of the White Hart Inn. Dockray Hall disappeared at the time of Cromwell’s Commonwealth government between 1649-59.

Above. Yard 2, Stricklandgate, home of the White Hart. 

A newsroom, probably, the first in Kendal, in 1779, was frequently visited by Dr Symonds, Rev Caleb Rotherham (of the Unitarian Chapel on Branthwaite Brow) and the Rev G. Crackenthorpe, master of the Grammar school.

Above. Yard 2 viewed from Stricklandgate.

The White Hart enjoyed a reputation as a high class inn. However, with the arrival of the Commercial Hotel in around 1804, the inn’s fortunes dwindled. The inn’s trade was probably further affected by the opening of the White Hall Meeting Rooms (Town Hall)  in 1825. The Union Lodge of the Freemasons met at the White Hart between 1797 and 1804, when it moved to the Commercial Hotel. Two years later they were meeting at the White Hart again, before moving on to the Golden Lion in 1808.

During the tenancies of John Atkinson (1781) and William Maskew (1786), coaches stopped here from  Manchester, Liverpool and London every day at 3am and 5pm. A special coach ran from here every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday to Carlisle. James Webster, former butler at Casterton Hall, and sword bearer to the Corporation, became inn keeper at the White Hart in June 1803.

Richard Smith became inn keeper in 1813.

In 1814, a dance school opened up at the White Hart. Run by Mr Banks from Kelso, the school promised to “teach all the most fashionable dances now in practice.” In 1815, Mr Brooks announces in the Chronicle that he would be taking up ownership of the inn. Robert Brooks was inn keeper in 1821. In 1824, his wife Mrs Brooks took over. In 1833, the property was sold by William Petty to Thomas Sirr for £1015. 

In 1880, the inn was sold to John Booth, a brewer from Ulverston for £1750. Kendal Coroporation was the next highest bidder for the inn.

An 1892 report states that the inn had four drinking rooms, five letting bedrooms and a large dining room. It had stabling for 18 horses. 1904, the inn was owned by Ulverston brewers Robert and Peter Hartley.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Kendal, The Black Swan inn

The Black Swan inn,
All Hallows Lane\Beast Banks

The Black Swan sits on the corner where All Hallows Lane meets Beast Banks, with Low Fellside just across the road. The inn is one of Kendal's survivors, having been in near constant use since its first mention, in 1775, when Geordie Wilson was recorded as the landlord. After Geordie’s death, his widow Agnes Lily Wilson took over.

Above. The Black Swan in 2006. 

The Female Benefit Society used to meet at the inn in 1797, and until fairly recently, it still had a men’s only bar. The Black Swan catered for drinkers in five drinking rooms, had five rooms for let, and a dining room that could seat thirty people. As recorded in 1892, the inn had stabling for eighteen horses.

Above. The Black Swan way back then!

The inn was situated near one of Kendal’s more troublesome areas, but was frequented by travellers travelling West, as it is on what was once the main Westerly route out of Kendal. A report on the inn in 1909, describes the inn as follows:

"Doors, one from Bank Terrace, one gateway to back premises from All Hallows Lane which is locked every evening at six o’clock. Sanitary accommodation, urinal at side of house, urinal and wc in yard. Stabling accommodation for ten horses. Bedrooms, two for private and four for travellers. Distance from nearest licensed houses, Golden Ball Inn. 104 yards, and Angel Inn, 158 yards. Licensee has no supplementary occupation. The house is tied to two owners, Messrs Alexander and Sons. It is good for supervision and well accustomed."

Friday, November 24, 2017

Kendal, Cock and Dolphin

The Cock and Dolphin

The Cock and Dolphin once stood watch over what is almost a crossroads....where Milnthorpe Road meets Kirkland, Lound Road and Aynam Road. The inn, once a popular haunt on a Friday or Saturday night stomp around town, is now flats, converted a few years back, sympathetically retaining many of the features that drinkers around town had become familiar with. 

Above. The Cock and Dolphin looking North from Milnthorpe Road, 2006.

Brendan Jameson, ex leader of SLDC, conducted a large amount of research on Kendal's inns and public houses. When the Cock and Dolphin was earmarked for development the company involved originally had plans to demolish and replace the existing building. At first it was a foregone conclusion that this was going to happen....until Brendan got involved. The only protection the building had, was that it was just inside the Conservation area that envelopes the town centre....it wasn't listed and therefore didn't enjoy any or much legal protection. Somehow, Brendan managed to persuade the developers to retain the building, and work with the existing fabric that was already there. Luckily for us, the familiar, if jaunty, building has survived, and those of us that remember 'boozing' around town in the late 1990s and early 2000s, are no doubt misty eyed when we see the familiar bartisans at the front. 

Above. The old pub sign....alas no more!

Brendan told me that the name may Cock and Dolphin may have come from the dolphin on the armorial shield of the Dauphin of France, and the Cock connecting both to the heraldry of the French royal family....but, with a smile on his face, he said he had no idea how what the relation was between the French royal family and a pub in Kendal.

Above. The Cock and Dolphin in 2011.

The inn is first mentioned as the Cock and Dolphin in a story from 1196. Dickie Doodle rode into London with a charter from Richard Coeur de Lyon, to be given to the Burgesses of Kirkbie Kendal. He arrived in Kendal and entered the Cock and Dolphin, and promptly consumed too much Kendal Brown Ale. The charter and his mission were forgotten. Whether this building is the same Cock and Dolphin that Dickie Doodle frequented is not known...though this building in no way dates from the late 12th century!!

Above. An oblique view from Milnthorpe Road. Note the lack of bartisans.

The 1892 Kendal Borough Police Returns state that the inn had three drinking rooms, four letting bedrooms and a dining room that could accommodate 30 people. There was also stabling for five horses. 

Above. Nether Bridge and the Cock and Dolphin. 1954 floods.

A double stable with a hayloft survived for a numbe of years at the rear of the inn, as did another building, which was used as a pig sty during the Second World War.

Between 1873 and 1898, Cleasby Chorley was the landlord. Cleasby’s parents ran the Pump Inn at the top of Finkle Street until 1874, four years before it was demolished. Cleasby sold the inn to Whitwell and Mark and Co ltd for £5100.

Around 1898, permission was given for the inn to be rebuilt. Toilets were added at this point, as before this, anyone needing the toilet, had to cross the road to use the privy on the opposite side of the road. At this time, Henry Wiper was the licensee paying an annual rent of £100.

In 1983, a change of name to the Queen Katherine was proposed, but the idea was dropped. 

This is another fine example of yet another Kendal inn being saved, and preserved, albeit with a new lease of life.