Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Kendal, Bridge Inn\Bridge Hotel

Bridge Inn\Hotel

Here we are again, reading about yet another Kendal public house that has fallen by the wayside. The Bridge Inn\Bridge Hotel seems to have soldiered on for a number of years, stumbling from one landlord to the next, until 2018, when the inn closed its doors for the final time. There were rumours that it was to be opened as a community pub, but as yet, this hasn't happened. 

Above. The Bridge Inn\Bridge Hotel in 2006 

The inn was originally built as a private residence, in 1738. One of the spout heads bears the initials B.G.A. and the date 1738, believed to stand for Garnett Braithwaite, who, we are told, was the builder and owner. Braithwaite was the joint owner of a mill in the locality. The mill was, at first, a silk mill, then a pin mill, ceasing operations sometime around 1790.

Above. The Bridge Hotel in 2010 from Gooseholme 

The house was converted from a residence to a public house sometime around 1830. Brendan Jameson told me that the Bridge Inn did not appear in the directory lists of local pubs and inns before this time, so he concluded that its origin may have coincided with the advent of the 1830 Beerhouse Act, an Act of Parliament that liberalised regulations governing the brewing and selling of beer. The act enabled any rate paying member of the public, to brew and sell beer, the intention being that it would provide healthy competition between brewers, drive down prices, and ultimately encourage people to drink beer rather than strong spirits.

Above. The Bridge Hotel in 2009 from Stramongate Bridge

The Bridge Inn first appeared in the Borough directory of public houses, in 1849, when the landlord was named as John Pollitt.

Above. The sign, as it was in 2006

There is a mention of the inn in the Borough records in 1839, when it was reported that it was a meeting place for the local hunt....the licensee at this time being named as Mr Unsworth.

The inn was the scene of a death in 1838, when Agnes Stockdale died there. The inquest was held at the inn, with the Surgeon's verdict given as "Agnes died by the visitation of God".

By the end of the 19th century, the inn was a substantial property, with reports in 1892, stating that it had a dinning room capable of catering for 30 people, three drinking rooms, bedrooms to let, and stabling for around 25 horses. The status of the property was given as 'mixed' though I'm not sure what this related to. At this time, the licensee was given as George Gardner, under the ownership of Kendal Brewers Jonas Alexander and Sons Ltd.

Plans for a total refurbishment of the inn, were submitted to South Lakeland District Council in December 2018, though to date, these plans do not appear to have progressed at all.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Kendal, the Castle Inn

The Castle Inn
Castle Street

Sadly, the Castle is another of Kendal's inns to fall by the wayside, succumbing to economic pressures of a failing high street. That said, the inn appears to have been in existence for a number of years, Brendan Jameson told me that he had information that the inn had been on Castle Street since the early 1700s, though written records only mention it from around 1834.

Above. The Castle Inn as it looked in 2006 

An article from the Westmorland Gazette in 1882, notes "In Peat Lane or Castle Street is an old established inn which was first kept by James Allen, then Thomas Russell. He was succeeded by his widow, then their son Richard took over. In 1882 the Landlord was James Bateman. It has never, to our knowledge, displayed a pictorial sign. In 1874 this house was advertised to be let and was described, together with its surrounding, as "all that ancient common garden with the dwelling house."  The dwelling house has recently been put to good repair and in the garden is a good bowling green" 

Above. The pub sign as it was in 2006 (there is an updated on hanging now)

John Todd's map of 1787 doesn't show any  buildings in this general area, just empty river side or open fields. 

Above. John Todd's map, showing Wildman Street, but no sign of Castle Street.

The early to mid 1820s was when some building started to appear in this area, and John Wood's map of 1833 shows a number of buildings here, but if the Castle Inn was built at this time, we have no way of knowing.

James Gandy, a wealthy local wool merchant, sold land for the building of Castle Street, where a plot of 594 square yards was conveyed to John Rudd, a Kendal weaver, in 1826. 

In 1849, James Tate was listed in Borough records, as landlord. In 1858, Thomas Russell was landlord. In 1897, the Castle inn was owned by Kendal brewers Messrs. Alexander and Sons Ltd.

Of course, those of us who frequented Kendal on a Friday or Saturday night would often pop in for a pint or two when Des and Babs Airey were landlords....but that's all in the dim and distant past now!