Monday, May 17, 2021

The Prince of Wales Feathers, Kendal

 The Prince of Wales Feathers

Wildman Street

Kendal

The Prince of Wales Feathers was most likely built towards the end of the 18th century. The inn is first mentioned in the Kendal directory lists of 1834, where it is listed under the lesser category of drinking establishments of 'Retailers of beer'....neither tavern nor inn. The landlord at this time was William Bailiff.

Above. The Prince of Wales Feathers as it was in 2006.

It wasn't until 1873, in Kelly's Post Office Directory, that the establishment was named as the Prince of Wales Feathers. It would appear that this promotion to 'inn' was short lived, as by 1879, it was again registered as a humble 'beer retailer'. This status appears to continue until the early 1920s.

Above. The Prince of Wales Feathers hanging sign (2006)

By 1881, the landlord was stated as being Mr Hutchinson, who was responsible for hosting the Doodleshire Celery Show, which took place at the inn. Ann Hutchinson was later recorded as being the landlady, in the 1892 Kendal Borough Police Returns, with the inn's owner being Mary Thompson. The inn was listed as having three drinking rooms, no dining or letting rooms or even stabling. The status of its clientele at the time, was noted as being 'low'!

Above. The Prince of Wales Feathers in 2006.

Mary Thompson's ownership was passed to Messrs. Alexander and Sons around 1904, with the landlord named as John Nowell in 1906. John moved onto manage the Kent Tavern in 1914. George Robinson Henry Turner was the inn's longest serving landlord, holding the inn for nearly forty years. 

In 1954, May Turner was noted as the landlord, with Alexanders giving up the tenancy and licence to Duttons Blackburn Brewery in the same year.  I'm not sure when the inn ceased operations, but will have to investigate and report back here when I find out.

Sawyers Arms, Kendal

 The Sawyers Arms

Stricklandgate

Kendal

The Sawyers Arms was originally (so says David Currington in his 'A Pictorial Record of Public Houses in Kendal') built on the site of the current County Hall building opposite the Police Station at Busher Walk. It was then rebuilt in its current position in the mid 1800s.

Above. The Sawyers Arms as it looked in 2006.

The inn may have started life on its current site, as the Strickland Arms. The General Rate Book of 1864 has it named thus. When put up for sale in April of that same year, it was named as the Strickland Arms, possibly due to its location on Stricklandgate, and the Sawyers Arms. 

Above. The Sawyers Arms pub sign in 2006.

The first known landlord was Thomas Wells in 1829, with his wife taking over the reins in 1834. The Wells family held the tenancy for around 20 years. In 1892, the inn was owned by John Booth of Ulverston, who also owned the White Hart, the Slip Inn and the Kendal Green Tavern on House of Correction Hill (Windermere Road) He later sold the in to Messrs. Hartley of Ulverston in 1896. 

Above. Old saloon door window depicting Hartley's ales.

Plans dating 1885, show that there were two cottages to the rear of the inn, along with a hen-house, ash pit, privy and a brewhouse and yard. Above the inn, two cottages were available for rent.

In 1869, Hartley's submitted plans for alterations to the inn. A large carriage drive was built and the adjoining bakery was enlarged to cater for guests. At this time, the entrance offered access to a take-out servery known as the 'vault'. There were two sets of double doors along the frontage onto Stricklandgate, which allowed access to a smoking room and a bar parlour.

Above. The Sawyers Arms in more recent times.

As with many old inns in Kendal, the local press had much to say about miscreants and law breaking in the day. An inquest was held on the 12th of February 1838, into the death of Jane Bell of Stricklandgate, who had died in a fit of apoplexy(?) One week later, the Kendal Mercury reported that William Airey, an unemployed weaver, was chastised at the police station, for being drunk and insulting people as they left the Sawyers Arms. The licencing body in the 1800s, was the Kendal Licencing Sessions, who would meet regularly to discuss any issues or address any complaints arising regarding landlords\ladies and their inns. The Gazette reported, in August 1863, that the Superintendant, Mr Bird, was forced to convict one landlord and dismiss three others....one of the dismissals was reported as being Sarah Lindsay of the Sawyers Arms...there was a complaint that she was 'an unfit person to keep an inn'. However, it's likely that an appeal was lodged, as Sarah was noted as being the landlady of the Sawyers Arms in 1869

The inn has been closed for a few years now, and has gradually fallen into a serious state of disrepair. It's been sold and is due to be demolished shortly.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Maryport Motte (Castle Hill) Maryport

Maryport Motte (Castle Hill)

Maryport

Cumbria

My thanks go out to Jan Fialkowski, Facebook friend and photographer-extraordinaire, for providing me with this photo of the motte, Castle Hill, situated in a loop of the River Ellen in the sea-ward West of the town.

Maryport is a town of Roman remains: the fort of Alauna lies to the North of the town with Roman roads entering from the East and West, pele towers: Nether Hall, a large mansion with a pele tower built largely of dressed Roman stone, no doubt quarried from the nearby fort, Ewanrigg Hall, the site of a 13th century hall with an early pele tower (no longer extant) and Netherhall Park, possibly the site of a medieval moated manor.


The motte was used as a gun emplacement during WWII, but despite this, the earthworks and surrounding ditches have survived relatively intact.....much like the motte at Sedbergh that was used as an Observer Corps lookout post. The motte was most likely constructed in the late 11th or early 12th century, and was strategically placed to overlook the point on the River Ellen where the old Roman road would have crossed the river. 

Little research seems to have been done regarding whom was responsible for the motte's construction. There are sites on the web that theorise that it could have been built by William FitzDuncan or even Henry II, though, as there are no masonry remains, I would suggest that the motte was an earlier construction, purely of timber and earth and therefore unlikely to be linked with William or Henry.

The site can be accessed easily, using a number of footpaths that criss-cross this area of the town.