Welcome To the history of Innes and Public houses of Tenbury Wells.
The History of Tenbury Inns and Pubs was researched by Mr.Dave Morrison but unfortunately when he was halfway through the research he died, so Howard Miller secretary of the Tenbury Historical Society took on the task of completing.
We thank him and Mrs. Morrison for their permission and help.
Beer And Cider.
Ale was made from water and malt barley and in the 16th century hops were introduced to
flavour and preserve the beer. 'Small beer' was made from inferior materials and needed the hops. It was a cheap drink which was popular with the poor. Hops were also used to preserve 'Small cider' which was made from second pressing of apples. These drinks were used as part payment of labourer's wages.
Another ingredient of beer was malted barley and there were specialist malsters and malt houses in Tenbury. Two of the Malthouses still remain from the 18th century.
Duty was imposed on cider and perry in March, 1763 making an additional 4/- on a hogshead. This act was repealed on 5th July 1766 amid great rejoicings. The following is a quote from a local newspaper, the Hereford Journal of 1766.
'Tenbury received the agreeable news of the Royal Assent being given to the bill for repealing the late Cider acts, which diffused a general joy throughout the Town. The post boy who brought the good tidings, was dressed in ribbands at the Post Office to proceed on his stage to Ludlow. The bells were immediately set ringing and were rung for four days. Several sheep were roasted whole and large quantities of bread and potatoes were provided and barrels of cider were drawn out at The Market Cross and given to the poor. Boughs of apple tree hung with gilt apples were exhibited at the bonfires. It was though really very effecting to see the people express their gratitude to His Majesty by carrying in procession a curios garland crowned with gilded apples from one end to the other of this 'little town in the orchard' preceeded by music playing God save the King, the bells clamming at the same time and the populace, at proper intervals proclaiming their joy with the loudest acclamations.
In the 1920's the pubs in Tenbury used provide breakfast at1/6d ( Round of Gammon and 2 eggs, as much bread and butter and tea as you wanted ). Roast Dinners were 2/- (10 p in new money).
Pubs used to organise outings - members paid 6d (2.5p) per week and the outing then cost 10/-(50p). You had bread, cheese and pickle as a snack and ham and beef were brought and carved for lunch. You went to a pub for a cooked meal.
Research has so far, revealed the names of thirty eight, Taverns, Alehouses, Public-Houses or Beer and Cider houses which have existed for various periods of time over the last 400 years. There must have been many more as is evidenced by entries found in the Quarter Session records for Michaelmas 1720 'Presentment by Constable of Tenbury. Thos. Ward Snr, Hatter and innholder, a disorderly house on the Lords Day during divine service and gaming at the same time.' Was this one of the public houses we shall refer to or is it one that we have yet to discover.
One of the problems encountered in searching out the history of Tenbury's licensed establishments is the lack of licensing records prior to 1903. There have been many Royal patents and decrees, Acts of Parliaments and local regulations relating to the sale of alcoholic beverages and the house that dispensed them but not many of these records survive. Many records have been destroyed but other were probably mislaid due to the many reorganisations that the Counties and the Local Authorities have undergone in the last 150 years. In particular all the Petty Session records for Tenbury seem to have vanished entirely.
A good deal of information has been derived from the directories which were published by different houses, the predominant publisher being Kelly. Kelly only prints at four yearly intervals so there are gaps. In the earlier directories entries had to be paid for and the absence of a name dose not mean that trading had ceased. From 1903 the names of owners and landlords have been taken from the licensing registers located at Hereford Magistrates Court.
The busiest period would seem to be around the part of the 19th century when 15 named houses were recorded within Tenbury Township with one at Sutton three at Oldwood one at St Michaels. In addition there was the Swan and the Rose and Crown just over the water. There were also numerous Beer and Cider retailers, listed by their personal names only and trading without the benefit of a 'House Sins'
Many houses and beer retailers did not trade for too long and that is no great surprise for competition must have been pretty fierce. A good many of the landlords are listed as having another occupation, operating from the same premises: one can surmise that the other occupation was necessary to make ends meet.
To read and see more of the past public houses in Tenbury Wells Click here...