Until Exeter Street was cut in 1823, the main route east from Launceston was via Work House Lane, the section of modern Dockacre Road from the bottom of Angel Hill passing the old Bridewell (erected 1760) to Prout’s Corner. The Launceston Arms, Stamford House, and Old House, now on Exeter Street, were actually built facing north. Bank House and the Veterinary Surgery were built facing South. Stamford House and Old House being dated from early to mid 18th century, the Launceston Arms at a much earlier date it being known as The Angel Inn in early times.
The Angel Inn was built “without the south gate on the south side of the way to Polston Bridge,” and was on a 700-year lease of the borough of Launceston to Thomas Bennet from 29th September, 1585.
“Messuage, dwelling-house and premises then for many years last past commonly
called the Angel, with outhouses, pound house, one stable, courtelages, yards, orchard (formally two) and arbor garden at back of premises, formerly in occupation of Walter Bennett then Henry Hoskin then Philip Welsh, his widow Mary, and Ann Hiern and her tenants, all lying without the south gate of Launceston, on south side of highway leading to Bamham.”
“By subsequent assignments and ultimately assignment by Thomas Eyre, Mary French, *Jean Pier Geiger and wife Ann, to William Dyer, 24 February, 1817.”
So reads some of the official documents relating to the premises; a further extraction gives even more history of the old hostelry and of Launceston.
In the above-named documents is a reference to a “letter from Thomas Eyre to John Tyeth of Launceston concerning mortgage of Launceston Arms, 1 May, 1815.” Also in 1815 is included a “Declaration of Thomas Tinckham concerning Angel Inn and ownership of Mr Kendall, 4th April, 1815.”, and “Copy letter from Thomas Eyre to John Tyeth of Launceston concerning mortgage of Launceston Arms, 1 May 1815.”
“Power of Attorney.  Jean Pierre Geiger of Dessenheim, Upper Rhine, officer on half-pay*, and wife Ann, daughter of Silvester Harris of Launceston, carpenter, deceased, to  Thomas Pearse, gent., and William Harvey, banker, both of Launceston.
“Premises in Launceston called the Angel, left by Will of Silvester Harris to sister Mary and daughter Ann – – -.”
From the above, it may be seen the ‘Angel Inn’ first faced Angel Hill, and appears to have had a name change sometime before ‘The New Eastern Road,’ now Exeter Street was cut. A street directory of 1823 gives the address of ‘The Launceston Arms, landlord Wm Dyer, Angel Hill,’ later directories have the address as Exeter Street.
Included in the above papers are references to a Will and probate of Thomas Shearme of Launceston, wine and spirit merchant, made 1894, proved 1898, and a draft letter from Thomas Shearme to solicitors asking for a new will to be made, n.d., c 1894. Immediately below is a reference to a “Will and probate of Abraham Shepherd of Launceston, gent., 1870. – property in Launceston including “Launceston Arms”, malthouse, brewery and brewing utensils, also “Exeter Inn”.”
(Abraham Shepherd was a hatter in Broad Street in 1830, by 1856 he is listed as ‘maltster, Exeter Road’, with John Shepherd as ‘brewer.’)
In 1823 the Launceston Arms is described as in Angel Hill, with William Dyer, landlord; in 1851 the address is Exeter Road, landlord Thomas Dunn. In 1878 Launceston Arms, Exeter Street 1897- Prideaux, John Henry. 1910 – 1923 Orchard, Thomas 1938 – 1956 Kneebone, William.
A fire insurance policy was taken out by William Dyer of Launceston, innkeeper, for dwelling-house and adjoining offices on the new road in Launceston known by the name of the Launceston Arms, 1826, and a further fire insurance policy of William Dyer of Launceston, innkeeper, on 5 dwelling-houses in Angel Hill, and one in New Road, Launceston; also malt house in occupation of D Shilston, maltster, at bottom of Angel Hill, in 1828
* Jean Pierre was a French prisoner of war of Napoleon’s army, on parole in Launceston, where he married Ann, only daughter of Mr & Mrs Sylvester Harris. Jean was only one of several p.o.ws who married local girls c 1790’s to 1810. He was possibly sent back home c. 1812, but evidently returned – no trace found of either later.
55 [b] DD. PP.
274 Account of legacy duty on Estate of Silvester Harris, of Launceston.carpets etc. 1817
275 Fire Insurance policy of William Dyer of Launceston, innkeeper, of dwelling-house and adjoining offices on the New Road in Launceston, known by the name of the Launceston Arms. 1826.
276 Fire insurance policy of William Dyer of Launceston, innkeeper, on five dwelling-houses in Angel Hill, and one in New Road, Launceston; also malt house in the occupation of DS Shelston, maltster, at the bottom of Angel Hill, 1828.
277 Expenses for advertisements relating to Angell Hill premises attached to printed notice of sale of the remainder of the 700-year term on Dwelling-houses and gardens at Angel Hill in the occupation of Silvester Harris, Thomas Parsons, Richard Dymond, and Andrew Jope.
A 99-year lease of part of Dwelling-house occupied by Silvester Harris, with plot behind dwelling-house on the east and south sides of Angel Hill.
Public Survey to be held at said Dwelling-houses was known by name of Launceston Arms. August, 1800.
Extract from a four-page document in CRO, Truro, regarding the Launceston Arms and other nearby premises: – –
“- – – premises for the remainder of the said Term of 700 years, chargeable with the principle and interest due on said mortgage ~
And that the Principle Sum of £160 – 4 – 9 and Interest was not paid at the day and time in the proviso in the said Indenture of Mortgage contained for payment thereof by means whereof the said Moiety of the said Premises became forfeited and absolute in Law in him the said Philip Welsh his Executor etc for the remainder of the said Term subject to redemption in Equity ~
And Also that said Henry Hoskyn had contracted and sold to said Philip Welsh the Equity of Redemption of said Moiety of said Premises for the remainder of said Term then to come for the sum of £55 ~
It Is Witnessed that for the Consideration therein mentioned and of the further sum of 10/- to said Henry Hoskyn and Richard Welsh then paid ~
They the said Henry Hoskyn and Richard Welsh by the direction of said Henry Hoskyn testified etc and each of them:
Did grant sell demise release and forever quit-claim unto said Philip Welsh ~
All that the said undivided Moiety or Halfendeale of and in the said Messuages Lands Tenements and Premises called the Angel and all their and each of their Estate etc To Hold unto the said Philip Welsh his Exors admins and assigns –
for and during the remainder of the said Term of 700 years by
H Hoskyn and R Welsh
and Duly Executed and Attested.
June 1756 – – The said Philip Welsh by his Will of this date after several Devises and bequests thereby made etc not affecting the premises mentioned at the head of this abstract ~
Gave and bequeathed All the residue of his Estate and Effects unto his Son said Richard Welsh his Exors etc and appointed him sole Exor and Residuary Legatee of his said Will ~
June 1765 – – The said Richard Welsh by his Will of this date after devising as herein devised and disposed of but not affecting the premises mentioned at the head of this abstract ~
Gave and bequeathed all the residue of his Effects unto his Brother Thomas Welsh and appointed him Sole Executor and residuary legatee of his main Will –
In 1935 it was announced Launceston would be connected to the National Electricity Grid, the supply being from Fraddon to Scarne Cross, with sub-stations in the town. One of the sub-stations was built on Angel Hill, in front of the old Angel Inn, cutting off access to the now redundant steps which had led to the former front door of that establishment.
Important Sale of Freehold Licensed Property on the Main Approach to the Town.
TO THOSE ATTENDING LAUNCESTON MARKET & OTHERS.
LAUNCESTON ARMS, EXETER STREET, LAUNCESTON:
COURTNEY D. SARGENT BEGS TO INFORM THOSE ATTENDING LAUNCESTON ON MARKET AND OTHER DAYS, THAT HE HAS TAKEN THE ABOVE OLD-ESTABLISHED HOSTELRY, CARRIED ON FOR SO MANY YEARS BY Mr MILLMAN, AND HOPES, BY PAYING EVERY ATTENTION TO THE COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE OF VISITORS TO MERIT A FAIR SHARE OF SUPPORT
ORDINERS EVERY MARKET DAY AT 1. GOOD BEDS & STABLING
DATED 14 MAY, 1881.
Launceston Magistrates Courts granted the transfer of the license of the LAUNCESTON ARMS from Mr John Millman to Mr Courtney Doidge Sargent,
6th June, 1881.
Messrs J Kittow and Son have received instructions to Sell by Public Auction on the Premises, on Thursday 11 February, 1926, at 3 pm., All that Extensive Freehold Property known as THE LAUNCESTON ARMS, now in the occupation of the Plymouth Brewery Company, Ltd., on Lease expiring Lady-day, 1926.
The property is prominently situated in Exeter Street, with a frontage thereto of 148 feet and an approximate depth of 85 feet. It comprises the old-established Fully Licensed Hotel, known as The Launceston Arms, together with Extensive Stabling, Coach Houses, and an enclosed Yard, capable of accommodating a very large number of Carriages and Motor Cars. This Yard affords a most valuable site for the erection of business premises.
The Property abuts on one of the main approaches to the town and enjoys an extensive Market trade, being in close proximity to the Cattle Market.
To visit apply Tuesdays and Fridays, and for all further particulars to:
Messrs Peter, Peter & Sons, Solicitors, Westgate.