Responsive Menu
Add more content here...

Launceston’s Public Houses


Index t0 the featured Launceston Public Houses and Hostelries: Angel Inn, Bell Inn, Bishop Blaze Inn, Castle Inn, Castle Temperance Hotel, Cornish Inn, Dolphin Inn, Exeter Inn, Fifteen Balls Inn, Freemasons Arms, Half Moon Inn, Horse Dealers Arms,  Jubilee Inn, Kings Arms, Launceston Arms, Little White Hart, London InnMarket Close Inn,The Mumpers Inn, New Market InnNorthgate Inn, Northumberland Arms, Packhorse Inn, Plymouth and Devonport Inn, Railway Inn, Ring o’Bells, Seven Stars Inn, Shindy Arms, The Three Cranes, Turks HeadWestgate Inn, White Hart Hotel, White Horse Inn, White Lion,

It should be noted the age of a pub is not necessarily the same as the fabric of the building but is counted as the time the house has been continuously in business as a hostelry. Some may be dated from their position – just outside the gates would possibly be from the time of the curfew when the gates were closed for the night – at a crossroads, from the time the roads were built or Turnpiked, etc. Anyone of those within the walls may be the older and the ones beside the gates from around the 13th century, though not necessarily in the same position. The Northgate (below) perhaps first, then the Southern gate, (Angel Hill), and the New Gate (the Westgate) being the later one.
Of course, should they still be in existence, the priories would probably be counted as among the oldest places of rest, shelter and sustenance in most areas.

northgate-inn-launceston  inside-the-northgate-public-house-2004   inside-the-northgate-public-house-2004-main-bar

Because of its important juncture on the Devon, Cornwall border, Launceston wasn’t called the ‘Gateway to Cornwall’ for nothing, and with this importance, the hostelry trade boomed. In 1793 there were eighteen public houses around the town including The London Inn, The Turks Head, The New, and The Bishop Blaise amongst some of them. Over time the road system was improved and the traveller having for the first part of the eighteenth century if journeying to Bodmin had to trek via Camelford but in 1742 moorstone posts were put up every quarter of a mile as guidance across the more direct route across Bodmin moor. By 1769 turnpikes were opened along the central route and with the improved roads better a bigger horse-drawn carriages were used, often provided by the inns. The White Hart was one of the first to offer three ‘genteel chaises and good horses’ to the gentry and nobility and in 1771 the Kings Arms hired post chaises at 7½d per mile. This was the beginning of a basic public transport system and quite often by the higher class inns. A mail coach began to run in 1787 operating a daily journey from Exeter to Falmouth and along its sixteen-hour journey, the White Hart was one of its stops.
Drinking places etc. in the Launceston area in 1856-
Atkins, Charles, Northgate Inn, Fore Street
Atkins, William, Ring O’ Bells, Fore Street
Brighton, Thomasine Temperance Hotel , High Street
Browning, Charles Exeter Inn, High Street
Burt, Charles Nations White Horse Inn, Newport
Burt, Elizabeth (Mrs) Northumberland Arms , St Stephens
Coombe, William Market House Inn, Church Street – basket maker, New North Rd.
Copp, James Westgate Inn , Westgate Street
Cory, James Cornish Inn Westgate Street
Cottle, William Jubilee Inn , Fore Street
Cudlipp, William London Inn, Church Street
Dunn, Thomas Launceston Arms, Exeter Road
Herbert Edward Leach White Hart Inn, Broad Street
Hutchins, Thomas Little White Hart , High Street
James, Thomas King’s Arms, Southgate Street
Pinch, William Bell Inn, Tower Street
Shepherd, Abraham maltster, Exeter Road
Shepherd, John brewer, Exeter Road
Steer, John maltster, Race Hill
Stone, Elizabeth (Mrs) Dolphin Inn, Westgate Street
Stoneman, William maltster, Angel Hill
Tapson, Robert Plymouth & Devonport Inn, Race Hill
Yeo, Elizabeth, {Mrs} beer retailer, New North Road
Cary, Thomas Bennett’s Arms , Lawhitton
Percy, Elizabeth [Mrs] Manor House, Lawhitton


The Northgate Inn, one of the eldest in Launceston having its origins dating to around 1320, was built just beside the North Gate of the town, it may have had a name change or two, it may even have been a lodging house- almost certainly there would have been a building catering for the needs of travellers after the curfew bell was tolled and the gates closed in early times. The original hostelry would have been (most probably) just a single storey one or two bedroomed house, built of stone (or cob) up to a height of five or six feet, with a timber and thatch roof. Either after being destroyed by fire, or around the 15th-16th century, the thatch would have been removed, the walls built on, and a new timber and slated roof to cover the three storey’s of the new hostelry to satisfy the growing trade in the town.
In 2004, the license of the Northgate Inn was given up when the owner retired. The Inn and stable yard has now been converted into flats and houses for rent or sale.

Post & Weekly News, 14 May 1859: Death – this week the painful duty devolves on us to record the death of Mr Charles Atkins, The Northgate Inn, who breathed his last yesterday [Friday], the 13th inst. after a few hours illness, aged 62 years. His bereaved wife has lost a beloved partner, and the town one of its best citizens for integrity, uprightness, candour, and conscientiousness. Long will he be missed by the small but united band of the Liberal Party in Launceston, of whom he was warmly attached and a most devoted follower; always raising his voice against – and making efforts for the overthrow of – tyranny, despotism, and corruption. He attended the ballot meeting on Monday night, and took the deepest interest in it, apparently little imagining that the crowded and excited assembly room was the so soon to be exchanged for chamber of sickness and death
We have now to bid him adieu – for ever.

11 Jun 1859: Very Desirable INN For SALE, in the Borough of Launceston. With Immediate Possession.
To Be SOLD by Private Contract, all that Very Desirable INN called the Northgate INN, situate near the North Gate, in the Borough of Launceston, in the County of Cornwall, in which a very respectable and lucrative Business has been carried out by the late owner, Mr Charles Atkins, for several years. The House contains:
on the First Floor: a Parlour, Smoking Room, Bar, Kitchen, Back Kitchen & Cellar.
On the Second Floor: a Sitting or Dining Room, Five Very Good Bed Rooms, & Two Attics over.
In the Rear: a Brew House & Malt Loft, Coal House, Three Stables, Yard, & Two Small Gardens, with an Excellent and Never Failing Supply of WATER, and every other Convenience. The Premises are in excellent repair, no expense having been spared to make it, in every respect, comfortable and convenient.
This will be found an excellent opportunity for any person wishing to engage in a profitable business, which is to be disposed of in consequence of the death of the late Owner.
For viewing the House, and to treat for the same, apply to Mr Huxham, Land & House Agent, Launceston.
The Purchaser will be expected to take the Stock of Ale and Spirits [and, if desired, may have the Furniture], at a valuation in the usual way. A portion of the purchase money may remain on Security of the Premises.
Dated: Launceston, June 1st, 1859.

July 23rd, 1859: The Northgate Inn, Launceston. Mrs Atkins, in returning Thanks to her numerous Customers for the very liberal support bestowed upon her and her late husband during the past twenty years, begs to inform her friends, and the public generally, that she has disposed of The Northgate Inn to Mr Joshua Farthing, who is well qualified to carry on the same. In relinquishing the business, Mrs Atkins hopes that Mr Farthing will receive that support which has so liberally bestowed upon the house so many years.
Joshua Farthing – Begs to inform the inhabitants of Launceston and the surrounding district that he has purchased the Northgate Inn of Mrs Atkins, and respectfully announces that every attention will be given to those who may favour him with a call, and that the business will be conducted in the same manner as by his predecessor, on those principles which have brought the Northgate Inn into notoriety, vis. keeping an orderly house, good stabling, and selling a genuine article. Dated: July, 1859.

East Cornwall Times Dec 17, 1859: The Northgate Inn, Launceston: Noted for Genuine Home Brewed Ales.
Joshua Farthing returns his sincere Thanks to the inhabitants of Launceston and its neighbourhood for the liberal patronage bestowed upon him since the retirement of Mrs Atkins, and is determined to deserve a further increase of public support by keeping the best Spirits, Beer, and Accommodation. First Rate Stabling. Feed your horse – a Gallon of Oats – 6d.


East Cornwall Times 19 Dec 1863: Near To The Railway Station, Launceston.
A Most Desirable Freehold Public House for SALE by Private Contract: The Northgate Inn, in which a very respectable and profitable trade has been carried out for many years, and may be increased considerably by its close proximity to the Railway Station, which will be opened in a few months.
The House contains, on the first Floor, a Parlour Bar, Smoking-room, Kitchen, back Kitchen, and Cellar;
On the second Floor, a large Dining or Sitting-room, Five good Bed-rooms, and two large Attics over; and in the Rear, a good Brewhouse and Malt Loft, Three stables, a Yard, Garden, and first rate Skittle Ground; with a never-failing supply of good Water, and every other convenience.
The Premises are in excellent and substantial repair, the Proprietor have spared no expense within the last Four Years, making it comfortable and convenient. This will be found a capital opportunity for anyone wishing to engage in this profitable business, which is to be disposed of on account of the Proprietor leaving the Town, being engaged in a business in London. For further particulars and to Treat for the same, apply to: R Peter, Esq. solicitor, Launceston, or to the Owner on the Premises.
(N.B. Part of the Purchase Money may remain on Security of the Premises.) Dated: Launceston, December 19, 1863.

East Cornwall Times October, 1864: Death: Farthing. At the Northgate Inn, on November 30th, after a short illness, Mr Joshua Farthing, for many years resident in London, but for the last five years landlord of the Northgate Inn, aged 48 years: deeply lamented by a large number of friends.

In 1879, the Launceston Borough Sessions transferred the license of the Northgate Inn from Mr Barriball, to Mr Palmer.

Cornish Times January 1880. Death: on 30th January 1880, at Palmer’s Northgate Inn, Launceston, Mr Richard Martin, hotel proprietor, Boston, America, and a native of Langore, aged 61 years.

Cornish Times, 30 January, 1886: Northgate Inn: To Be Sold by Private Treaty, the Fee Simple of the Northgate Inn, Launceston, with its adjoining stables, sheds, yard and garden, situate near the junction of five streets, at a very short distance from the terminal of two railways, with ample space for storage of goods this property [irrespective of the tavern license attached to it] offers immense advantages to an enterprising purchaser.
The Lease of the present tenant [yearly rent £42.] is terminable, either by them or the landlord, at Christmas 1888, or will expire Christmas 1892.
The proprietor intends to withdraw this offer to sell, if the property be not disposed of by the 27th February, 1886.
To treat for the purchase apply to:- Messrs Peter & Son, solicitors, Westgate Street, Launceston.

On 1st January, 1906, before the Launceston Petty Sessions, Mr William Henry Jackson, the Northgate Inn, Launceston, pleaded guilty to selling brandy 29 under proof, or 5.29 under the standard. Defendant stated he was not at home and he understood the sample was taken from the bottom of the keg. Supt. Webber recorded a previous conviction, and defendant was fined £1 and 16:6d costs.

kings-arms-advert-1822    the-kings-arms-in-1909-photo-courtesy-of-ray-boyd

The Kings Arms  was named not from royal patronage but from the building having been constructed in what was once the garden belonging to the King family. The large stables had been built down the side at Blindhole at around 1753.
The Richard Welsh Charity: By his Will (probate 18 June 1765) Richard Welsh, gentleman, gave a yearly rent charge of £5 on his property at Launceston, called The King’s Arms so that the income could be used to place out a poor girl at some trade or business.
Eagle reported that payments had been neglected over a period of years when, in 1791, the Mayor obtained the arrears and had them invested in the security of the Launceston Turnpike. By 1836 the rent charge had been refused but an income was received from the £50 arrears, which had been invested. This was £2 a year in 1863 and is now just over that figure.
A scheme for the Administration of this Charity was made by the Charity Commission on the 14th February, 1913.
In September 1905, the King’s Arms, Southgate Street, Launceston, was put up for public auction by Mr Richard Peter, auctioneer, Westgate Street, and was purchased by Mr Cowlard, acting for Mr Deacon of Werrington Park. The bidding started at £1,000 by Mr Best, Mr Wevill bid £1,025, Mr Eggins £1,050, Mr Burt £1,100, and was finally sold on Mr Cowlard’s bid of £1,430.
The name was changed again in the late 1980’s to The Bakers Arms when under the ownership of the then White Hart owner, Mr. Brian Baker, but sadly hasn’t traded since November 2013.

the-kings-arms-coffee-room-launceston    kings-arms-southgate-street-launceston   the-bakers-arms-kings-head-launceston

The Temperance movement
With the power to grant licences taken away from the Excise in 1869 and being passed over to the local magistrates, the influence of the Methodists and Bible Christians helped to bring about the Temperance movement. This didn’t stop the abuse of alcohol, particularly as many men from poverty-stricken homes drank beer to escape their misery but it did bring about a realisation that encouraging abstinence could help the moral fibre of society. During the 1830’s and 1840’s, there were nearly forty drinking establishments in Launceston but by 1890 that figure had fallen back to eighteen public houses and eight off-licenses. The Methodist continued to educate the working man against excessive drinking and in some cases helping to close certain establishments down. Edward Pethybridge and a Lawyer, Mr. Dingle closed the Ring O’ Bells (The ‘Ring of Bells’ in Launceston was kept for several years at the beginning of the nineteenth century by Charles Atkins, a one-time sergeant-major; his was the sponsoring house of “The Launceston Charitable Society for the Benefit of Widows, Widowers, Orphans or Fatherless Children” instituted in October 1811) and the Cornish Inn whilst also acquiring the Mumpers Inn in Westgate street and building Westgate terrace on its site. The Mumpers being run by Mr. Robert Watling had gained quite a reputation which brought about its demise. Mr Watling was notorious – as the Mayor of the Pig Market – several times. This was an ancient custom on Mayor Choosing Day in the town when the lucky person was taken firstly to an ale house where he would be made ‘slightly tipsy’, then led to the pig market at the town end of Westgate Street where he would have his hat taken away and his hair liberally powdered with flour. There, should his hair be long enough at the back, a frying-pan would be there attached and allowed to hang down his back, while all the time he would be showered with flour by the boisterous crowd.
He would then be led to the New Inn for more lubricating juices. The custom was discontinued in 1827.
The Mumpers was renowned as a meeting place for German musicians, organ grinders and vagrants and it is reputed that Mr. Walling suggested to Mr. Pattison of the White Hart that they could cooperate by sending each other customers when they were full. Edward Pethybridge described the Mumpers as being “no ornament to Westgate street”.


The Exeter Inn / Castle Temperance Inn

The Exeter Inn’ was one of the chief haunts of the more prosperous tradesmen during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: one of its landlords was Edward Acres who died in 1826 at the age of 51 and weighed twenty stones. The first Temperance Hotel was built in 1824 at No. 10, High street for the Launceston Hotel company next door to the Exeter Inn at No. 8. Over the years The Exeter Inn gained a bad reputation in keeping a disorderly house cumulating in it being sold in 1874.  Report from the Cornish and Devon Post from the 14th of April 1874:

Mr E Hicks, who made the highest bid for the The Exeter Inn, High street at the sale last week, has since completed the purchase. Strenuous efforts are being made by the local Temperance Association to convert the building into a temperance hotel. Circulars have been issued inviting the townspeople to take shares in a limited company [capital £2,500] to be formed to acquire the premises, and rebuild as a first-class temperance hotel.

The Launceston Hotel Company was thus formed and the Exeter Inn became the Castle Temperance Hotel. In October of 1894 tenders were placed for the construction on the site of a new building to a design of Mr. Otho Peter with the winning bid by Launceston contractor Mr. Ephraim Sharland for the sum of £1,112 10/-. The building was completed on the 5th of July 1895, with Mr. W. Bailey, its proprietor. Mr Bailey married the daughter of Mr & Mrs Martin, servants to Miss Caroline Pearse of Lawrence House, and they later lived at Castle Street before retiring to Dunheved Road.
On the 29th October, 1895, three months after opening for business, a dinner was laid on by the directors of the company owners for the architect, contractor, and other workmen employed on the erection of the new hotel. The chair was taken by Mr James Treleaven, junior, and other directors present included Messrs Edward Hicks, T H Nicolls, T W Bate, and J H Cory. E Nicolls (hon. sec., of the Launceston Temperance Association), T N Wenn (secretary of the hotel company), O B Peter, FRIBA (architect), and E Sharland (contractor) – the whole company numbering some sixty to seventy persons. Several people being unable to attend, one for instance, the chief mason on the building, who walked five miles to a country station only to find that the train he wished to catch did not stop there.
An excellent dinner was provided by Mr Bailey, the tenant, in the large room at the rear of the premises. At the conclusion of the repast and tobacco and drinks (non-alcoholic) having been served, the Chairman submitted the loyal toasts, which were heartily received.
After apologising for the absence of three lady directors (Mrs Treleaven, senior, Miss Nicolls, and Mrs Thomas), Mr J Rawling, Messrs Dingley & Company, bankers, Mr Sharply, auditor, and the vicar (Rev T J Nunns), a part of whose kind letter he read, the Chairman called on Mr J H Cory to propose “The health of the architect and contractor”. They all knew, said Mr Cory, that before a house could be erected, there must be a great many pencil scratches made, and many pieces of paper spoilt, and that was particularly so in the present case. There were difficulties in the ground encountered everywhere, but when they had to wedge themselves in between neighbours, as was the case with the Hotel Company, the difficulties were far greater. But, in their architect, they had a gentleman of great ability – as the successful completion of their splendid building on the site of an old tumble-down public house testified
Mr Cory further said he was proud to be connected with such a great building and such an able architect, one who gave great strength of character to their neighbourhood. Seeing what could be achieved with a contractor like Mr Sharland, workmen like he employed, and an architect like Mr Peter, he sometimes wished he was in the position of an employed himself.
In reply Mr Peter said he felt something like the old Exeter Inn, rather shaky; he thanked the directors for the spread, and the contractor and workmen or their endeavours to carry out his designs. It had not been easy for him to crowd in in the space available, all the rooms required, nor had it been an easy matter to steer clear of party walls, right of light, etc., but he believed he had gone as clear a course as possible. He wished the Hotel Company ever success. Mr Sharland said that they had tried as workmen to do their level best, and he hoped the hotel would be a success. He was proud to have carried out the work under Mr Peter, whom he heartily thanked for the kindness he had evinced.
Mr Nicolls next spoke submitting success “To the Launceston Temperance Hotel Company, Ltd.”, thanked the directors for inviting him to the meal as a representative of the Launceston Temperance Association members of which were mainly responsible for the initiation of the scheme, and said he was informed that great business had been done during the first three months, which gave him great encouragement.
Several more toasts were proposed and drunk to, amid applause and congratulations, including “The Press”, by Mr T H Nicolls, and responded to by Mr Lyne, for The Post, and thanks from the Chairman to the ladies, including Mrs and Miss Hicks, who had given their services gratuitously, and he referred to the work done by the company’s secretary, Mr TN Wenn, and the proceedings terminated with the National Anthem.
Songs were contributed during the evening by Messrs. R Atkins, J Oke, junior, F Gale, H Strike, and W H R Atkins.

castle-temperance-hotel-coach-with-mr-climo-its-driver   castle-temperance-hotel-garage-at-the-rear

Mr John Beckley Smith was a native of Boyton where he farmed for many years before taking over the Castle Hotel from Mr William Bailey in 1914. Mr Smith retired in 1939, celebrated his Golden Wedding anniversary in September 1943, and died at the age of 80 years on Thursday, 30th December, 1943. After retiring Mr and Mrs Smith went to live at ‘Wycollar’, 26 Tavistock Road.
Soon after taking on the tenancy of the Temperance hotel Mr Smith began a carriers business then a bicycle business in the town which, in turn, grew into a garage and motor dealers. Kelly’s Directory of 1923 – Castle Hotel (unlicensed), commercial & family; posting in all its branches; cars on hire, omnibus meets all trains (J B Smith & Son, proprietors)High St. In 1926 – Smith J B & Son, Castle Temperance Hotel, High Street, and motor garage & livery stables, Western Road: in 1939 it had changed to –  J B Smith & Son Ltd., Castle Temperance hotel, High street, with a further entry – Smith J B & Son (Launceston) Ltd., motor garage, Western road, and by 1956 the title was Smith & Son Ltd., Messrs J B, Castle Garage, Western Rd.
The firm later had a garage at The Dockey called the Castle Garage but, outgrowing this site, sold it for development (now a block of flats) and started a new garage on the Pennygillam estate which was subsequently taken over by Spry’s.
During World War Two the Castle Hotel was requisitioned by the American Army as quarters for their officers; after the war the premises became the Castle Cafe.
The lower building contained the Folley’s and Reynolds shop and is one of the most missed shops in Launceston with many people still remembering the establishment. The buildings are now occupied by M&Co and Millers estate agents (below).


In November of 1852 William Procter, mayor of Launceston, said “The second and greater of the two evils is the ‘Pot House’, the main source and spring of every crime; the stronghold of sin and Satan – – – every public-house ought to be closed at 10 o’clock and never opened on the Sunday.”

The London Inn 26/28 Church Street c.1900.
The London Inn 26/28 Church Street c.1900.

The London Inn was situated at 25/26 Church street and can be date back to Elizabethan times by tracing its landlords. In 1656, Julius Mann; 1673, Richard Mann; 1700, Julius Mann. In 1883 Mr J Shepherd is landlord, while in 1830 William Atkins is shown, and in 1854 William Cudlipp, (who was the father to 22 children) was in charge. It was originally called ‘The Old Shambles’ from the fact that the back yard was used as a slaughter house.
The Cornish & Devon Post dated 4th April 1896, records a fire which had broken out in Church Street, Launceston, on the previous Monday evening.The fire was discovered about midnight in Miss Maunder’s tobacconist’s shop, and great anxiety was caused when attempts to break in to rescue her failed. However, Mr Vickery, veterinary surgeon, was able to quell the fear, with confirmation of others, when he said Miss Maunder had been seen a couple of hours earlier on her way to visit at Lewannick.
On being advised of Miss Maunder’s safety the Fire Brigade settled down to extinguish the roaring flames, by using piped water from the newly opened reservoir on Windmill Hill. To get at the fire in the rear of the building, which by now had spread into both The London Inn on one side, and Mr Hayman’s recently built Pianoforte Emporium on the other side, the ‘Volunteer’ engine was connected with hoses to the reservoir beneath the Square. The flames were quickly got under control, and by 1.30 am., the firemen pronounced the fire quelled. It was found the fire had entered the Inn by passing through the light partitions between the two buildings and had damaged some of Mr H Sargent’s furniture as well as the building. In Mr Hayman’s shop, the fire had been seen by Mr Wroth, an employee of Mr Hayman, and using great initiative, he had entered the building and continuously poured water on the dividing wall thereby preventing the fire spreading, though the building had suffered some damage from smoke and water. The Inn was owned by executors of the late Mr Marshall, Bounsell’s Lane, and was insured through the Royal Exchange Fire Office, the local agent being Mr C L Cowlard; Miss Maunder’s stock and furniture was insured with the Norwich Union Office, local agent Messrs Peter & Wenn; and Mr Sargent’s furniture by the Royal Office, local agent Mr Rendle. The fire is said to have started in Miss Maunder’s kitchen; she was being accommodated at Mr and Mrs J H Cory’s house in Broad Street.
The London Inn closed for business sometime after the fire. The property was, until 1969 when it fell into disuse, a gent’s outfitters run by Mr Bill Lloyd. In 1973 antiques-shop keeper and town councillor Mr Alan Buckingham acquired No 26 Church Street, Launceston, with plans to transfer his business from Westgate Street to this old building, said to date from Elizabethan times. Mr Buckingham said a particularly interesting feature of the building, and possibly unique in the area, is a newel staircase; this spiral staircase is an original part of the building which he believes dates from about 1550. Other original features include granite fireplaces, a barrel-shaped ceiling on the top floor, doors, and Tudor half-timber walls. On the ground floor, entering into a room with an Elizabethan oak door frame can be seen an original two-feet wide granite lintel over a fireplace.
The building until recently was used as Gillard’s confectionary.

The Turks Head
The Turks Head was in Church Street opposite where are Harveys is now located.

The Jubilee Inn, Northgate Street.
The Jubilee Inn, Northgate Street.

The Jubilee Inn was built on the site of the old armoury and woollen market which had fallen into disuse. The yearne market building was taken down in 1809 the jubilee year of George III and a public house in commemoration of the jubilee was erected on the site. The Inn was closed on the 13th December 1909, and was then turned into flats until 1964 when Northgate Street was mostly demolished and the site is now part of the Castle Street car park as seen below.


Post & News, 5th July, 1909: JUBILEE LICENSE REFUSED.
Seven licenses were revoked without compensation by the Cornwall Compensation Authority at Bodmin on Wednesday last. This included that of the Jubilee Inn. Ex-Sergeant Parkin said there were thirteen full and five off-licenses, which gave one license to every 225 of the inhabitants. There was another licensed house 46 yards distant and a second house 135 yards away, and within a radius of 300 yards there were eight fully-licensed houses. The house was frequented by a low class of people, but a good trade was done. Mr Peter [representing the Council] said the owners of the house were the Launceston Town Council; it fell into their hands on the expiration of a lease for 95 years. The view the Corporation had taken was that as they were a public body and represented people of various opinions they ought not to interfere with the discretion of the magistrates in a question of this sort.

Launceston Council’s Minute Book records in 1812-13, that under the chairmanship of Mayor M Frost, Mr Hodge, lessee of the Jubilee Inn, was ejected from the premises.

Post & News, 20th November. 1909: From Council Minutes: JUBILEE INN
The valuation of Messrs Body & Son of £901, less £87 suggested for the tenant of the Jubilee Inn license for presentation to the County Compensation Authority was approved. The Town Clerk said as the Council knew the compensation had now been fixed and as he had already reported in Committee, it would be paid out on the 6th December, and the Jubilee Inn would be closed on the 13th of December – a week after payment.
The matter of fixing a rent for the house after Xmas was referred to Committee.
Councillor Reed hoped the Council would do the very best to retain this valuable property, handed down to them. He hoped they would be loyal to posterity and not sell the property unless obliged to do so.

Post & News, 18th December, 1909: THE LAST OF THE “JUBILEE”, LAUNCESTON.
The last of the Jubilee Inn, Northgate Street, Launceston, as such, was seen on Monday when a few stragglers were turned out at the usual closing hour, eleven o’clock, by Mr F Leat, the licensee. The conduct of the house since Mr Leat has been licensee has been exemplary. We hear the Town Council received the compensation on Tuesday of last week, the amount being £901 – 16s. Of that sum, Mr Leat will receive £87.
At a Town Council meeting of 26th Nov, 1910, Jubilee House and stables were let to Mr Gill, and the Town Architect was requested to draw up plans for repairs to the buildings.

The Bell Inn, Tower Street.
The Bell Inn, Tower Street.

The Bell Inn as looking the oldest by fabric, though probably among the later to be used as a public house or hostelry having been built around the 16th century. “The Bell” often denotes proximity to the parish church: this is true, for instance, of The Bell at Launceston which shares with The White Hart there the distinction of being graced by a doorway of considerable architectural merit. It is generally believed The Bell was originally a guildhall for the masons who built the church for Henry Trecarrel, therefore dating circa. 1510-1515. In March of 1771 William Ford, landlord, The Bell, announced his enlarging the premises by the addition of another house, so that the whole comprised fourteen lodging rooms and there was stabling for fifty horses; hardly ecclesiastical were the slaughter-house and large covered skittle-ground described as part of the premises in November 1847.
There had been another “Bell” not far away, for there was “a house, stable, garden and orchard, formerly the sign of ‘The Bell’ on the west of the road from St Stephen’s Church to St Thomas Bridge” in 1757.

22 May 1869: Post & News – Sale by Public Auction – The Bell Inn, Tower Street, Launceston. This well-accustomed, old-established Inn was sold by Auction on Thursday last. Mr William Cudlipp, junior was the highest bidder, and bought the property for £330.


The Ring O’ Bells was situated near the bottom of what was Fore Street (Northgate Street) just above the Congregational Sunday School. The Inn was kept for several years at the beginning of the nineteenth century by Charles Atkins, a one-time sergeant-major; his was the sponsoring house of “The Launceston Charitable Society for the Benefit of Widows, Widowers, Orphans or Fatherless Children” instituted in October 1811.

January 16, 1864, Post & Weekly News:    Fatal Accident at Launceston: 

An inquest was held at the Ring O’ Bells, Launceston, Tuesday, before T Good, Esq., district coroner, on the body of Charles Browning, a mason, who met with such injuries on the previous afternoon by falling from a house in New Eastern Road, that he died that morning.   The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”

East Cornwall Times, June,1864: Marriage.  In the parish Church of St Stephens-by-Launceston, July 2nd., Mr T Dunn of Launceston to Miss Ham of Newport.

East Cornwall Times; July, 1864:-  Mr William Atkins, landlord of the Ring O’Bells, Fore Street, Launceston, committed suicide by cutting his own throat with a razor while temporarily insane.  [Coroner’s jury’s verdict].

Death: At the Ring O’ Bells Inn, Fore Street, Launceston, January 23rd, 1869.  Mr T Dunn, after a long illness, aged 69 years

1871: Northgate Street- Annabella Dunn, 60, lic vict, Ring O’ Bells, born Wokingham.

East Cornwall Times 1875, Jan 10th:   Nuisance at Duke’s Road.  The nuisance created in Duke’s Road by the dung heap in the court of the Ring O’ Bells was again brought before the Board.  – – – –  The Board agreed to see Mr Atkins, and inform him of the resolution they had formed regarding he take the steps he thought necessary to abate the nuisance.

Post & News report of January 17th, 1878: An Inquest was held in the Ring O’ Bells last evening on the body of an infant child, aged 18 months, of a widowed woman named Loiusa Brimmel, living with Mrs Osborne, in Northgate Street.  The deceased had been sickly from birth and at the time of its death was suffering from whooping cough.  The jury, Mr John Pope, foreman, returned a verdict of ‘Death from natural causes’.

Cornish & Devon Post March 10, 1883:  The licence of the Ring O’ Bells Inn was transferred from Mr Bennett to Mrs Bennett (wife) as administratrix. 

The Angel Inn / Launceston Arms
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) (The Bridewell was the western end, the Workhouse the eastern part).
The Launceston Arms, Stamford House, and Old House, now on Exeter Street, were actually built facing north. Bank House and the old 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 south side of way to Polson 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, poundhouse, 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.”
Zacheus Sleeman was landlord of The Angel Inn in 1747. It may be seen the ‘Angel Inn’ first faced Angel Hill, and appears to have had a name change some time 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 Road, or Exeter Street.
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. With this evidence it seems that what is now the rear of The Launceston Arms was where The Angel Inn was situated and not as many believe on the opposite side of the hill, and in fact the two really are the same with a name change.

From 1926 ;
NOTICE: “Important Sale of Freehold Licensed Property on the Main Approach to the Town.
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 Ladyday, 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”.


The Plymouth and Devonport Inn / The New Market Inn.
In 1824 King George IV renamed Plymouth Dock giving it the name ‘Devonport’ in recognisance of its importance to the Royal Navy. Launceston’s ‘Plymouth Dock’, at the bottom of Race Hill, promptly changed its name to the ‘Plymouth & Devonport Inn’. In 1900 the Borough council decided it was time Launceston had a proper cattle market instead of selling in the streets and Otho B Peter drew up plans for a new market on Race Hill. Soon after this market was opened the inn had another name change, this time to ‘The New Market Inn’. Mr William Tapson was landlord of the inn in 1830, possibly the same William Tapson who was later a grocer in Church Street and died on 20th February 1858.
By the South Gate in 1841 was Mr Robert Tapson, 52, innkeeper, of Stowford, with wife Catherine 39, of Egloskerry, and son Robert 10. Mr Tapson was the landlord of the Plymouth & Devonport Inn and died of a tragic accident;
News Report: LAUNCESTON – Fatal Mistake: An inquest was held on Tuesday the 16th February, 1858, on the body of Mr Robert Tapson, an innkeeper, who died on Sunday evening from the effects of taking poison contained in a lotion which he had been accustomed to use for a bad leg. The facts brought out at the examination of witnesses clearly show that was done in mistake. The deceased had been for some time confined to bed by the gout. On Sunday morning he called the servant to put out the light which he usually kept burning through the night, at the same time desiring her to bring to him a bottle which contained the medicine he had been taking. There being another bottle on the drawers containing the lotion, the servant asked if the one taken up by her was the right one, to which he replied in the affirmative, putting it under his pillow to be taken shortly afterwards, his wife being at the time asleep by his side. Soon after, finding himself in a violent perspiration he rang the bell, when the fatal mistake was discovered. Medical aid was soon sought, emetics were given, and the stomach pump applied, but with little effect. The poor man remained in a state of insensibility throughout the day, and died about eight o’ clock that evening. The dose taken contained about half an ounce of laudanum, mixed with about the same quantity of camphorated oil. A verdict accordingly was returned.

John H Best was born in Liskeard in 1836. He later married Mary (born at The Felling, Durham in 1844), daughter of a plumber, and became a plumber himself, employing two men, and becoming also landlord of The Plymouth and Devonport Inn. In 1885, the Launceston Volunteer Fire Brigade needed a new house for their fire engine, and it was suggested they use an empty building in Exeter St. This building was next to the Devonport Inn and had been a storage and shop for Mr Best’s plumbing business.


The Packhorse Inn was situated on the corner of Southgate Place and Madford Lane. The inn possibly dates from a maltster’s house of around 1600’s, before being named and turned into an Inn, perhaps a hundred years later. It is shown in a Launceston trades directory of 1830 under this name, held by Mr Edward Pearse, who was also a silversmith and watch and clock maker, who earned himself a very good reputation in that trade. Mr Pearse’s son, Edward took on the pub and also the watch making business after the death of his father.
Legal documents of Messrs Peter & Peter, solicitors, now lodged in the Public Records Office of Cornwall, at Truro, have details going back to 1779 (File No 416)showing it was held by Mr Lewarne, landlord, when it was titled the Pack Horse Inn, and paid rent of 1 shilling per year to the Borough. It appears to have been rebuilt around 1810; the Record Office holds a map and the description of the building, when it had a garden on two sides – bounded on one side by ‘the wall of Mr Cowlard’ – the other side possibly bounded by the town pound, one side on ‘White Lane’, and the other side by ‘Mudford Lane’. (Race Hill and Madford Lane. Exeter Street (The Great Eastern Road’) was not to be cut until 1823). It appears the pub side of the house was run by Mr Lewarne as it is recorded in October 1810 as: John Lewarne, Inn keeper, tenant of Packhorse Inn, paying Mayor Stephen Spettigue on his taking over from his father (also John).
The Borough owned parts of the premises as a document of 1816 shows an extract of Edward Pearce’s Will which leaves parts of it to his wife, Mary, and Christopher Lethbridge and Richard Holman were given power of attorney to sell goods for Pearce’s widow ‘if need be, to sell furniture to cover funeral expenses.’
Edward, senior, ‘left to his wife the furniture and the silver teapot, which respectively belonged to her before the marriage. Edward, junior, was left 2 silver salt cellars and all that residue to his five children. Ellen and Jane being the only ones mentioned’. The estate was valued at ‘under £1,500, in 1873’.
In June of 1918 Mr Walter Weighell was the agent for the Atlas Insurance Co, of Cheapside, London, and a certificate states the buildings were ‘of brick on stone, also lath and plaster, and slated or tiles roof, situated at Southgate Place. Executives Davis Brothers, of St Stephens insured the property until it was purchased by Charles Vosper, in 1921, when it was occupied by William Henry Bickley, grocer, for £750.

The Inn, stables, and gardens belonged to William Lewarne in August 1747, when he bought it from Mary Doidge of Kilworthy and John Spry for £22. In 1789 it was described as ‘well-accustomed’, Francis Lewarne owner/occupier. It had a Kitchen, two Parlours, a large room to dine upwards of sixty and “chambers sufficient to make up sixteen beds.” In 1797 John Lewarne  surrendered land known as the Bar, White Lane (Race Hill), on corner name of, or sign of, the Packhorse, to be allowed to open the Packhorse’.

Edward Pearse announced his taking and refitting the house in March 1805 but declined in April 1842 when he announced that he wished to concentrate on his clock and watch making business, an unusual occupation combination of trades for a publican. Edward jun., son of Edward, took on the license at the Pack Horse.
(Pearse, Edward, 1844. Watch and Clockmaker, Madford Lane, PD; Race Hill, WD; Southgate, KDD.) In August, 1825, the premises were conveyed to Christopher Lethbridge, Richard Holman and Mrs Pearce, the executors of Edward, for £400.
Another agreement, of 1836, between Mother and Son (widow Sarah Pearce and Edward), allowed them to mortgage property to enable them to pay £100 to each of her children, Mrs Pearce to stay in the property, while Elizabeth Thompson was to buy it. Instead of Edward taking money, he allowed his mother to pay him £10 per year as long as she lived. John Burt, shoemaker, and his wife Elizabeth (nee Pearse), had shares in the Packhorse Inn in 1836. A garden, part of the property, was on two sides of the inn, Race Hill one side, and Madford Lane on the other.

In 1842 the mortgage transferred from Mrs Thompson to Francis Thomas and George Lobb for £600.
In 1843 George King Mann mortgaged the Packhorse Inn to John and Simon Peter, for £170 per year, plus 5% interest. George Mann was from Bridestowe, and the Peter brothers from Liskeard.

A wall separated the garden from Mr Cowlard’s property (Madford House).

On the 8th February 1879, the death was announced of Mary, wife of Edward Pearse, The Packhorse Inn, Southgate Place, Launceston, at the age of 80 years.
Southgate Place with the Packhorse Inn on the left.

Southgate Place with the Packhorse Inn on the left.

East Cornwall Times, 29 October, 1863: At Launceston Church by the Reverend GB Gibbons, Mr J Steer, maltster, married Letitia, daughter of Mr E Pearce, watchmaker, of Launceston.

Westgate Street in 1853.
Westgate Street in 1853.

The Cornish Inn was situated in Westgate Street in what is now No. 10 with The Dolphin Inn two doors down at No. 6.

Cornish Times, Sep 15, 1860 Marriage: At Launceston on 10th inst., Mr W Jenkyn, of St Stephen, to Mrs H Cory, of ‘ The Cornish Inn,’ Launceston..
From the 1871 Census returns: Westgate Street –
John VS Geake 44 Licensed Victualler The Cornish Inn
Susan wife 36 licensed victualler’s wife John son 19 grocer’s assistant
James son 17 plumber’s apprentice Jane dau 14 scholar
Mary H dau 8 “ Elizabeth dau 5 -”

TO BE LET by Tender, for a Term of 7 years from Midsummer next (if desired immediate possession is possible) all that well-accustomed and old establishment INN or Public House, called or known by the name of The CORNISH INN situate in Westgate Street, in Launceston, comprising a parlour, kitchen, bar, back kitchen, brewhouse and pantry, beer, spirit, and other cellars, a good dining room, and five bed rooms. Extensive yard, stabling, hay-lofts, garden and other necessary outbuildings, and a good pump with a constant supply of water, for some years past in possession of Mr Geake, lately deceased. Mrs Geake, the present tenant, will kindly shew the House, further particulars of Mr Spear, Castick, Northhill, to whom Tenders must be sent before 31st Day of December. Dated: December 4th, 1872.

Mr John VS Geake, 44, licensed victualler of the Cornish Inn, wife Susan 36, and children John 19 (grocer’s assistant), James 17 (plumber’s apprentice), Jane 14, Mary H 8 and Elizabeth 5, all scholars;

November 2nd, 1872:- An inquest was held by Dr Good, county coroner, on Monday last, at the Cornish Inn on the body of John Venning Sandercock Geake, who fell dead the Saturday previous. H Reynalds stated that on Saturday morning, a few minutes after 10 o’clock in the forenoon he was going to the Railway Station, near the Castle Gate he heard a woman cry out – a man has fallen dead. He went and found it to be Mr Geake, landlord of the Cornish Inn. He had fallen on his side, with his head about four feet from the gate.
Elizabeth Dymond stated that at about 10 o’clock on Saturday morning she was under the archway in the green, leading to Castle Street, taking shelter from the rain, and while there, Mr Geake also came for shelter. “He was very cheerful and talkative. He remained about ten minutes and said “I wish the shower was down, as I am very busy – I want to get home.” He left before I did and ran up the Green, and I saw him no more alive.”
Verdict: “Died by the Visitation of God.”

Births: 29 May, 1881, at the Cornish Inn, Westgate Street, the wife of the late Mr James Rowe, of a son.

Newspaper report July 23, 1881: An alarming fire broke out in the town on Wednesday evening last, at the back of the Cornish Inn. Adjoining the Inn Mr Trewin, cabinet maker, &c., has a workshop, and on the evening named, just after five o’clock, one of the men working on the tower of the new Guildhall saw smoke issuing from the roof. – the report goes on to state how he passed on a warning to Mr Martyn who was working in the coach factory opposite. Martyn ran to the position of the fire and found the workshop filled with flames. He and others raised the fire alarm and started to fight the fire. The Brigade soon arrived with both engines and by using the Broad Street reservoir began to fight the fire. The fire completely destroyed the workshop and damaged Miss Green’s house and the Cornish Inn, next door. Mr Hayward’s house, next the bank, was used to gain access to the fire by his upstairs window and the bank suffered some water damage.

The Dolphin Inn
A 1777 expenses note when the inn was a meeting place for craftsmen states that hay 2s. Corn 8d., Punch 1s., Eating 1s. 4d.
In 1830 Henry Blake was the innkeeper at The Dolphin.
In 1881 The Dolphin was held by widow Mary Jenkins, aged 41, of Bude, and living with her were daughter Maria aged 20, barmaid; son William, 18, a draper’s assistant; daughter Mary, 15, a milliner; daughter Ellen, 11 years and still in school – all the children were born in Launceston. Also in the house were Widow Jenkins, [Mary’s mother], Mary Cory, widow, aged 85 years and who was born at Poundstock, and domestic servant Sarah Sleep, aged 34 of South Petherwin, and Jane Daniels, a visitor aged 17 from St Agnes.
raddalls-fire-november-1968The Dolphin Inn in 1886 was run by John Jenkin, 33, lic vict., wife Mary CC 35, Maria 16, William 7, Mary 5, and Ellen aged 1 year. These premises became the offices of Mr Percy Cory, manure dealer in 1890, the dentist’s surgery of William G Mitchell in 1923, in 1930, they were The People’s Supply Stores, grocers, and in 1935 onwards they were Mr Leslie Claude Pooley’s fried fish shop. In the 1960’s they were Raddalls sports shop. In 1968 the shop was destroyed by a major fire (left). It was rebuilt and is now occupied by Parker’s Bakery. (No 6, Westgate Street, but this also included the Card Shop as one building).
The Dolphin was the Badge of the Dauphins of France, and of the Courtenays of Devon, is a frequent badge in heraldry.



The Westgate Inn.

the-westgate-innwestgate-street-launceston    westgate-inn-photo-courtesy-of-laura-denton%e2%80%8e

Originally called ‘The New Gate’, possibly inferring that the west gate was the last to be built in the town walls, the Westgate Inn sits in the street of the same name on the junction with Windmill Hill.  Sir Francis Drake, bart. bought Launceston Lands on 2nd November, 1650, from Sir Richard Smithe, knt.; these Lands included parts of all four parishes including many properties in Launceston town. Among these properties were some in Westgate Street including the area opposite the Westgate Inn. The estate passed through several owners in the following years, until, on the death of the then owner, Mr William Wentworth FitzWilliam Dick, of Wicklow, (a Manchester cotton magnate), in 1871, it was again offered for sale, part of which contained the Westgate Street area. Werrington sales as:- Cat.No. 891 – Tenant Jonas Copp – Linhay, Stable, Yard & Garden. Jonas was the landlord of the Westgate Inn at the time of the sale in 1871.

1871 Werrington sale
1871 Werrington sale

In 1823, and 1830, Anne Copp was recorded as innkeeper at the Westgate Inn; in 1834 a new part was built on the inn, over one of the town wells, now the lounge. Most of the buildings on the same side of the street had new fronts erected on them at this time. The 1841 census shows James Cory 40, inn keeper in Westgate Street with his wife Grace, aged 35 years. In 1856 Mr Jonas Copp is the ‘victualler.’

westgate-inn-2-photo-courtesy-of-laura-denton%e2%80%8e    westgate-inn-interior    westgate-inn-interior-2

1871 Census Returns state again Jonas Copp, 64, was a Licensed Victualler, at the Westgate Inn with his sisters Mary 69, Sarah 68, Ruth H 65 and Thomasin 63, all spinsters. In 1881 John Cook was the Inn keeper. In 1881 John Cook was Inn keeper in Westgate Street, aged 59, with 3 children, Kate, aged 26 was a barmaid.

The Cornish & Devon Post, 7th April, 1883, reported that while cleaning the windows of the Westgate Inn Mr Chudleigh fell off the step ladder, last Monday, and broke his thigh. He was taken to the Rowe Dispensary for treatment.

The Cornish & Devon Post, March, 1888: Workshops* in Western Road, Launceston, owned by Mr Pethybridge and occupied by Mr A Green, carpenter, and Mr TH Trewin, cabinet maker, caught fire on Monday. The fire brigade, under Mr CH Hayman and Mr F Downing, prevented the blaze from spreading and extinguished it with water from the reservoir under the Westgate Inn. March 17th.
[*The above premises are now The East Cornwall Garage. JE.] *The reservoir was part of the town water supply of five tanks, including the one beneath the square. Others were outside the Southgate; outside the Northgate; and one near the Methodist church in Castle Street.

Post & Weekly News 16 July, 1910:- THREE DEATHS IN FIVE WEEKS.
Sad Case at Launceston: It is again our sad duty to have to report a death as occurring at the Westgate Hotel, Launceston, Mrs Jemima Sambell Cornish expiring suddenly early on Sunday morning last, at the age of 56 years.
It was only on June 27th, as our readers will remember, that the deceased lately mourned the death of her husband Mr James Cornish, and three weeks previously [June 5th] Mr Wilfred James Cornish, deceased’s son, died at the early age of 20; thus within five weeks husband, wife, and son were all taken. The event is an extremely sad one under the circumstances and has caused the greatest sympathy to be extended to the children and relatives.

Post & News, 25th February 1923, carried the following report of the Launceston Town Council: On Monday the council agreed to accept an offer by the Plymouth Brewery to purchase the part of the Westgate Inn, the property of the Council, for £450.



Westgate Inn in 2014.
Westgate Inn in 2014.

The Half Moon.
The Half Moon’ lay outside the West Gate; in 1740 it was kept by Thomasin Derry, widow of Richard, who had died 10 years earlier. The inventory taken after his death shows him to have been a small farmer and probably a packhorse man:
Purse & wearing apparel £ 1 – 10s Two cows £7.
Five labour horses with their tacking £15. Ten ewes & ten lambs £4. 10s.
One rearing sow 15s. Five fether bedds parformed £10.
Pewter, brass & one copper chettle £ 6. Table bords, chests, chairs,
In cyder & ale £ 2. boxes, & other limber stuff £ 1. 15s.
In cash & brewery vessels £ 1. 2s 6d.
Corne growing & corne in the Mowhay & barn £14. Wool in ricks, in severall Places & other things & other things unseen & unpraised £2. 5s.

Cornish Times, 1883. Letters: History of Launceston, by GMG. Launceston, Jan 4, 1883-
Belle Vue – the former name was half moon. An old lady who was born and died here informed me that the house was an inn with that sign, and kept by an ancestor of hers a century or so since. A corroboration of this name appears in the parish rate books not very long since containing the names of some old cottages near, taken down to make room for the approach of the new Dunheved Road. Imagine pictures the horn of His Majesty’s (George II or III as the case may be) mail too-looing on approaching the place, then the only road out of the town towards Bodmin. The coachman pulling up and letting down a tired traveller who was content with a small hostelry wherein to rest and refresh, and preferring it to the more extensive White Hart. – – -(part letter Saturday, January 13th)
The Half Moon became a Grammar School, the Reverend Richard Cope moving into the building because his other premises were too small. Rev Cope moved to Dublin in 1820 and the school was then run by Mr Nathaniel King. Afterwards the Rev Cope’s son, Edward Leigh, ran the school from 1830 until his death when his widow took charge. The old inn became a dwelling house and (the above letter) Mr George Mitchell Gifford, banker, occupied it for some time. It was then split into smaller units for families and in 1958 was taken down for the Fire Station to be built on the site. Previous to moving into Belle Vue House (below) Mr Cope’s school was situated in the new Westgate Street Terrace.

Belle Vue House, Westgate Street.
Belle Vue House, Westgate Street.

The Little White Hart.
The Little White Hart.

The Little White Hart stood opposite The White Hart, on the corner of (present) Broad Street (then ‘Back Street’) and Western Road in what was called ‘Star Cross.’

Public House To Let By Tender:- THE LITTLE WHITE HART, tenant, Mr Thomas Hutchins – 1860.
1871 Sales: Little White Hart, tenant Jno Ching, containing Bar, Bar-Parlour, Tap-Room, Kitchen, Pantry, 10 Bedrooms, and Underground Cellar, with Coal House, and Stable for 8 horses, with Loft over.

In 1872 at the Little White Hart, Back Street, was John Eggins, 38, lic vict., of Werrington and his wife Elizabeth 36, while Mr William Cudlipp, 64, Inn Keeper and Rate Collector was in High Street with his family of wife Emma H 39, Emma 32, Annie 11, Tom 10, Minnie 2 and Flora ‘under 1 month’.

January 7th, 1893: Launceston Borough Sessions: An application by Mr W Pethick for the Transfer of License held by Mr Arthur Pethick to him, of the Little White Hart was granted.
March 11th, 1893. Launceston Borough Sessions: Sunday Drinking and Annoying the Salvation Army. On Monday, before the Mayor [Mr Kittow], the Justice [Mr Treleaven], Dr Andrew, and Mr Procter – Frederick Pethick, of St Stephens, was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Tower Street, on the 9th of February. PC Rowe proved the case, that defendant was in the Salvation Army Barracks whilst the Sunday afternoon service was onward, causing a disturbance. The Mayor said the defendant had pleaded guilty to an offence which was considerably aggravated by its being committed on Sunday, and by his making a disturbance in the Salvation Army Barracks. It was a great pity that a young man like him should appear before them for the second time. Sunday drinking certainly ought to be put down, and something very certainly would be done in that direction, if it was not stopped altogether. They would fine him 10s., and 6s. 6d., Costs.

May 13th, 1893 (Post & news): Mrs Pethick, wife of Mr Pethick, The Little White Hart, Launceston, met with a severe carriage accident at Tresmeer Station on Monday. A locomotive approached and the horses became restive. Mrs Pethick endeavoured to stop them from bolting and was thrown to the ground. She was brought to Launceston by rail and placed in the care of Dr Andrews, who reports that she is progressing favourably.

The landlord of the Little White Hart was Mr Arthur Petherick (sic), until 1897 when Mr William Henry Pethick is shown; in 1902 he is recorded as landlord of the King’s Arms Hotel in Southgate Street, up to 1910, and Mrs Emma Pethick is the licensee in 1923
The Little White Hart was sadly out of profitable repair by 1900 and landlord Pethick did not renew the license (he moved to Southgate Street), but sold the building and site to Mr Dunn, who then had his bakery, grocery and confectionery business across the road (in 2002: Mr Warren’s butchers shop), and engaged Mr Otho B Peter to draw up plans for a new, modern bakery and grocer’s shop to fill the area. Mr James Broad, builder, was contracted to erect the edifice, which became known as ‘East Cornwall Stores’ (below left).

dunns   broad-street-launceston-2014

The Railway Inn.
The Railway began its life as ‘The Bridge Inn’, but changed its name with the arrival of the Railway in 1865. Unfortunately this is another that has closed. By 1871 it was called The Railway Hotel, St Thomas Road.
Werrington Estate sales catalogue for 1871: Cat No. 760. Tenant William Bounsall. 2 Houses in St Thomas’ Hill, Stone & Slate, 4 Rooms each & Gardens. Rent 15/-.
Cat No. 761. Tenant Henry Hender. The Railway Inn, a neat Public House on St Thomas’ Hill, Stone & Slate, containing Bar, Tap Room, Parlour, Kitchen, 4 Bed Rooms, and 2 Cellars; Yard & 3 Cottages adjoining, Stone & Slate, in Quarry Well Lane. Rent 12/-.
Cat No. 766a. Tenant Jno Peardon. Blacksmith’s Shop, & Garden. Rent £5.

Post & News, January 10, 1874 – An old-age pensioner, named John Bath, was sitting in the kitchen of the RAILWAY INN, St Thomas, on Saturday evening, between eight and nine o’clock partaking of supper, which he remarked was enough for both, when he was suddenly seized with sickness and within a few minutes breathed his last.

C & D Post, March 1st, 1884:- TO BUILDERS – persons desirous of Tendering for Building NEW Stables, Carriage-House, &c., and for various Additions and Repairs at the RAILWAY HOTEL & Premises, Launceston, can inspect the Drawings, Specifications, & Conditions at the office of the undersigned to whom sealed tenders endorsed ‘Railway Hotel’, must be sent on or before March 7th.
Wise & Wise, architects. Launceston, February 20th, 1884.

the-railway-inn-launceston    the-railway-inn-st-thomas-road-launceston

1878: TEMPERANCE PUBLIC HOUSE: The “Castle Arms,” Coffee Tavern & Reading Room, near the Railway Station, is now open. Coffee, Cocoa, Tea, Aerated Waters, to be had at any hour, and at Low Prices. Luncheons Supplied. Picnic Parties Accommodated. Bagatelle – Chess – Books – Papers.

Post & Weekly News 31 January, 1880: TO BE LET from Lady Day next: The HOUSE & SHOP, known as the ‘COFFEE TAVERN’, situate near the entrance to the Railway. These Premises are adapted for the carrying on of any Business being in a leading thoroughfare. For further particulars apply to: Mr James Treleaven, Broad Street.

The White Horse Inn.

the-white-horse-inn-launceston    the-white-horse-inn-newport-launceston-2014

The house was originally a farmhouse built around the end of the 17th century or beginning of the 18th. It was first granted a licence to sell alcohol in 1714. This coincided with the beginning of the Hanoverian dynasty, and it’s probably the reason for the adoption of the White Horse as the sign. In 1861, the Duke of Northumberland purchased the site of the White Horse Inn, then either erecting or improving the Inn. The Inn was kept by the Burt family during most of the nineteenth century when the family was in the saddlery business.

(Werrington sale of 1871) – The White Horse Public House: Mr Charles Nations Burt tenant; of substantial construction, Stone & Slate, containing Parlour, Taproom, Bar, Bar Parlour, Kitchen, Dairy and 6 Bedrooms, with Warehouse & Room over, and Brewhouse. Stabling for 11 Horses, with Lofts over, Chaise House and Cart Shed, Stones and Thatch, and Yard.
Post & News, 19 December, 1887: Launceston Board of Health meeting of Monday, Mr J Hutchins, chairman. It was agreed to buy a piece of land – 24 feet, near the White Horse Inn, and the property of Mr George Burt, at 30s., for the purpose of a footway.

1901 Census returns show Mr George Burt as the landlord. George was the eldest son of Charles Nations, and was described as ‘saddler, ironmonger, wood dealer, and innkeeper,’ when he was 64 years of age.
Mr George Burt, Newport, died aged 77 years, in 1915.
The White Horse was one of the last pubs in England to bottle Guinness, which was supplied in casks directly from Dublin until 1967.
1919, 1923 and 1930 records show Walter Longman, White Horse, innkeeper & assessor of Taxes for St Stephens, and Poor Rates collector.
1938 records show Longman, E, White Horse Hotel, The Square, Newport, as also does the 1956/7 directory
Avid collector of photographs of local interest, popular landlord of the White Horse, Newport at the end of the twentieth century, was Nick Hairs, who decorated much of the old Inn with scenes of the town and many local bridges etc., to the delight and interest of his many customers.
Mr Hairs relinquished his stewardship of this ancient hostelry in 1998/9 and it was then taken by local entrepreneur Mr Mike Howard and wife Viv, who set to to give the old place a 21st century make-over, converting outhouses into a function room – with seating and viewing area above – adding new kitchens to the sustenance facilities and brightening up the bar areas; added to this the whole outer fabric had a face-lift.
Mr Howard, a builder by trade, engaged local architect Mr Alan Frostrick to enact the required designs and Mr Howard and his employees did all the necessary work to the premises. Some of Mr Hairs photographs are still on show in various rooms.

The Northumberland Arms.


1751 – Sampson Masters, Northumberland Arms, St Stephens.
In 1827 – Robert Burt, Northumberland Arms; in July he organised a ‘Grand Wrestling Match’ and gave prizes of £20., £10., £5., and Two and half guineas.
In 1871, upon the bankruptcy of Mr William Wentworth Fitz-William Dick, of Wicklow, cotton merchant, many parts of the Werrington Estate were offered for sale, including property opposite the church at St Stephens –
Cat No. 302: Tenant Elizabeth Burt: The Northumberland Arms Public House; of recent erection, substantially built of Stone & Slate, containing Bar, Bar Parlour, Tap Room, Two Parlours, Larder, Two Dairies, Kitchen; on the 1st floor a large Club Room extending over the entire area of the Building; and on the 2nd floor Four Bedrooms, Lumber Room & Water Closet; with good Underground Wine & Beer Cellars, together with Stabling for Four Horses, Chaise House & Cart Shed; Piggery, Brew House, & Coal House, well built of Stone, Slated. 1 rood 16 perches.
Along with this came a cattle shed, gardens and meadows
Colonel James Henry Deakin, of Abbey Field, Sandbach, Cheshire, another cotton merchant, bought up Werrington Estate in 1872 this presumably included the St Stephens properties previously offered for sale by the executors of Mr Dick. When Col. Deakin died in 1881 his executors split up the estate into smaller lots, the northern portion being bought by JC Williams, esq, of Caerhayes Castle, in 1882.
[Post & Weekly News advertisement]: TO BE LET by TENDER from LADY DAY 1884 at aYEARLY TENANCY, all that Old Established and Commodious Inn called NORTHUMBERLAND ARMS, situate at St Stephens Village by Launceston, now in the Occupation of Mr Henry Lillicrapp.
Comprising:- convenient Gardens, Yards, Brew-house, Stable, Coach-House, Cow Shed, and Piggery, to which will be added about 5 acres of rich Pasture and Dairy land. Any additional Building accommodation will be provided.
For Conditions of Letting apply to Mr T Brighton, Werrington Park, and for any further particulars to Mr A Pryor, jun., Burncoose, Perranaworthal, Cornwall; to whom Tenders stating the Rent which will be given, to be sent on or before the 13th day of June, next.
The highest Tender will not necessarily be accepted. Dated 8th May, 1883.
Post & News, 4 Jan 1896: Northumberland Arms, St Stephens: A Pigeon Shooting Match will be held at the above on January 6th, when the following prizes will be offered: First – One pound Five shillings. Second – Fifteen shillings. Third – Ten shillings. Fourth – Five shillings. Clay pigeons will be used. Shooting to commence at 1 o’clock. An Ordinary will be provided. W. Burford.
At the Launceston Petty Sessions, before Mr Justice T B Hender, on Monday 1st January, 1906, Mr William Burford of the Northumberland Arms, St Stephens, was charged under the Food & Drugs Act with selling adulterated gin, on November 23rd, last. Defendant pleaded guilty. Superintendent Webber stated that on the day in question he obtained a sample of gin for analysis, Mrs Burford served him. The result of the analysis was that it was 40.29 below proof, or 5.29 under the standard. The Chairman said this was defendant’s first offence, and he hoped it would the last. A fine of 10s. and costs, £1 : 6 : 6d in all, was imposed.
Some years later Mrs Williams, Werrington Park, bought the house and relinquished the licence:
“To Be Let from Lady Day 1916: Northumberland House – containing Drawing Room, Dining Room, Two Sitting Rooms, Seven Bedrooms, Bath [H & C water], Water Closet, Kitchen, and Other Offices: 14 acres 3 roods 28 poles of Pasture Land, with the necessary outbuildings, now in the occupation of Mr William Burford.”
[Post & Weekly News, Feb, 1916.]

Other Pubs.
Bishop Blaze Inn in Tower Street,New Inn in Church Street was known by many names in its life; ‘The Castle,’‘The Market Close,’ ( because the cattle used to be sold in the street outside) and ‘The Shindy Arms’. ‘The White Lion’ was near the National School and another was ‘The Horse Dealers’ but its location is not known. Then there was ‘The Three Cranes’ in Church Street, ‘The Seven Stars’ in Southgate Place and ‘The Freemasons’ in Race Hill.In what was called Fore Street and later to be renamed Duke Street at St. Stephens there was the ‘Fifteen Balls Inn.’


Visits: 534