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Inns and Public Houses

The Bell – The Bishop LacyThe Clifford ArmsThe Courtenay ArmsThe Old Coaching HouseThe Exeter InnThe George InnThe Globe InnThe Highwayman's Haunt InnThe Kings ArmsThe Kings HeadThe Lion InnThe Maltsters InnThe New InnThe PhoenixThe Plymouth InnThe Ship InnThe White Hart


Pictorial inn signs have existed for centuries, to assist those who were illiterate, but it was Richard II (1367–1400) who introduced legislation compelling public houses in London to display a sign 'otherwise he shall forfeit his ale'. His emblem (a white hart) became synonymous with public houses during his reign and became almost the generic name for inns. Much later in 1751, a law was passed stating that every public house must have an approved name registered 'At the sign of..'..

Rules governing the right to trade in alcoholic drinks has a lengthy prehistory and regulations exist going back to the Saxon period. However, it was a measure of 1552 requiring 'common Alehouses and other Houses called Tippling Houses' to be licensed by the justices of the peace that is considered to be the first licensing act. The name tippling house has long fallen out of use but it is from that name the word 'tipple', originally to have a strong drink, came about.

It was not long before licensing was extended to inns as the sale of beer was an essential part of their hospitality function, providing as they did food, drink and accommodation to travellers. The justices were then controlling the two main types of drinking houses, ale houses and inns, leaving the licensing of taverns – which specialised in the sale of wine – to the Crown. The consumption of gin in the early part of the eighteenth century became a widespread problem and those houses selling spirits came under the local justices from the mid 1700s. The licensing of taverns moved from the Crown to justices in 1792. Over the course of the eighteenth century the term public house came to be used for all types of drinking place with their original distinctions becoming less clear.

An application for license to the justice was made once a year and new applicants had to provide a certificate, signed by the local clergyman, the majority of the churchwardens and overseers to show that they were 'of Good Fame and of sober Life and Conversation'.

So what was the earliest inn at Chudleigh? At the time of writing (May 2010) the earliest reference to any named of them is in 1730: The Kings Arms with proprietor Philip Frost. In 1780 the Plymouth Inn and the Exeter Inn are first mentioned. In 1785 is recorded The George Inn, this was in Mill Lane (later Clifford Street) and became the Kings Arms about 1816. In 1789 The New Inn is first mentioned, a name that disappears in 1830. In 1795 is the first reference to The Clifford Arms. The Red Lion appeared by 1806 (renamed The Lion Inn c1837), The Maltsters Arms first appeared in 1830 and was renamed The Globe in 1835.

Chudleigh stood on the high road to Plymouth and so it made sense to locate the inns along the main thoroughfare. This was certainly the case in Chudleigh with the only exception being The George Inn, just down a side street.

We know that until 1822 the main road from Plymouth to Exeter passed up what is now Old Exeter Street. At the present site of the Town Hall was formerly The Kings Arms and further up the street another inn. If we assume the Plymouth Inn was on the road to Plymouth then it is reasonable to assume that the other inn in Exeter Way, as it was termed in those days would have been The Exeter Inn. What confuses the issue slightly is that in 1830 was an inn in Exeter Way but called The New Inn (the house name Newinnton Lodge derives from that name). However, by 1838 the Exeter Inn was in Culver Street just above Culver House. The explanation for this might be that originally there were three inns in Exeter Way, The Kings Arms, The Exeter Inn and The New Inn. When the original road out of the town via Heathfieldlake Hill was dis-turnpiked the Exeter Inn relocated to Culver Street which from 1822 was the main way out of Chudleigh over Haldon toward Exeter.

To establish which inns existed at the time of the Great Fire of 1807, the Land Tax returns have been consulted, although there is still some work to be done in finalising detail of all of the inns. Anthony Crockett in his The Great Fire of Chudleigh (1994) only concentrates on The Kings Arms and Clifford Arms (the latter stated as being a small ale house when it appears that it and The Kings Arms were the two principal inns according to a 1798 directory). Mary Jones in her History of Chudleigh (1852) a strict teetotaller, mentions none of them by name in her account of the fire. The list of subsequent claimants has seven persons described as innkeepers but there were other claimants who described themselves by their principal occupation even though they owned inns, William Burnell, yeoman – of The George Inn – was one; the other, William Wright, maltser – of The Plymouth Inn and The White Hart.

The seven persons who made claims for losses and who described themselves as innkeepers were:

John WestonClifford Arms
Richard RoseKings Arms
William DodgeNew Inn
Andrew WrightPlymouth Inn
Joseph AvantRed Lion
John TuckettShip Inn
Ann FloodWhite Hart


The Bell

In providing for the poor, the parish would often be bequeathed property. In turn that property would be let to tenants and the income would then be used to support the poor. By 1638 a property by the name of The Bell was in ownership of the parish. The whole property, located in Exeter Way (now New Exeter Street) comprised in total four small dwellings, tan yard and garden.

The use of the name Bell is unusual and may point to the fact that one of these dwellings was once an inn. The Bell is mentioned a few times down through the years but only as residential/commercial property. If it were an inn it would have been so at an early period and cetainly prior to 1638.

The parish undertook a sale by auction of much of its property in 1878 and The Bell and its adjoining tan yard (said to contain 4,500 feet of space), cottages and gardens were together sold in two lots. A total of £679 was realised from the sale which was then invested by the Charity Governors in Consols.

As an aside one of the cottages had most recently, prior to the sale, been in use as The Chudleigh Library and Reading Rooms.


The Bishop Lacy

Located in Fore Street, on the west side opposite the church in what was also referred to at one time as Church Hill.

The inn dates to at least 1730 but could be much older based on architectural evidence. It has been suggested that an inn on the site was mentioned as early as 1158 and had connections with the Bishop's Palace (See Plymouth Inn entry for more detail). It is a Grade II listed building.

Formerly the Plymouth Inn, the name was changed in October 1956 when in the ownership of Messrs Norman and Pring of Exeter. The change was at the suggestion of a customer, Mr T J Sturm to the then landlord, Mr Ernest John Perring who had been there since 1951. Mr Perring left by 1963 to be followed by Jimmy Reid (or Reeves).

The Bishop Lacy and other premises on Church Hill, photographed in 1960

By 1968/69 the landlord was Howard 'H' Radford, previously a goalkeeper for Bristol Rovers (seasons 1951–1962) he having retired from the sport through injury. 'H' – soon bringing his athletic skills to bear – subsequently played a major part at the Chudleigh Cricket Club. Initially as a wicket-keeper/batsman then captain 1974/76 and vice-captain in the following year. A committee member from 1969 to the late eighties he returned again in 1994 to act as wicket-keeping coach before returning to the committee. In 2003 he took on the role of club captain once again.

In 1994 following retirement of Howard Radford, the landlord at the Bishop Lacy for a short period was Kenneth Hobley. The current owners are Robin and Wendy Bishop who followed Mr Hobley in 1995.

A view of the Bishop Lacy not often seen – this one taken from the church tower in June 2010


The Clifford Arms

The name was used in honour of the lord of the manor, the Clifford family of Ugbrooke. It was formerly (until 1807) and again since 1817, located in Fore Street (east side) and renamed as The Old Coaching House in November 1971, becoming the Phoenix in 2014.

From old records found following the death of Arthur Holcombe (newspaper publisher) in 1955 concerning the inn we learn that the hotel was a famous coaching house before the railways came into fashion. The 'Quicksilver' and other mails, as well as numerous stagecoaches used to change horses here daily. The 'Quicksilver' was renowned for the number of horses having the ill-luck to be harnessed to it and being driven to death.

The first reference to Clifford Arms found to date was in 1793. An item in the EFP dated 19 September 1793 mentions John Weston keeping the Clifford's Arms where he was listed as a supporter of William Sarell's 'Plan for the Prosecuting of Felons'. John Weston, the tenant proprietor under the sign of the Clifford Arms had for many years prior to running the inn lived with the Clifford family at Ugbrooke. He and his family had worked in service for the Clifford family and likely explains how the inn's name came about. The sign comprised the Clifford family arms over the motto Semper Paratus ('Always Prepared' or 'Ever Ready').

The Clifford Arms, one of the 'Six Views' painted by Hendrik de Cort in 1798

The documents held by Mr Holcombe also reveal names of a number of illustrious visitors to the inn, in chronological order these were given as:
Marie Therese-Charlotte de France, Duchess of Angouleme (1778–1851). She stayed at the hotel sometime following her exile from France in 1795.
Two exiled brothers of Napoleon Bonaparte. Probably came to the inn sometime following 1806.
Duke of Clarence (1765–1837). Originally called The Sailor Prince he came to the inn in the early 1800s. At the time of Mr and Mrs Petherick he returned with his wife (whom he married 11 July 1818) and again as king after 1830 (William the Fourth), and with his wife, then Queen Adelaide. The ballroom at the hotel was named 'The Clarence' after him.
William Beauclerk, 6th Duke of St Albans (1801–1849) stayed with his wife, formerly Miss Harriet Mellon (1777–1837) whom he had married in 1827. She was formerly the wife of banker Thomas Coutts (died 1816).
Angela Georgina 1st Baroness Burdett-Coutts (1814–1906) granddaughter of Thomas Coutts stayed some fifty years later with the first white Rajah of Sarawak, Sir James Brooke (1803–1868) who had acceded to that title in 1848. He was buried at Sheepstor, Dartmoor in 1868.

After the fire John Weston moved to a property that stood approximately on the site of what is now Western House and operated his business, still under the Clifford Arms sign until 1817. The 1808 Land Tax return showed that he was residing in what was described as 'late Bond's House' (this would have been schoolmaster, William Bond). The year prior he was also listed for owning fields nearby in the old way, Great Hill, St Albans and Winsors Meadow. From West End he moved back to his original Fore Street location in 1817 taking his Clifford Arms sign with him. After the bankruptcy of Richard Rose in early 1815 the King's Arms had been run by John's son William Weston who had come back to the town having spent some years in Dorset. With his father John back in Fore Street William took the King's Arms sign to Clifford Street and ran the business there under that name until 1819. At Fore Street, John Weston with the Clifford Arms sign remained as tenant of the owner, Robert Cartwright.

John Weston stayed at Fore Street until March 1827, passing the business on to Mr John Petherick, formerly for twelve years a bookkeeper at The Hotel, Exeter (later called the Royal Clarence Hotel, Cathedral Close and unfortunately destroyed by fire in December 2016). The 1832 Electoral Roll has John Petherick's name holding freehold tenements in both the main street and Exeter Street.

John Weston, subsequently described as a mail contractor was declared bankrupt on 25 March 1828. He lived a further four years and died in October 1832 aged 72. He was buried in the churchyard (his obituary in the EFP gave his age as 66 years). Mr John Petherick was to remain until c1849. Ownership of the building had changed to John Cartwright from Robert Cartwright by 1838.

Miss Hannah Cartwright took over the tenancy from John Petherick and ran the establishment until her retirement in about 1894. She then moved to live in Clifford Street where she died on 22 February 1902. She is buried in Chudleigh Cemetery with her brother William who had died in October 1890.

Mary Jones in her second edition (1875) wrote:

'The Clifford Arms, for many years prior to the opening of the South Devon Railway kept by Mr, Petherick in the best possible style, is still open and occupied by its proprietor Mr. Cartwright. Here families may obtain board and lodging on a large scale, and the apartments of this spacious house are most commodious and convenient.'

Mr Alfred Milton was the proprietor in 1895/1896. In the winter of 1895 he operated a horse-drawn bus from the inn to the railway station at a fare of 6d, in 1897 the driver of which was a John Cornish. In the April of 1896 it was reported that a double tennis court was shortly to be provided at Mr Milton's Clifford Arms Hotel. Newspaper advertisements of that period advised that the hotel had undergone refurnishing, was newly decorated and was under new management. The hotel was provided with 'every accommodation for families and tourists' and had 'Moderate tariffs'. The famous fairy Glen and Chudleigh Rocks were only five minutes walk away.

However, Mr Milton did not stay long and in March 1897 it was reported that a Miss I Welch was then the manageress. In the May of the same year the MDA reported that Mr and Mrs Frank Heyward had 'arrived home' and were to 'conduct the Clifford Arms Hotel'. Their arrival in the town was marked by a merry peal on the church bells. The 1901 census shows that Henry Heyward (aged 39) was originally of North Bovey. They left the hotel by 1905.

Subsequent landlords:

1906Philip Lewis Taylor (He had moved here from The Ship Hotel, having been the landlord there since 1900)
1923Francis N L Niall
1930Norman Clegg (bankrupt 1931)
1934A H Lea
1935Mrs D Coleby
1939Bert William Hands
1940Stanley & Rachel Heald (see below)
1942James Eric Budd
1946Seth Bernard Michael (previously of Liverpool)
1948Mr and Mrs George
1955Mrs Agnes Stuart George
1956Percy Owen Clarke (previously of Royston and Bishops Nympton)
1958Mrs M O Clarke

In 1906 the trade directory stated 'good accommodation for cricketers, headquarters for the Great Western Railway motor 'buses from Paignton'.

The Clifford Arms photographed in 1906 at the time of P L Tylor (sic)

A few years later the advertisements proclaimed 'hotel, commercial and family; buses meet all trains; posting in all its branches; motor garage; open and closed cars on hire'.

In 1923 F N L Niall was the proprietor and the directory advertisement ran 'RAC, AA. Also King's Arms, Godalming, Surrey'.

The 1930 directory was the first to list the telephone number which was '12'. Nine years later it had been changed to '212211'.

From the Chudleigh War Dead book and CWGC we know that Stanley and Rachel Heald came to Chudleigh and purchased the Clifford Arms in early 1940, having come from Georgetown, British Guiana. Their son, Philip Anthony Heald was based at Dawlish at the time (from 26 June 1940) and perhaps they wished to be close by. Philip died in a motorcycle accident in Dorset on 20 November 1940 and was interred in Chudleigh Cemetery where he has a gravestone. It would appear his parents returned to Guiana shortly afterward. Their second son, Stanley lost his life at Anzio on 23 February 1944 and a marker to him was placed on his brother's grave at Chudleigh. The grave is located at the top right corner of the main cemetery.

Purchased in 1971 by Mr Des Minikin, originally of Yorkshire but most recently a publican in Paignton where he owned The Grosvenor, he had previously spent time at Plymouth where he had run the Ship's Tavern and the King's Head. He spent £100,000 on refurbishments and changed the name to The Old Coaching House. He moved on less than twelve months later selling the business in August 1972.

In December 2011 a fire ravaged the roof and upper floor of the building. After extensive renovation, the business re-opened in February 2014 as a 'gastro-pub' known as The Phoenix.


The Courtenay Arms

After the 1807 fire John Weston moved from Fore Street (Clifford Arms) to the site that is now occupied by Western House. There was a suggestion that his relocated coaching house was called Courtenay Arms although this is likely incorrect and the name remained as The Clifford Arms.

Weston was at that location until 1814 when he moved back to his original pre-fire location. The West End site was advertised for sale in 1822, still in Weston's name at that time. John Weston died in 1832 and is buried in the churchyard.


The Old Coaching House

In Fore Street (east side) is the former Clifford Arms Hotel. The name was changed to The Old Coaching House in November 1971 by the then purchaser Des Minikin. Originally from Yorkshire he had come to Chudleigh from Plymouth where he had run the Ships Tavern and the Kings Head. Prior to those premises he had held the Grosvenor at Paignton. The business was sold by him in August 1972 after spending £100,000 on refurbishments.

Brother and sister Jim and Margaret Hourahane were the purchasers who opened for business on 4 October 1972, they were formerly of Salcombe, South Devon. Sometime after 1977 the premises were purchased by Michael Footitt. In 1985 Simon and Liz Wrench-Buck in partnership with John Brain took over. They were replaced in 1989 by Linmar Hotel and Leisure Limited. In 2008 the public house was acquired by Kelly and Coleen Townsend.

The Old Coaching House photographed in 2009.
Compare this view with the one above taken 100 years earlier

Brother and sister Jim and Margaret Hourahane were the purchasers who opened for business on 4 October 1972, they were formerly of Salcombe, South Devon. The proprietor at this time was Mr Kenneth Ashworth. Sometime after 1977 the premises were purchased by Michael Footitt. In 1985 Simon and Liz Wrench-Buck in partnership with John Brain took over. They were replaced in 1989 by Linmar Hotel and Leisure Limited.

In 1999 the public house was acquired by Kelly and Coleen Townsend. Within ten years an application submitted to demolish the modern extensions to the rear and in their place build four houses. As for the lodgings on the upper floors of the main building, the plan was to convert them to apartments and the public house itself to become a licensed restaurant. Initially there was much resistance locally and many meetings were held at the Town Hall. Eventually in October 2010 the revised plans were accepted by the council even though there were still some objections from near neighbours.

On the night of Wednesday 13 December 2011 a fire broke out in one of the third floor rooms, it quickly spread to the whole of the top floor. From the BBC Website Thursday 14 December 2011:

More than 30 firefighters have been called to a fire at a pub in Devon. The blaze started at the Old Coaching House on Fore Street, Chudleigh, at about 22:00 GMT on Wednesday. A hydraulic platform, water bowser and an incident command unit were called to the scene. Crews have been fighting the fire overnight.
At least two floors of the three-storey building, which dates back to 1807, have been damaged, the fire service said. Station Manager Matt Johnson, of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, said: "When we arrived, I could see that the roof was well alight and also starting to spread to the floor below. "The flames were reaching into the sky some 10m (33ft) above the roof." There have been no reports of any injuries.
An investigation was to be carried out into the cause, and a building control officer examined the structure, which at that point had 14 guest rooms, the fire service said. Fore Street was closed in both directions all day on Thursday.

During Friday Fore Street re-opened to traffic with the use of temporary traffic lights. The building had lost its roof and suffered severe damage down to the ground floor. During 2013, extensive building works were undertaken to the main building with some demolition of single-storey extensions to the rear. The business re-opened as a 'gastro-pub' called The Phoenix in February 2014.


The Exeter Inn

The 1838 tithe apportionment shows the inn to be located on the east side of Culver Street (now New Exeter Street), just beyond Culver House. However the name suggests that the inn would have originally stood in the main street to Exeter. If this supposition is correct it would seem that this inn, that dates to at least 1768 (when its proprietor Mrs Bastard left) would have been situated in Exeter Way (now Old Exeter Street). That route, the turnpike to Exeter, became redundant in 1822 when the new route via Culver Street over Haldon to Kennford was opened. If this is the case then The Exeter Inn in Culver Street would have its origin in 1822/23.

The 1780 Land Tax return for Chudleigh has the name Exeter Inn. Joseph Collings was stated as the proprietor with John Stormer as occupier. He remained until July 1786 when he moved to The Seven Stars in Exeter.

Nothing more has yet been discovered from 1786 until the Tithe Apportionment listing of 1838 when the premises were in the ownership and occupation of Thomas Ash.

The premises were advertised for sale in October 1851 when in the occupation of Thomas Flood. The advertisement in the EFP ran as follows:

Well Frequented Inn for sale. To be sold by auction by Mr James Restall on the premises on Thursday the **th day of October 1851, at the hour of four in the afternoon (unless previously disposed of by private contract, and of which due notice will be given). All that well-built dwelling house, situate in Culver Street in the town of Chudleigh called The Exeter Inn.
With roomy yard, cellars, workshops, garden and outbuildings thereto belonging, and the dwelling house and shop adjoining.
The above premises are situate on the turnpike road leading to Exeter, and the Exeter Inn is the only public house in Culver Street aforesaid and an extensive business has lately carried on there. Immediate Possession Can Be Had.
The property offers an eligible opportunity for any one to enter on the trade of an innkeeper or it would form a desirable private house.
To view the premises apply to the auctioneer and for further particulars to Mr Langley, Solicitor, Chudleigh. Dated 14 October 1851.

The comment that it was the only inn in Culver Street is incorrect as a little way down toward the Square was The Lion Inn.

The purchaser is not known but it did not continue as an inn. Its subsequent closure was possibly prompted by the Yarde family who had moved to the adjacent Culver House at about this date and likely did not want to live in close proximity to an inn. They may of course have been the purchasers thus preventing its continuance as an inn.

A house today stands on its site being 11 New Exeter Street and named 'Medlands'.


The George Inn

These premises were located at the top of Mill Lane (now Clifford Street) and today the building continues as residential accommodation. The name was replaced with that of The Kings Arms in about 1815.

There is reference to a Kings Head in the town in 1723 and this appears to have changed to The George Inn not many years afterward.

The Land Tax return for 1785 has the proprietor (owner) as William Burnell and occupier as Thomas Cleave. William Burnell was still proprietor in the 1808 return and the occupier two years earlier was a Mr Efford.

This establishment likely suffered major damage in the fire of May 1807 and a William Burnell (a yeoman) appears in the list of subsequent claimants.

The name was changed to the Kings Arms in 1817. That sign, formerly used in Fore Street was brought to Clifford Street by the then proprietor William Weston, son of John Weston of the Clifford Arms.


The Globe Inn

In Fore Street on the west side, the first name (and of its first existence) was The Maltsters Arms as evidenced in the Land Tax Return of 1830 under William Wright Snr as freehold. The name had changed to The Globe in 1835. William Wright was also owner of the Plymouth Inn from 1808 to at least 1838, The White Hart 1806 to 1826 and The New Inn 1821 to 1829. The Tithe Apportionment of 1838 shows The Globe was still in the ownership of William Wright and occupied by John Hole who had left by 1843. William Wright retained ownership up to his death in 1850. John Hole was replaced by the Snell family c1844 who stayed until 1879.

A detailed sale advertisement featured in the EFP of 3 December 1879:

'The premises contained a large and convenient malthouse, brewhouse, stables, coach houses, blacksmith's shop, skittle alley. Piggery, very productive garden and orchard adjoining. Three-quarters of an acre. Seven good bedrooms, large dining room, commercial and smoking rooms, bar, bar parlour, two kitchens, larder, two storerooms, WC. Capital supply of spring and soft water.'

The local WE reported on 17 December 1879 that the freehold had been purchased by Mr Saunders for £1225.

At the 1881 census date the inn was in the occupation of George Shapley (32), his wife Phoebe (34) and her unmarried brother Rueben Hamlin (27) a labourer. All were originally from Exeter. George Shapley appears in the 1883 town directory but had left during 1887.

By 1888 Robert Brackney Carpenter (born in Bath) was landlord and resident with his wife and six children until c1913. The upper photograph below, taken about 1891, shows the building as having symmetrical front elevation of three-storey with sash windows. This whole front had been replaced by 1900 and reduced to two-storey (lower photo). At the end of 1890 the new substantial drill hall had been completed at the rear and adjoining the premises. As part of this work it may be that the frontage of the hotel was completely rebuilt and restyled in brick.

Photographs of the Globe Hotel and Fore Street in about 1891 (upper) and 1912 (lower)
showing the "before and after" rebuild of around 1900.

In December 1894 the results of the Parish Council elections were published in the MDA. Mr R Carpenter (hotel keeper) a Conservative received 112 votes. At this period the inn was used frequently for annual dinners and other meetings of the various town associations. Another use was the holding of inquests. One such event in April 1895 concerned the death of Mrs Patience Widdicombe of Old Exeter Street who died unexpectedly aged 49 years. Mr Robert Carpenter (the landlord) was chosen as Foreman on that occasion.

Subsequent landlords:

1914James Napper
1923Walter Knight
1926Philip L Taylor
1939Albert George Davis. License granted for one month, he was previously of the Church House Inn, Broadhempston
1939Frederick John Ellerton
1957Denis H Waters
1958William F Howard>

In 1923 the trade directory carried the following: 'Globe Hotel, first-class family and commercial; buses pass door; near famous Chudleigh Rock'.

The Globe is a Heavitree House and has been for some considerable time. The current proprietors are Paul and Pearl Edwards. In early 2010 the premises were painted and a newly designed sign 'The Globe' is now displayed.


The Highwayman's Haunt Inn

Situated just off the Exeter Road a mile north of the town, the Highwayman's Haunt Inn is a relatively new establishment, being converted from a farmhouse known as Rowells in 1957.

Located a mile north of Chudleigh on the Exeter road, a dwelling has stood on this site since Saxon times. Evidence of ancient semi-fortified walls were found to the west of the property which would have enclosed the well at the inns' entrance which was discovered in 1974.

Previously called Row or Rowe Hill (Saxon for 'rough hill') and more recently Rowells when it was two cottages, it was a dwelling of some importance during the 14th century and thought to be part of the Hams estate during the 15th. During the Civi War, it was used as Cronwellian quarters when General Fairfax was at Hams Barton.

The inn's name refers to Chudleigh's Highwayman Jack Witherington. Jack was the youngest of five brothers who were all hanged. Having been a trooper in the Earl of Oxford regiment, he fought two duels with distinction before taking to the high road. He is said to have committed several hold-ups on the Chudleigh to Ashburton road. He was finally captured by the militia at Malmesbury after staging another robbery. He was hanged at Tyburn on 1st April 1691. During the trial it was stated that Jack was given shelter on occasion by a family named Cox who lived at Rowell's Farm, Chudleigh. The forest and moorland of Haldon, through which a main coaching route ran, gave Jack ample opportunity to hold up travellers by coach and on horseback. It is said that he hid in the farmhouse chimney breast to evade his pursuers.

Rowells Farm sometime around 1930

The Highwayman’s Hauntis first briefly mentioned as a restaurant in the MDA on 11 May 1957 – and presumably first opened under the name at about that time – where it states the chef was a Mr Kenneth Sabine Robertson, aged 47. The following year, on 8 February an article reported that Mr Herbert Alan Bluck (sic) [Black] was successful in obtaining a license for his supper hour, for his club that served meals but not drinks. He said the membership of his club totalled 1154 of whom 959 were resident in Devon. The historic importance of the building was recognised at about the same date when it was given Grade II Listed Building status. It was Mr Black that converted the two cottages to a single building. He continued at the restaurant into the 1960s. The restaurant changed to a public house in 1968, reverted again to a restaurant and it today decribed as an inn and restaurant.

Landlords or managers extracted from Voters' Lists and other sources:

1957 (MDA) Herbert Black
1961 (VL) Herbert A and Mary Black
1971 (VL) Ian, Elizabeth and Norman Eason
1981 (VL) no entry
1994 (VL) Edward A and Jennifer V Brownhill
2005 Neil & Julie Elliott and David & Sylvia Bowden
2012 Jacqui Clarke and Gordon Beeson
2015 John Milan and Steve Bellman

A postcard view of the Highwayman's Haunt from about 1975


The Kings Arms

The first reference to a coaching house of this name which originally stood in Exeter Way (on the site of the Town Hall until 1807) was about 1730 with Philip Frost as proprietor. It has been suggested that this building stood on the former site of Cholwich's town house (from which William of Orange is supposed to have addressed the inhabitants of Chudleigh in 1688). There is a reference to The Kings Head in 1723 and this may have been its former name.

William Vicary was the innkeeper in 1761 and was still there in 1763 as confirmed by an advertisement in the EFP in that latter year. John Hayes was proprietor from c1769 to c1783. The Land Tax returns for 1780 and 1783 confirm John Hayes as the occupier with John Pitts the proprietor. In 1790 the EFP reveals the innkeeper as Noah Flood followed by William Paddon in 1792. Richard Rose was occupier from 1793 under owner Mrs Pitts from whom he acquired the freehold in 1800, he was in occupation at the time of the fire of 1807. The building was burnt out and not rebuilt; the site was cleared and used for the new market house.

Richard Rose had married Mary Hubbard at West Teignmouth on 16 March 1791 when in command of a trading vessel and came ashore permanently in 1793 after time on Teignmouth-based brigs named Diana and Elizabeth Clare. His eldest son Richard was born in Teignmouth in 1793 following which he came to Chudleigh. Richard and his wife Mary went on to have a further nine children at Chudleigh, born between the years 1795 and 1813. Following the fire of 22 May 1807 he retained the Kings Arms name and took it to the former Clifford Arms site (east side of Fore Street) having spent some months in Exeter Way (now Old Exeter Street) in premises belonging to attorney Mr Christopher Hellyer.

Richard Rose was made bankrupt in 1815 and moved from Fore Street to the area of Chudleigh called West End. From the Land Tax returns (1818/1820) it shows that he occupied the house later known as 'Old Fairfield'. The following appeared in the London Gazette of 27 April 1819:

'By order of the Court for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors:
The petition of Richard Rose, late of Chudleigh, in the County of Devon, Innkeeper, but now a prisoner for debt confined in His Majesty's Gaol of Saint Thomas the Apostle, in the County of Devon.'

The EFP of 29 April 1819 carried a large item concerning:

'The Petitions of William Weston, formerly of Dorchester, and late of Chideock, both in the County of Dorset, Dancing-Master; and Richard Rose, late of Chudleigh, innkeeper, but now prisoners for debt confined in his Majesty's Gaol of St. Thomas the Apostle, will be heard at the Castle of Exeter on Friday the 21st day of May next.'

Richard's incarceration at the debtors prison in Cowick Street, St Thomas, Exeter appears not to have been lengthy, as EFP of 30 October 1823 reported that he had been appointed under-keeper of the Gaol and House of Correction in this county (New North Road, Exeter). During his time there (1837) he received the sad news that his son Richard had died in a fire at a lead merchants warehouse in Southampton, aged 37 years. He continued working at the gaol as governor until his death, aged 77 in 1841. EFP recorded that his death (28 February) took place during divine service at St David's Church. He was buried in St David's Churchyard on 6 March, the register entry showed his abode as County Bridewell. His wife Mary was matron at the gaol and three of his unmarried daughters were also employed there. At the 1841 Census date Mary, her three daughters and son, Edward Hubbard Rose are shown as living in quarters at the gaol. Edward was at that time deputy governor. By 1861 he had taken the governor postion, a role he held until retirement, he lived his final years in Richmond Road and died in 1888 aged 80. He has a gravestone in the north part of St David's Churchyard. Mary Rose, Richard's widow had died in 1848 aged 77 and was buried with her husband in the south part of St David's churchyard where a stone still marks their grave.

The Kings Arms name moved from Fore Street to Clifford Street (north side) in 1817 to premises that had previously housed 'The George Inn'. The King's Arms had, since 1815 been run by William Weston, originally of Chudleigh but latterly of Dorset. It was he in 1817 that moved the sign from Fore Street to Clifford Street.

On 18 February 1819 the EFP reported the sale of seven dwelling-houses close to and adjoining the Kings Arms, three of which newly built and called the College. The Kings Arms at that date was kept by Mr Jonathan Bowden. The former proprietor, William Weston left Chudleigh in about 1822, initially to Exeter and then on to London.

In 1822 William Potter was in residence at The King's Arms with his wife Harriet and at the baptism of their son William in that year he was described in the register as Alehouse Keeper. The 1830 town directory shows that by then he had been replaced by John Board. In 1838 the inn was in the ownership of John Rodgers with George Strowbridge as landlord.

Known landlords:

1822William Potter
1824Willian & Elizabeth Gidley
1827John Board
1838George Strowbridge
1861Miss Elizabeth Truman
1870William Truman
1881Mrs Elizabeth Truman
1891William Truman (died 22 March 1895)
1894In December the MDA published the results of the first Parish Council elections; W Truman (innkeeper) Labour, received 100 votes.
1901there is no entry in the census suggesting thar the premises were unoccupied.
1902William Riddler. Moved here from the White Hart sometime following 1901 census, at that point aged 43
1906John James Donhou
1907James Barry O'Callaghan
1910Fred Paddon
1914William George Billingshurst
1919Thomas Gilpin
1923William Yeandle
1929Frederick William Johnson (died 1930, aged 32)
1930Mrs Rosina Ann Johnson

A Tavern Token from the Kings Arms Hotel (from the O'Callaghan name, dating to 1906/7)
found recently in the grounds of the former Culver House.
Tokens of this type were issued from the early 1840s to early 1920s.
This token was kindly donated to the CHG by Mr P Curtis, 30 Fore Street, Chudleigh in March 2011.

The CHG has been contacted (January 2012) by Jean Crampton of Alanya, Turkey to say that the "O'Callaghan" named on the token was James Barry O'Callaghan (1863–1918) her great-grand uncle who seems to have been at the King's Arms in the 1906–07 period. It is possible that the J G Donhou there in 1906 was a friend or perhaps they had shared a common military background. James' wife Bessie died in late 1907, aged 41 and this may have prompted his move away to St. Thomas, Exeter where he was to remarry in 1911. Bessie was buried at Higher Cemetery, Exeter 9 October 1907 and James on 16 November 1918.

The public house under the Kings Arms name remained until closure in 1941/42. The publican at that time, Mrs Rosina Ann Johnson continued to live at the premises (as a private dwelling) until her death on 10 February 1971.

Mrs Johnson outside the premises in about 1940

In 1994 (Electoral Roll) three persons were listed at the house, Mary C Johnson-King, Thomas T Kyffin and Susanna B Smith. Today the house (called Wemyer) is the home of the parish church verger.


The Kings Head

There is a notice that an oath was signed by a number of inhabitants at the Kings Head, Chudleigh on 21 August 1723. There have been no other references found to this name and it is thought that the name was revised to the Kings Arms by 1730.


The Lion Inn

Formerly called The Red Lion the name continues to be one of the most popular public house names in the country (over 600 in 2007, only outnumbered by 'The Crown'). Wikipedia says: 'the lion is one of the most common charges in coats of arms, second only to the cross, and thus the Red Lion a a pub sign probably has multiple origins: in the arms or crest of a local landowner, now perhaps forgotten'. This last comment is particularly relevant as the coat of arms of the Chudleigh family of Ashton contained three red lions rampant and so it may be assumed that the name derived from that family.

Elsewhere it is suggested that its origin lies in the 14th century potentate John of Gaunt, on whose coat of arms it appeared. He was the Duke of Lancaster and son of Edward III. By the time of his death in 1399, John of Gaunt had become the most powerful man in the land. Its use became widespread when James VI of Scotland agreed to be King of England as well. He was said to have subsequently decreed that the Red Lion (also on his coat of arms) be displayed throughout England. Its use implied that the Scots were in charge and many innkeepers thought it wise to humour him, and the sign of the Red Lion appeared outside taverns the length and breadth of the country. Some authorities dispute the John of Gaunt and Richard theories and in Chudleigh it would make more sense that the device referred to the local family of the same name.

In Chudleigh, the public house was located on the west side of Culver Street (later numbered 27 New Exeter Street) and stood almost opposite the Clifford Street junction although in trade directories it was referred to as 'The Square'. The premises formed part of an unbroken line of three storey buildings that curved around from Culver Street into Old Exeter Street the southernmost part of the curve overlooking the obelisk. The public house and five of the eight buildings adjoining it were demolished in 1962 and the open space turned into a (private) garden. The other three in Culver Street (no's 28, 29 and 30) had been pulled down following the Housing Act of 1935. Following that act local councils reviewed properties that were overcrowded or insanitary and issued clearance orders on the landlords as required who either had to carry out the necessary works or have the buildings demolished.

The earliest mention of an inn with the name Red Lion in the town is the Land Tax assessment of 1806. John Tuckett was the owner until 1807 with John Avant as the innkeeper. He likely disposed of it due to fire damage. The EFP of 8 September 1808 has the inn for sale which stated that the premises also comprised a brewhouse, stables and other outhouses. It went on to say that the inn was 'well-known' suggesting it had existed for a number of years by that date.

In 1808 a Mr Ware was owner with a J. Chant as occupier. John Floud was then proprietor until about 1837. In the baptism register there are four children baptised to him and his wife Mary in the period 1814–1821 where he was described as Alehouse Keeper. At the 1841 census date he was residing at Farley Mill, located alongside the River Teign, he had been a maltster there since at least 1823. James Wills and another were the occupiers at the Tithe Apportionment in 1838 and the name from then on until closure was The Lion Inn. The owners being William Saunders and John Mortimore. The 1838 town directory shows the proprietor to be John Wills. John Wills was not a native of Chudleigh but his wife Mary was. She was a daughter of George Wills of Waddon.

On 23 January 1840 the EFP carried a notice that The Fee Simple and Inheritance of the Red Lion otherwise the Lion Inn was to be sold at auction on the premises on 20 February 1840. The notice further stated that the inn was admirably situated in the centre of the town at the junction of the principal streets, directly opposite the Market having front and side entrances and extensive buildings, brew houses and butchers shop adjoining the said inn and now occupied by Mr Stephen Truman. To view the premises application was to be made to the tenants Mr Wills and Mr Truman.

John and Mary Wills were still in occupation at the 1841 Census date but had emigrated to Ontario, Canada within a few years where John worked as a stage coach driver. They removed to Ohio in the 1850s where he engaged in farming.

Subsequent landlords:

1844Thomas Martin (retired late 1860s, died 1873)
1870John Cornish, the son-in-law of Thomas Martin (departed to the White Hart in April 1875)
1875John Newman Green. Born in Gloucestershire in 1825. He and his family had come to Chudleigh from Torquay in 1869
census (at the inn) describes John Green as a coachman with his wife Amelia and family, but in the following census he is described as innkeeper
1901John Newman Green
1902Thomas Sullivan Searle
1906John Withycombe (born 1869/70 died October 1913, aged 46)

The Searle family were a long-established family of Chudleigh and Thomas born here in 1871 was the 3x great grandson of John Searle, immortalised by historian Mary Jones when she recalls that it was he whose funeral and burial at the churchyard took place in haste on the day of the Great Fire of Chudleigh 22 May 1807. As for Thomas, he had married on the Isle of Wight in 1894 to Georgina Russell and removed there with her and his young family about the year 1905.

Shortly after the turn of the century, the sign carried the name 'Withycombe Lion Inn'. John Withycombe was originally of Kingsteignton and at the time of the 1901 census he was living at 25 St Vincent Street, Devonport with his wife Bertha (nee Lethbridge) whom he had married in 1898 and infant son John. John senior was decribed as a gas stoker. His younger brother, William was a stoker in the RN (HMS Bellerophon) who drowned in Plymouth Sound in December 1914. They had a second son, Joseph Henry born in 1904. They came to Chudleigh shortly afterward. Following his death in 1913 his widow Bertha continued to live at (and presumably run) The Lion.

A view of the (Withycombe) Lion Inn taken about 1912. This street was formerly known as Culver Street

1914 Thomas Cornall (died 8 January 1919 at the inn, aged 45). Widow Bertha (widow of John Withycombe) and who had married Cornall in 1916 moved to Spring Gardens on the Exeter Road. Cornall's name features on the Chudleigh war memorial. He is in the CWGC Debt of Honour register and was a Private (24333) in Somerset Light Infantry (Labour Corps, Agricultural Company) and buried in Chudleigh Cemetery.

1919 Joseph Henry Withycombe (born Kingsteignton 24 September 1871). He was a younger brother of John and Bertha Withycombe. In Royal Navy World War 1 (145265) and had married Sarah Ann Joslin (born Kingsteignton 1870, died 1933) in 1894. His death year has not been established but seems to have been after 1933.

At the time of the Withycombe tenancies the Culver Street elevation carried the sign 'Free House – Home Brewed Ales'. A sign in one of the windows advertised Alsopp's Ales and another 'Good Accommodation'. In the 1920s the south elevation carried the large legend 'Mills Mild' and 'Made from malt and hops only'.

In October 1928, William Tolley arrived and was the proprietor until the license was withdrawn in the latter stages of 1939.

By the early 1930s the premises became the property of St. Anne's Well Brewery, Exeter and on the south elevation the legend 'St. Anne's Well Brewery Co Ltd Ales Exeter' was applied.

On 8 March 1939 the license was up for renewal but at the Licensing Sessions at Newton Abbot it was contended that it should not be renewed as although the state of trade was good the property was in a poor state of repair. The structure was old and arrangements poor but there was ample potential for modernisation. A sum of £3000 to £4000 was thought sufficient to carry out the necessary work if the license was renewed for a further twelve months. If this inn were to be closed the island site on which it was located would quickly become an eyesore and the council would lose out due to loss of rates.

On 16 May 1939 the E&E carried a large item titled 'Chudleigh's New "Lion" – Application for Renewal of License at Exeter – Referred for Compensation'. The article said that the brewery were keen to move forward with modernisation plans and as part of that had, in 1938 acquired surrounding properties but had been halted in their progress by a pending decision at Weston-Super-Mare. Despite this set-back the brewery were anxious to submit plans for the reconstruction of the premises and a comment made that 'no-one will know the new Lion'.

On 23 May 1939 the SDWE reported on the meeting of the Devon Compensation Authority at which, by only a small majority it was decided not to renew the license. The island site was again mentioned and that property surrounding it was either already condemned or demolished (28, 29 and 30 New Exeter Street). The inn had a very low kitchen and subsequently artificial light had to be used during the day. A small room between the kitchen and the bar had no window at all. Mr Roberts representing the brewery (St. Anne's Well of Exeter) responded that the public house was doing an exceedingly good trade and supplying a genuine demand in the town. The licensee Mr. W. Tolley also gave evidence as did Mr. F. W. White of Palace Farm who was supplying on average 60 gallons of cider to the establishment each week.

On 15 July 1939 the MDA reported that the Lion Inn annual outing had taken place. A visit was made to Wookey Hole via Glastonbury and Wells. This was to be their final outing.

On 1st September 1939 war was declared with Germany and matters of much greater significance became the focus. The license was not renewed and the site became an eyesore just as predicted. As the war progressed the empty buildings were requisitioned by the military and without any maintenance work became even more run down.

On 16 September 1939 the MDA reported that St. Anne's Well Brewery owners of the Lion Inn (licensee Mr. W. Tolley) were considering extinction of the license.

In 1943 St Anne's Well Brewery was merged with Norman & Pring. The business, at Lower North Street and then at Commercial Road, Exeter continued until closure in 1966.

During the war years the space created by the demolition of 28–30 New Exeter Street was used for military purposes. The Newton Rural District Council cleared this area in 1945 once they had taken responsibility again for the fire service. The remaining premises saw some restoration in the 1950s but were empty as unsafe at the close of that decade.

To the west of the Lion premises and adjoining it was a corner property with Old Exeter Street (1 The Square), this building from the mid-1850s had been occupied by George Edward Searle, printer and fancy repository but taken over by the National Provincial and Union Bank of England from 1919 to 1938. This became the SWEB showroom, service centre and offices in 1950 who remained until early 1960.

On 15 April 1946 at the council meeting Mr. H. H. Taylor proposed that Newton RDC be reminded that the site of the Lion Inn was shortly coming on to the market and that it could be bought with a view to improving the town in some way. This was seconded by Mr. Norman. On 20 April 1946 the MDA reported the council meeting and added that the old bank and Lion buildings were unsafe and unsightly and that something should be done. Perhaps consider demolition, provide council flats, a car park or a bus shelter. The Newton RDC would be asked to consider purchase of the site. The minutes of 1 June (MDA) however reported that Newton RDC would take no action in regard to the purchase of the Lion Inn. On 21 June 1946, the SDWE advertised the forthcoming auction of No's 1 and 2 The Square, 22 and 23 Old Exeter Street and 'three cottage sites' described as the former 28, 29 and 30 New Exeter Street. Unfortunately the seller was not stated but was likely St. Anne's Well Brewery, Exeter. All were freehold and vacant possession would be had on completion. The auction took place at the Clifford Arms Hotel on 4 July 1946 it is not yet known if any or all the properties were sold or to whom.

On 4 January 1947 a proposal was put forward by the Housing Committee of the RDC to 'requisition such part that can be made habitable of the old Lion Inn premises' in order to re-house a family that were currently living in a caravan at Haldon Aerodrome. It seems this was never carried out. In the 16 August Mid-Devon Advertiser of the same year a proposal was to erect public conveniences on cleared space to the rear of the inn, again this did not happen as the local council were unable to requisition the site.

On 31 January 1948, the MDA reported that the Newton RDC had definitely turned down the long-debated proposal to turn the building into flats. It was commented that 'children would be in a prison-like dwelling'. The premises would need a new roof, new floors and would be unsafe in case of fire. On 6 March 1948 the newspaper reported that it would have cost the parish council £2000 to purchase the buildings.

On 7 April 1951, the MDA reported on the recent parish council meeting. It was commented that the site was 'still an eyesore' and that a letter would be sent to Newton RDC.

In October 1961 at the parish council meeting a proposal was put forward by Mr Frank Coram that a letter be written to Newton RDC asking them to purchase the site of the old Lion Inn for car parking. This proposal was defeated by four votes to three.

The MDA of 29 September 1962 carried the following:

"Pulled Down" The town square has taken on a new look. Recently condemned property, formerly the Lion Inn and the SWEB showrooms and offices, was demolished. It took one day to pull down the block containing three houses in all. Many people watched the demolition and the children took advantage of the situation to gather wood for firewood. It is not known what the land will be used for, but there is great need for a car park in the town.

The Lion Inn and adjoining premises being demolished in September 1962

Following clearance of the site the area was never built on and has remained an open, but private, space since then. In 2016, a proposal to develop the site with a modern design complex of dwellings and business premises prompted much protest and the plan was rejected by TDC (as was an appeal) on the grounds that the proposed design was inconsistent with the surrounding Conservation Area of the town centre.


The Maltsters Inn

These premises were located in Fore Street and in 1830 in the ownership of William Wright. He changed the name to The Globe Inn in 1835. He still had ownership at his death in 1850. The Globe Inn continues on the same site today.


The New Inn

The New Inn was in Exeter Way, which was originally the turnpike road from Exeter and opened in the 1750s, and so it is assumed that this public house was 'new' at that date. It is known to exist before April 1789 when Ann Burgiss was named as landlady. Exeter Way was renamed Old Exeter Street from 1823.

The New Inn was believed to have stood on the west side of Exeter Way toward the top, almost opposite the junction with Colway Lane, and has previously been associated with the property today known as Newinnton Lodge (because of the similarity of the names). However, Newinnton Lodge is a fairly recent name (dating from 1958), and the New Inn is now thought to have been located futher down the road near today's Tannery Mews.

In 1806/07 the Land Tax returns show that the premises were in the ownership and occupation of William Dodge. A widow by the name of Hannah Codbear was at the New Inn in 1817/19 and in 1821 the premises were acquired by William Wright who also owned the White Hart, Plymouth Inn and the Globe at various times. William Bell was in occupation by 1821 until his presumed death about 1827. His widow continued until 1829.

The new road from Kennford to Chudleigh that had opened by 1823 probably affected the passing trade as Exeter Way was no longer the main route to and from Exeter and the premises closed about 1852.


The Phoenix

Formerly the Old Coaching House (and before that The Clifford Arms), The Phoenix re-opened as a 'gastro-pub' in Febrary 2014 following a serious fire in December 2011 which destroyed the roof and upper floor.

The Phoenix arisen from the ashes of the Old Coaching House


The Plymouth Inn

The Plymouth Inn on Fore Street opposite the church likely existed as early as 1730 although no firm evidence of this has been found to date although an inn on the site is said to have been mentioned as early 1158.

The 1780 Land Tax return shows the proprietor of this inn as Thomas Collings with the occupier as William Pring.

The EFP carried a notice on 28 November 1805 that the premises were for sale. The current tenants lease was to expire on 25 June 1807. 'That well-accustomed inn known under the sign of the Plymouth Inn'. The advertisement said it would suit an innkeeper or maltster and was well supplied with water.Having a commodious house, courtlage, stable and garden.

At the time of the fire in 1807 an Andrew Wright, innkeeper was a claimant, he was assumed to be of the Plymouth Inn at that time and was a son of William Wright. Andrew Wright died in 1839. William Wright became owner in 1808. He was born at Hams Barton on 2 October 1772. This person was also known as William Wright Snr and was also proprietor of the Maltster's Arms in 1830 which in 1836 had been renamed as The Globe which he retained until his death in 1850. The Wright's were tenant farmers at Hams from the 1780s to the 1860s.

Henry Salter was tenant from 1814 to about 1820 at which point he then moved to the White Hart.

From 1821 to 1827 John Adams was in occupation. William Edwards was there 1828 to 1852 when replaced by William Cleave who stayed twenty years. Daniel Lear and Mrs Catherine Townsend followed each other, William Cleave again in 1883 and James Townsend until 1893.

Subsequent landlords:

1901Walter Henry Walker
1919William John Shepperd
1930Queenie Shepherd
1935James J Reid
1939Henry W Ames
1941the council agreed in March that should bombs fall on the town then the Plymouth Inn would be used as a temporary shelter for those made homeless.
1947Mrs Ames
1950Robert J V Spurway
1951Ernest John Perring
1954George Sharp

The name change to the Bishop Lacy, occurred in October 1956 at the suggestion of a customer, Mr T J Sturm.


The Ship Inn

This inn stands on the corner of Clifford Street (previously Mill Lane) and Fore Street. The Land Tax assessments for 1806–17 show the inn to be in the ownership of John Tuckett and that he was also residing there. In the first of those years the premises were described as an ale house. John Tuckett is shown in the 1798 town directory as a victualler and he was likely at the Ship then. In both 1806/07 John Tuckett also owned the Red Lion.

A William Wilson (probably Windsor) was in occupation as at 1811 as tenant of Mr John Tuckett. Eleven years later the inn made news as the wife of the landlord (Mrs Windsor) had been shot. The EFP of 3 October 1822 reported that the melancholy occurrence happened when a soldier of the 9th Lancers discharged his pistol attempting to dislodge soot from the chimney, however the shot hit Mrs Windsor who was standing opposite.

Thomas Hex then ran the premises from 1822 into the 1830s.

In 1830 the EFP carried the following announcement on 11 November:

'To be sold, the residue of a Term of 1000 Years, whichcommenced on 28 June 1817, all that messuage, tenement or dwelling house, now called or known by the name of the Ship, with the brew-house, stable, out-houses and garden therewith, at the corner of a street called Mill Lane and now in the occupation of Mt Thomas Hex as tenant thereof. A public auction will be held at the premises on Saturday 11 November at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Further particulars may be obtained from Mrs Susanna Tuckett or Mr Dolling Attorney-at-Law, Chudleigh. Dated 30 October 1830.'

Charles Longman followed Thomas Hex (and was listed as leasehold in the 1837/38 Electoral Rolls) and present on the 1841 census but replaced by the Walter Wotton who was there by 1844 and stayed until 1878. Walter Wotton was the son of miller John Wotton who was at Palace Mill in the 1840s. He retired to live at Brunswick House in Chudleigh and died there on 15 May 1902 aged 94. He is buried in the cemetery. His wife Mary Ann predeceased him in 1878, aged 70 and was buried in the churchyard.

Subsequent landlords:

1881John Charles Clampitt
1889George Carter
1891Ralph Dain
1893Thomas Chicken
1901Philip Lewis Taylor (aged 37 of North Tawton originally) By 1906 and until 1922 he was running the Clifford Arms Hotel
1906Frank Gorddard (departed back to Australia)
1910Peter Arthurs
1919Walter and Bessie Southwood
1941Mrs Bessie Southwood (died 4 April 1949)
1950Mr and Mrs A J Veich
1959Mr H S M Heard

The 1994 Voters List has three members of the Bundy family, Maurice C, Jennifer A and Victoria J. in residence.

At some point the premises became the property of Heavitree Brewery (Est. 1790) and remains so currently. The present proprietor is Tom Ryan.

The Ship Hotel in 1906. The Kings Arms is further down Mill Lane (Clifford Street)


The White Hart

A white hart was the emblem of King Richard II. It became very popular as an inn sign during his reign that it was adopted by many later inns and taverns. Richard II (1367–1400) introduced legislation compelling public houses to display a sign, and at one time the White Hart sign was so common as to become almost generic. A survey undertaken in 2007 showed that there were no less than 431 public houses of that name in Great Britain.

The premises are located on the west side of Fore Street opposite Alpha House. An ale house was here at the time of the serious fire in May 1807 but its name was not specifically mentioned in the list of subsequent claimants. The innkeeper at the time was however mentioned in other records, his name, Joseph Avant. The inn name did appear in the fire committee records when the neighbouring butcher, George Cornish inserted a supporting beam of his house into the wall of the White Hart. The committee ordered that it be removed 'immediately'.

The first owner traced (from Land Tax records) is William Wright whose ownership spanned 1806–1826. He also owned the Plymouth Inn and The Globe (formerly the Maltsters Arms). In 1806 the occupier was Ann Flood. The next landlord, known from a parish apprenticeship indenture of 1810 was Joseph Avant, he was followed by Henry Salter from 1820 who was at the Plymouth Inn (1814/17) who continued until his death on 22 November 1835. His son, John Salter followed (he is listed on the 1838 Electoral Roll) for about ten years and then Prudence Salter for about the next three years. John Skitch followed John Berry in January 1856 and Thomas Wright [b1829] (formerly a farmer at Hams Barton) arrived in 1858 until 1870, he moved to Brockley House (junction Fore Street/Oldway) and lived there until his death in 1904. John Salter had followed him as proprietor for about three years and then John Cornish 1875–1893 who had moved here from the Lion Inn.

The WHite Hart in 2005

Subsequent landlords:

1893William Riddler (there at 1901 census, moved to the Kings Arms by 1902)
1900Mr Thomas (a fishmonger, formerly of Torquay, purchased the inn for £1700)
1906Alfred Vallance
1910George Hothersall
1919John William Frost
1926Albert S Dawson
1930Mrs S A Copsey
1935William Hosking
1940Frederick Turpin (died 2 September 1941)
1994Jack and Diane Hill

The pub closed in the summer of 2009 and remained vacant until early November that year. On 21 November a reopening event was held by the then proprietor, Dan Simpson. His tenancy ran for almost twelve months with the public house becoming vacant again during October 2010. [The premises are no longer a pub, currently (2017) being converted to private dwellings – Ed.]


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