WATERING HOLES IN ROSS 100 YEARS AGO
Seeing the 17th century (Ye Olde) Crown & Sceptre re-open at Christmas made me think of how the world of pubs in Ross has changed so much in 100 years.
At one time, when Markets were in the streets until the 19th century, one in three buildings was an ale house of some sort – whether it be “granny’s” front room where she sold her home brew to drink with homemade faggots and peas on Market Days – or a full blown pub like the Crown.
When WWI broke out, trade directories told us there were around 4,500 people living in Ross. Today there are around 10,500 – and the pubs have dropped drastically to just a couple of handfuls.
How many of these were still around when you were young? (italics are still here today). The majority are long gone reflecting the trend of drinking at home or in restaurants.
Alton St – Harp; Ashfield – Prince of Wales; Brampton St – Bell, Game Cock; Broad St – Lamb, New Inn (now Eagle); Brookend St – Barrell, Green Dragon, Railway; Edde Cross St – Pheasant; Gloucester Rd – King’s Arms; Henry St – White Hart; High St – Castle Vaults, King George Rest, Nag’s Head, Saracen’s Head, Sun; Kyrle St – True Heart; Market Place – Crown & Sceptre; Mill Pond St – Brewery Taps (part of Alton Court Brewery); New St – Horse & Jockey; Over Ross – Blackhouse (demolished and re-built to become Travellers Rest); Over Ross St – Mason’s Arms, Plough; St Mary’s St – Royal Taps, Wine Vaults; Station St – Queen’s Arms (now Drop Inn); Tudorville – Noah’s Ark, Plough, True Heart; Walford Rd – Vine Tree; Wye St – Hope & Anchor, Ye Man of Ross.
On top of these of course, watering holes could be found in many of the old coaching inns dotted around the town.
These included: Edde Cross St – Swan; Gloucester Rd – the George; High Street – King’s Head; St Mary’s St – the Royal Hotel (which incorporated the Royal Taps – formerly Pound Inn).
There was no shortage of places for people to meet, to talk about the war, to compare notes on loved ones serving on the front lines and for commiseration when bad news was received.
Many pubs in Ross had closed before the war and today coffee shops also provide this service – but that’s for another day. Next month I will look at how the life of pubs changed again by WWII.
Black House Inn demolished to make way for the M50 in 1960.
Market Place showing Ye Olde Crown & Sceptre on rhs.
The New Inn on the rhs at the bottom of Broad Street in the early 20th century.