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PUBS

The last surviving licensed premises in the parish is The Racehorse Inn.

In Victorian times the primary pub in the area was The Ring o’ Bells.

In 1840 The New Inn was recorded at Congdon’s Shop. In 1872, also at Congdon’s Shop, was The White Hart. Later, again at Congdon’s Shop, was The Temperance Inn. Were these all the same premises with changing names?

The Farmer’s Inn was halfway up the hill from Berrio Bridge heading towards Way Cross.

The Racehorse Inn

The Racehorse Inn opened its doors for the first time in August 1966. Previously it had been the village school (see map below) but that had closed as the number of children in the village declined and the Church Commissioners decided that the school was no longer viable. Bill Budge, who still lives in Kingbear, acquired the premises and converted the school building to what we can see today.

Bill’s father was a keen horseman and race-goer. He named Bill after a winning horse named ‘Billy’ and in turn Bill named the pub in memory of his father. The horseracing theme continues in the pub to this day.

 

The Ring o’ Bells

The Ring o’ Bells is shown on this 1883 map.

From David Coombe’s website we learn:

“The first mention found of a Coumbe innkeeper is Edward Coumbe (1754-1830), brother of John the stone mason, who was described as such upon the 1804 death of his first wife. The innkeeping and coopering continued with his second wife Jane (c. 1779-1850), their son James Coumbe (1810-1851), his son George Coumbe (1836-1900), his daughter Mary Ann Cowling Jewell nee Coumbe, b. 1864 and her husband William H Jewell …  Their inn was known as the "Ring o’ Bells", which is marked as such on old maps. It is now a private dwelling, following relocation of the modern brewery to Launceston.

“According to the later brewery, “the Ring o’ Bells started trading in the 13th century as a cider farm come alehouse for the stonemasons of St Torney Church, North Hill. The Ring o’ Bells closed in 1918 after an orgy of violence”.

It would be interesting to find the evidence for the Ring o’ Bells starting in the 13th century. We do know that the first rector of St Torney’s was in place in 1269AD.

There are some later stories which can be read in these cuttings:

 

1846

Robbery at the Ring o’ Bells. Local butcher, Dingle, displays remarkable powers.

1867

Auction of Timber held at the Ring o’ Bells

1869

Accident at Ring o’ Bells

1916

Fatality and the Ring o’ Bells is implicated

The robbery in 1846 was perpetrated by Thomas Conboy, John Hogan and John Oram. They were all subsequently transported to Van Diemen’s land for their crimes. Click on their names to read the stories of their lives as researched by Trish Symons who has agreed to share it with us.

 

The New Inn

The New Inn was at Congdon’s Shop. In 1840 the auction of Treswell was held at the New Inn.

Click on the cutting to read more.

Was this the building that later became The Temperance Inn, pictured below?

 

The White Hart

The White Hart was at Congdon’s Shop. In 1872 an auction was held there and lands at Trewithey and Trefursdon were sold.

Could this have been the Temperance Inn, shown above under the section on The New Inn?

 

The Farmer’s Inn

The Farmer’s Inn was on the southern side of the hill from Berrio to Way Cross. The building is still there and can be easily identified from the green porch which fronts the B3254. It is now a private residence.

The first known landlord was John Couch who was born in North Hill in 1795. His first wife, Ann, had died in 1838 leaving him with two children, Jane who was nine and Sampson who was seven. John married Ruth Whear in 1840 and the family lived in Trebartha Cottages. John was the butler at Trebartha Hall at the time. At some point in the 1840s he gave up his servant days and moved into the property which was to become known as the “The Farmer’s Inn”. The house and garden were part of the Trebartha Estate and were owned by Francis Rodd who was was John’s previous employer.

Not long after the pub had been open there was an incident which made the regional news when a fight broke out, started by some miners from Berrio Mine. Click on the cutting to the left to read the detailed newspaper report.

Ruth died in 1848 and in the 1851 census John was living at the Farmer’s Inn with his daughter Jane and his niece, Sally. Jane married a Callington man in 1854, Thomas Prout a mine agent who had previously been a tea dealer.  At some point in the late 1850s Thomas became the licensee and John retired.

John died in 1868 and the 1871 shows that Thomas, Jane and their five children were still living in The Farmer’s Inn but Thomas earned his living as a miner. It seems, therefore that in the intervening period the business closed down. No further trace has been found of Thomas and Jane Prout or their children, namely John (b1854), Thomas (b1857), Ann (b1860), Goerge (b1862), Emily (b1865), William (b1867) and Herbert (b1870). It seems that they may have joined the many thousands who emigrated from Cornwall in the 1870s to seek a new life in Australia, the USA or another emerging nation. Jane’s brother, Sampson, had emigrated to Marquette in Michigan in the late 1850s and they may have followed him. Can you tell us any more about the Prout family?

John Couch (1795-1868) had a brother Richard Couch and in the 1881 census the Farmers Inn was occupied by Richard’s son, also named John ran a grocery and drapery business from there. This was short lived, however, and by 1891 John had taken his grocery business to Boscastle.

In 1901 The Farmer’s Inn was home to Charles Jones, a retired miller, and his wife Jessy (nee Buckingham) and their two daughters.

 

The image at the top of this page shows the sign of the Racehorse Inn. The other two signs are not from the two premises described on this page, but do offer an introduction.

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