The following information about the alehouses and beer shops of the old parish of Wimlingswold or Womenswold came to light some twenty or more years ago whilst I was researching the alehouses of Nonington and was therefore not pursued in any great detail and is in note form. The information was obtained in the main part from the Wingham magistrates annual licencing records held at the Kent County archives at County Hall, Maidstone, now the Kent Archives and History centre. I hope this information will be of interest and, hopefully, some help to other local historians and family researchers
On the 1670’s licencing rolls two license holders are shown for Wimlingswold. Robert Shasted, with guarantor Richard Jones of Chillenden, and Roger Sharp. No signs [alehouse names] are shown for either licencee.
The Yorkshire Grey/Halfway House.
Once situated in Womenswold/Wimlingswold parish on the main Dover to Canterbury road. Converted into an hotel and re-named the Old Coach House in the 1980’s. After being left derelict for many years the building has now sadly been demolished.
The Yorkshire Grey first appears around 1715 when John Stringer was licenced as a victualler and brandy retailer. The premises were then renamed the Halfway House in 1743 when a new licencee, John Gore, took over.
The Yorkshire Grey.
1715. John Stringer.
1724 Joseph Vanson.
1725 Michael Billingshurst.
1737. Moses Walters.
The Halfway House.
1743. John Gore.
1750. Mary Gore, widow.
1756. Jane Gore.
1757. Ann Gore.
1769. John Howard.
1773 …… end of info. until
1825. William Harris.
1830. Thomas Webb. Prosecuted by Customs and Excise for possessing untaxed [smuggled] goods and fined.
1836. Martha Hopkins, from July of this year.
1847-1890’s. Edward Arter, also a farmer.
1911. George Castle.
The Four Horse Shoes, later The Rose and Crown.
In 1706 the situation is confused, one Israel Wellard appears as licencee of the Redd Lyon in Wimlingswold parish and also a Robert Ramsden with no inn sign shown. The following year Wellard does not appear but Ramsden does. Ramsden is succeeded by John Stringer in 1708, at this time only one licenced premises is listed in Wimlingswold, this would appear to be the Four Horse Shoes. I believe the Redd Lyon is mistakenly entered as it does not appear again in the parish. Mistakes of this type are common in documents of this time, however, it is possible that other premises did exist for a short time or, more likely, that licencees changed during the year, hence the two licencees names, the premises could also have changed its name as it was not unusual for the name to change with the landlord.
The Four Horse Shoes was a licenced premises in 1705 and probably well before this, information at present not available as to when it was founded. The actual site of this pub is believed to be that of the present Two Sawyers.
The Four Horse Shoes.
1705. Robert Ramsden.
1708. James Curling.
Then listed as either the Rose or the Rose and Crown.
1728. William Friend.
1743. John Knight.
1773. end of info until.
1820-1824. John Wood, jnr. later licencee and owner of the Walnut Tree beer shop in Holt Street, Nonington. John Wood jnr. held the licence for “The Rose and Crown”, now “The Two Sawyers”, at Woolage Green in Womenswold parish from 1820 to 1824. During this short tenure he was convicted and fined for poaching partridges in the parish and shortly after his conviction John left “The Rose and Crown”. At this time a first conviction for poaching usually incurred a fine of £5, a considerable sum at a time when agricultural labourers earned 12/- (60 pence) for a six day week, and on conviction half of the fine went to the person who reported the poacher. John then appears to have returned to Nonington parish as the 1832 Nonington Parish Poor Rate roll records him as being the licensee of a “Public House and garden” in Old (Holt) Street and paying £.3 10/- in parish rates on the premises which were owned by his father, John Wood the Elder.
The Rose and Crown was one of several public houses which had been part of the estate of Bradley’s, who were brewers from Sandwich who had gone bankrupt. The properties were sold at auction at The Bell Inn at Sandwich by Messrs. Messrs. Pott and Denne on the 13th February, 1826. The Crown was “knocked down” for £166, a low price compared to the of The Red Lion at nearby Frogham which fetched £455.00 and The Three Crowns at Goodnestone which realized £620.00.
1829. George Dawkins
After the Beer Houses Act of 1830 beer duty was greatly reduced and any rate payer could open premises to sell beer, as a result of this change in taxation beer shops sprang up all over the country. It would seem that The Rose and Crown became a beer house after the 1830 Act.
1834. John Marsh
1841. The 1841 census lists a beer house in Woolage run by William Fox, who was listed as a beer retailer and shopkeeper. The beer house appears to have changed its name to The Two Sawyers around this time.
1887 James Fox.
1911. As above.
1887 Womenswould had a beer shop near the Church licenced for off-sales. James Jacobs, beer retailer, grocer and Post Office.
1891. Licensee George Stephen Lawrence, after 2/9/1897 run by Phoebe Rosina Lawrence.