Home History of Rode Inns and Pubs Other Inns & Pubs in Rode

Other Inns & Pubs in Rode

The following Inns or Pubs have long-since disappeared or ceased operating, but details can be found by following the links to the relevant pages elsewhere on this site, or to the descriptions further down this page:

The Black Swan (2 Church Lane)

The Beehive (24 Lower Street)

Brassknocker (33 High Street)

Chequers (15 Langham Place)

White Hart (38 High Street)

Descriptions of other Inns or Pubs:

The Green Man: This is the last of our local hostelries lost in the mists of time. It too is recorded in local records where, writing about Rode Common, the author says: “The Common extended from Romsey Oak south over Vagg’s Hill, thence to a house near Puxwell which seems to have had many aliases, e.g. Dennis Court. Tennis Court, Fives Court and the Green Man, when perhaps as the last ale-house on the Heath, it was burned down.” Later this reference records: “…and perhaps the most famous of them all, the Green Man… which was situated near Puxwell, perhaps because of the convenience of the spring. It has been suggested that the name is derived from the forest fairies, the most famous being Puck, who teased humans with his devilry, and because here the elms give way to the oak forest of the Bradford clay formation”.

It is also worth noting that the forest fairies were often shown clothed in green with red caps and that the sign of the Green Man is accepted to represent either the green or wild woodsmen, once familiar at old fairs and pageants or even the popular Robin Hood.

It is true also that the oaks formed the majority of the ancient forest of Selwood, whereas the elms (now long gone and much lamented) were not native to our shores, but were introduced by the Romans. The map showing the apportionment of land when Road Common was enclosed in 1792 does indeed show a prominent house called “Fives Court” some 175 yards north of the Bradford Road at the end of Plot i9 of the map and directly opposite Puxwell, itself some 350 yards from the modern junction with Rode Hill. Puxwell was said at the time of its writing to be still there albeit under a concrete topping. It was identified again by members of Rode Parish Council in late 2001 and cleared again for access. [Extract from “A History of Brewing in Rode” by Sidney Fussell and Brian Foyston, 2006]

The Jew’s Harp: A local record says: “Rode at one time had many more public houses than now; included was the Jew’s Harp, which stood where Green Park crosses the Beckington Road”.

On the 1903 Village Map this ‘Green Park’ is shown as ‘Park Gate Lane’ and the ‘Link’ suggested in 1986 that it ran from the crossroads in Straight Lane (the extension of the High Street past Merfield House) to the crossroads on the modem A.361, which, on the other side, leads to Rudge and Beckington. Certainly the 1840 Tithe Redemption Map of Road and Woolverton shows a piece of land at this point (No.361 – strange co-incidence!), named ‘Jew’s Harp’ and farmed by James Dyer, Senior, a carpenter by trade and living on Road Hill. This piece of land is on the opposite side of the A.361 to a green lane just beyond Brook Cottage, but if ever there was a pub there it has long since disappeared. For the more senior citizens amongst us who in their miss-spent youth may have twanged what was then called a Jew’s Harp (a small lyre-shaped mouth instrument) – be informed that this has NOTHING to do with the Hebrews! The name of that device is rather a corruption of the French words ‘Jeu trompe’, or toy trumpet. Sorry about that! [Extract from “A History of Brewing in Rode” by Sidney Fussell and Brian Foyston, 2006]

The King William: Local lore has it that this was at the Lower Street end of the Big Shard. In 1999 some older residents recalled that there had been a tall tower-like building there on its northern side though no one could remember what it had been. It had been open to the sky in the 1920s but was at least four or five storeys high. The late Mr. Bert Woolley took down part of it in the 1930s, and the building was then converted into a paint store.

At the Rode Parish Council meeting in November 1947 a letter of concern was sent to Frome Rural District Council about three dangerous buildings in our village and this was one of them. Photo. 2 (of part of Lower Street taken 2001) has at its centre a high building which is Chelsea Villa (No.12) and the building referred to would have been nearer to the camera than the corner of the wall in the right foreground. If this possible pub were named after one of our nation’s Kings, it could only practicably have been William III (1639 to 1702 AD and one half of the “William and Mary” pair of joint sovereigns) or William IV (1830 to 1837 AD and uncle to Queen Victoria). We prefer the former, as, had the Pub been open in the 1830s, it would doubtless have been referred to in early Directories or even the 1841 Census. There was certainly a heap of stones and rubble there in the 1960s.The spot was formally taken into Parish ownership on the basis of 12 years of undisputed use, and was later sold as part of the building of a house in this position. Parish records, however, show that the rubble was the remains of an old lock-up rather than a Pub. Another possible explanation is that the tall building may have been connected with the woollen trade, rather than drinking. No supporting evidence on either connection has come to light.

The Three Horseshoes: We have several pieces of evidence of this. On 6th June 1837 the occupier, Jeremiah Francis, reported to the local Comptroller of Excise (see Para. 16 above) that he had a Brewhouse with one Mash Tun, two Store Rooms for Brewing and storing of Beer, Ale, Porter, and Cider for sale, a room for Malt and Hops and one for storing Tobacco, all for sale (The Brewhouse was in the Yard behind the House). In the 1841 Census the occupant was William Paxton/Puxton, a Blacksmith. By 1846 the occupier was Mary Ann Paxton/Puxton and in that year she made an Entry similar to that made previously by William, her deceased husband, but adding that the two store rooms adjoined one another and faced the Bar. the first (for Tobacco) being with the Bar.

The Malt and Hop Room was on the left of the entrance. The 1851 Census describes Mary Ann as a “Retailer of Beer”. In the first of these two Censuses the Inn is listed between “Gunston’s Barton” (a Barton being a farm or enclosure) and Nutt’s Lane; in the second it is listed between “Poorhouse Lane” and Gunston’s Barton (Poorhouse Lane, also sometime called “Union Cottage Lane”, is our modern Marsh Road). So the Three Horseshoes was clearly somewhere in the Marsh Road, Nutt’s Lane area, perhaps in the quadrant between the two. Has any reader any further knowledge? The Church Rate Books of 1859, 1862 and 1870 show the occupier as John Noad but the latter two describe the property as “House and Garden, late Three Horseshoes”. This John Noad, incidentally, was not the one whose daughter married into the Fussell family (for that John Noad was Secretary of the Temperance Society!) but we know from an old rhyme that “…there was a long John Noad and a short John Noad…” [Extract from “A History of Brewing in Rode” by Sidney Fussell and Brian Foyston, 2006]

NB: We now know that Gunston’s Barton/Lane was what is now called Cheap Street. This supports the view that the Three Horseshoes was near the junction of Nutts Lane and Marsh Road. Perhaps it was a reuse of the White Hart Inn under a different name. Also the Church Rate Books for the whole period from 1856 to 1870 list John Noad as the occupier of a “House and Garden” called “Three Horseshoes/late Three Horseshoes”. [Peter Harris]

2 August 2023
Last Updated
2 August 2023