When I tell people I’m researching pubs in Nantwich, a common question is “How many pubs has Nantwich had?”. It’s a surprisingly hard question to answer! First of all where does Nantwich begin and end? Pubs like the Leopard on London Road were actually in Willaston, and is the Globe in Nantwich or Stapeley?
I have a database listing 153 pubs – but this includes for instance 3 different instances of pubs called the Black Horse, the Horse and Groom, the Red Cow and the Red Lion. Many pubs changed names quite often.
I found an interesting article in the Cheshire Observer, on 2nd September 1893:
The annual licensing sessions for the Nantwich Hundred were held on Monday. Superintendent Leah presented his annual report, which showed that there were, 80 licensed victuallers, 14 beer sellers, and four others, who sold off the premises, giving an average of 273 of the population to each public house.
As to the licence of the Nantwich Arms, Oat Market, which was stated to be overcrowded with public houses, the Bench ordered notice to be served upon the tenant that the house was not required, and, secondly, on the ground that there was no tenancy as required by the Act. Superintendent Leah said he had no complaint to make against this particular house, but there was another fully-licensed house only eight yards distant.
Jane Stubbs, holder of the licence of the Rifleman Inn, in the same locality, also received notice of objection, and notices were also ordered to be served upon G. F. and A. Brown in respect of the White Swan, Pillory Street, and the Swan with Two Necks, Welsh Row, in both of which the managers live off the premises. The grounds of objection were that the houses were not required, and that no tenancy existed under the Act.
Similar notices of objection ware served upon the Oddfellows’ Arms and the holder of the licence of the Talbot Inn, which was stated to have a very chequered career, several tenants having come to grief within the last two years.
Another article, in the The Chester Courant on 25th August 1897, tell us:
THE MAGISTRATES AND TIED HOUSES.
The annual licensing sessions for the Nantwich division were held on Monday, Mr. James Bayley presiding over a full bench of magistrates. Superintendent Meredith’s annual report stated that there were 96 licensed houses in the division, the average of the population to each house being 278.
Cheshire salt seems to have given Dabbers (people from Nantwich) quite a thirst!