Sunday, 20 June 2010

Pub Crawl

Inside the Hare & Hounds, Witheridge c1940s

On the night of the 1861 census, in the Devonshire village of Witheridge, 14 year old Drusilla WREFORD was recorded as head of the household and her occupation as 'Innkeeper ?' (note the question mark). Also in the household were 4 siblings aged 7 and under (including my direct ancestor, Augusta Harriet), and a 17 year old servant, Emily CHERITON. Their parents, George and Harriet, were nowhere to be seen. I knew they weren't dead, as George WREFORD and his family emigrated to New Zealand in 1864. So where were they?

12 Fore Street, Witheridge - 1861 census

This remained a mystery for some time until a chance search led me to discover that George WREFORD was in jail for bankruptcy at the time (you can read my post about that discovery here and here). I still haven't been able to locate the parents on the 1861 census but I'm still keen to find out more about the business.

George was recorded on bankruptcy notices as an innkeeper, butcher and farmer but I haven't been able to discover which inn George (and Drusilla) was keeping.

On my last visit to Witheridge (I've been twice), I picked up the 'Witheridge Village Trail & Local Walks' pamphlet which mapped some of the pubs (old and current) in the village.  Armed with this pamphlet, I used Google Maps to pinpoint the pub locations.

Witheridge Pub Locations

Assuming the family lived in/above the inn being kept, the map indicates the pub was the Hare and Hounds (in Fore Street).  According to the pamphlet, "it burnt out in 1995 and was rebuilt".  I was able to find this picture of the Hare & Hounds Inn circa 1955 from the excellent Historical Witheridge site:


Here is a picture of Fore Street today from a similar location and perspective via Google Street View:


I'm now in the process of trying to find a directory closer to 1861 which will hopefully attach George's name to the correct pub.

UPDATE
I have found evidence that they actually kept the Commercial Inn - see post here

Next Steps:

  • check for 1860 directories

  • obtain a copy of  'Researching Brewery and Publican Ancestors' by Simon Fowler for more information

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