Anchor Inn (St. Leonards)

From Historical Hastings

The Anchor Inn (St. Leonards) was above East Ascent, in a twitten between numbers 5 and 6, leading off towards the Royal Victoria Mews around 1834. Brett refers to this in his Manuscript Histories and states that it was tenanted by Mr. Ballard, Mr. Cooper, Mr. Skinner, Mr. Vidow (circa 1869) and Mr. Tom Wells (circa 1880) respectively.[1] In the early days, these premises were not licensed and purely a beerhouse. In the Brett histories linked to above, it can be seen that this was due to an agreement between James Burton and the landlord of the nearby Horse and Groom that there would be no public houses licensed between the Horse and Groom and the St Leonards Tap. At the time of opening, most of the population could not read and papers were prohibitively expensive and many public houses operated 'news rooms' where readers would be employed to recite the news to customers. Brett was believed to have been a newsreader at this location, he alluding to this fact in the aforementioned histories. The pub was known to have been tied to the Blythe Brewery (later Ind Coope) prior to its closure and was losing trade rapidly at the start of the 20th Century, finally being closed in 1905 powers under the Act of 1904.[2] Hastings Pub History] gives the information that the house was recognised by a ‘fouled anchor’ - an anchor with a rope wound around it - above the door and that Burton later incorporated this image into his coat of arms for St. Leonards. From the aforementioned website; "Other versions of the St Leonards’ anchor can be seen on the Clock House, St Leonards Gardens, above the arch of North Lodge and on an old cast iron boundary marker." The pub name lives on in the name of the twitten - Anchor Passage.


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