Moments in history: the survivors
Photographs of pubs taken by Francis Frith in a book called British Pubs and Inns
give a timeless presence to many of our oldest pubs. How many public buildings still carry out the function they were built for hundreds of years later? In so many instances the pub has endured. Here are a handful below, some well known and others not so. We'll try to find some more examples and make this a regular feature. If you have any old photographs of pubs which you'd like to share we'd love to see them.
The George Inn, Southwark, London
"The George Inn, c.1875 (copyright Francis Frith Collection)"
One of London's most famous inns, built in 1776 and now restored. The George was used as a storage depot and two thirds of it demolished. In the Francis Frith photo it is already looking shabby.
The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead, London
"The George Inn 2010"
"The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead 1890 (copyright Francis Frith Collection)"
Looking surprisingly similar to how it does today, the Spaniards Inn in 1890 didn't have to contend with lorries and cars scraping by its corner wall. The small 18th century toll booth on the other side of the road is a listed building and can't be moved or demolished.
The Barley Mow Inn, Clifton Hampden, Oxfordshire
"Spaniards Inn c. 2003"
"The Barley Mow c.1890 (copyright Francis Frith Collection)"
This idyllic thatched cottage looks so picturesque, but of course life then was hard and uncomfortable compared with today. A large extension in the form of another cottage was built on at right-angles by the early 20th century. Jerome K. Jerome calls this the 'quaintest, most old-world inn on the river..' in Three Men in a Boat.
Ye Olde Whyte Harte, Bletchingley, Surrey
"The Barley Mow 2011"
"Ye Olde Whyte Harte Bletchingley 1965 (copyright Francis Frith Collection)"
"Ye Olde Whyte Harte now"
The village of Bletchingley has 8th century origins. The Whyte Harte claims to date from 1388 and was re-fronted in the 18th century. Blechingley (the 't' added later) was once an important place and one of the infamous 'Rotten Boroughs' having a tiny population and its own Member of Parliament. Although the photo is from 1965, watch the 1950's British Pathe newsreel
it's absolutely fascinating, what!
Raikes House, Gloucester
"Raikes House, Gloucester 1912 (copyright Francis Frith Collection)"
Brilliantly restored by Samuel Smiths Brewery, Raikes House is now like it was intended to be. What the founder of the Sunday School would make of his home being converted into a pub we can only guess.
The New Inn, Gloucester
"Raikes House, Gloucester 2011"
"New Inn, Gloucester 1912 (copyright Francis Frith Collection)"
'The finest example of a Medieval inn in Britain' that's how this ancient inn has been described. What is so remarkable is that it is still doing what it was built for over 500 years ago; giving shelter to travellers.
"New Inn, Gloucester 2011"