Beer was introduced into Exeter in the early C16th, prior to that people had drunk Ale. The art of beer making was brought from the low countries in the early C15th but it took about 100 years to reach Exeter. From then on, Beer Breweries grew rapidly at the expense of Ale Breweries. Brewing flourished during the reign of Elizabeth I, but the stuff was not always wholesome. In 1563, the City council threatened the breweries saying they would set up their own breweries if the current breweries did not brew a more wholesome drink. Aren't you glad they didn't!

The long history of Exeter is highlighted by many of it's buildings, possibly the most well remembered of these were Pubs, Inns or Hotels and these buildings tended to attract the attention of photographers more than most. For this we must all be grateful. The early map makers also listed pubs and churches on their maps. An O.S. map of 1876 bears the weight for this particular part of Exeter through the bottom of your beer glass, listing the full name of the pubs.

Unfortunately after this date, editions of O.S. maps only bore 'PH' to denote a pub or Inn, with hotels also being indicated. Other maps were used including Benjamin Donn's of 1765 and the many tithe maps available at the Library. These also showed established inns.

Of course the Directories were most useful.

The Westcountry Studies Library holds a paper by Robert Dymond written in 1880, entitled 'The Old Inns & Taverns of Exeter'. It was originally published as part of the Transactions of the Devonshire Association. The detail here was tremendous.

The rhyme can be viewed by taking your mouse off the map above and is from this paper and shows clearly how drinkers segregated themselves based on their trade. Dymond states that notices and mentions of Inns existing in Exeter before the dissolution of the monasteries are few and scanty.

Andrew Brice's Mobiad or Battle of the Voice published in 1770 (but finished in 1738) also provided some information, as did Victorian Exeter by Robert Newton (Leicester Univ Press 1968).

Geofrey Pring's Exe Island and the City Brewery, available at the Westcountry Studies Library (PB/EXE/6663/PRI) also provided alot of information on both St Anne's pubs and City Brewery pubs.

"Paranumismatica". This ia a generic term covering "coin-like" objects which are studied and collected.

They can be made of anything you like and are issued unofficially. These objects may include pub advertising checks, tickets and tokens. Checks were used in Exeter in the latter half of the C19th and early C20th up until the beginning of WW1. Sometimes these were given as change or paid to someone (for instance the winner of a skittles match). They may have also been used as an advertising vehicle to induce inn patronage. They also provide a record of an inn that no longer exists.

Trade tokens were a form of currency issued in the past by local tradesmen (especially during C17th and C18th) to facilitate trade when there was a shortage of regal currency. There were three main periods when these coins were issued. These coins also provide a record of an inn.
1. Mid C17th, after the Civil War.
2. End of C18th. The industrial revolution and consequent trade development combined with a regal coin shortage created the need for small change.
3. During the Napoleonic Wars (1811-1815). Silver shillings and sixpences were last issued in 1787 with no copper coins issued since 1807. Tradesmen had to issue their own coinage. However this practice was declared illegal on 1st January 1818 after new coinage was introduced in 1816.

Photographs, with snippets of text were invaluable in constructing this section of the website. The books of Peter Thomas were particularly useful, especially the photographs! Parts of these photos have been cloned for use within the pages but are still Peter Thomas © . My thanks to Peter for allowing me to do this.

The street plans used below are of 1876, as this is where most detail is given, however some of the pubs shown are much earlier than this. Some pubs cannot be placed, so are only named.

Suffice it to say, these pages will be a laborious ongoing project. My apologies for any I've missed, these will appear as I exhaust the directories and see what is left.

The framed page below will provide you with some information regarding coaching houses, post houses, carriers and such like. This is page 2 of my "History of Beer and Inns" page. Page 1 may be viewed by clicking the link.

Stuart Callon Copyright ©2001 - 2006