Updated: Jun 26, 2020
Another visit to Somerset. Another visit to the outlaws. Pa Outlaw is ninety. Time to celebrate. Also time to celebrate some more of the bygone boozers of Glastonbury.
Last time we were down this way I penned this piece on the lost pubs of Glastonbury High Street. This time it's Northload Street and Northload Bridge.
17 Northload Street is the home of the still-serving Who'd A Thought It (previously the Lamb and before that the Lamb & Butcher). Just two doors away we find our first lost pub.
Now home to the seemingly well thought of Cinnamon Spice Indian take away (seemingly as I have yet to sample its wares in person), number 21 had at one time been a corner shop but going back further it was the London Inn.
The earliest reference to it by name that I can find is in 1861, in both Kelly's Directory and the census of that year, when John and Jane Rice are the innkeepers. The latest is in the 1895 edition of Kelly when Elizabeth Grant was there, as she had been in the previous census, shown as a beer retailer. Elizabeth died in 1897 and I can't find any reference to the inn after that.
Opposite the London once stood our second lost pub. Once again, the earliest that I can find it named is in the 1861 census when Francis Green is innkeeper at the George Tap. At this point it's not clear if it is linked to the George Hotel (later the George & Pilgrim) but later in later records it undoubtedly is. Census records of the 19th century just describe folk as innkeepers, but by the start of the 20th the place seems to have a manager or manageress. This seems to coincide with the name being recorded as the George Hotel Tap. In the 1930s, Mrs. Richards is manageress of both the George Hotel and the tap.
I don't know when it closed, but it's certainly gone. The area where it used to stand is now used for parking spaces.
The third bygone boozer is at the other end of Northload Street. In fact it's not on Northload Street at all, but at Northload Bridge.
Shutting up shop for the final time in the 1960s the First and Last was on the Meare road. The empty frame of its redundant sign gives the building's former use away.