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When Saint Peter sees him coming,
He will leave the Gates ajar;
For He knows he's had his Hell on earth,
Has the man behind the bar

A short history of ale, beer and the pub

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This is an on going project, more information being added regularly as the archived copies of the Newmarket Journal and other local newspapers are scanned and put on line.

Tony Pringle, aided and abetted by Peter Norman and David Rippington, having spent much time, over many years, researching the old pubs of Newmarket, gathering snippets of information from other members such as the late Les Jewel, Joan Shaw, Mary Basham and latterly Dr.Rachel Wood, decided it was time to bring all the data together in one place. This is it....

Excuses first....When it comes to clubs there may well be some not included. As with restaurants, it is not always possible to ascertain licensing particulars. The exact status of each establishment is not always known, some may have been public houses as we know them or mere beerhouses, some "real hotels", some glorified lodging houses or indeed off licences. The history of most clubs is usually quite vague, their records being very much harder to find.

It has not been possible to ascertain the dates of all licence changes, the entries showing dates and licensees' name in most cases can only show there is a public reference to that person at those premises at the time.

One insurmountable omission is the lack of census information for the St Mary's side of town in 1851. Somewhere in the mists of time this was lost or destroyed. All Saints side record did survive, but there was little that side of town at that time.
Two other factors must delay completion of this task
A..The Newmarket Journal archived copies are on just coming online, but despite the limitations of OCR (optical character recognition), it will save 150 years worth of hard copy to read !
B..Since much of the time Newmarket was included in Cambridgeshire for records, it is to that County Records Office we must frequently turn.

Being of the "belt and braces brigade", a book will also be compiled (eventually) so that there is a hard copy of at least one stage of the project.

Hopefully credit can be given for the images presented here, but as the photographs were collected by several persons, over very many years, the provenance of many is completely unknown. Even amongst ourselves, it cannot always be said for sure whether a photograph was given to Tony by Peter, or vice versa (and even then the origin was probably unrecorded). The majority though would have come from Peter Norman's vast collection of local photographs who also has images of the Newmarket postcards collected by an ex native of Newmarket,the late Roger Newman. Many may be found on other websites, but were acquired by those mentioned above before websites had been invented. However our thanks go to the Newmarket Journal and the Old Newmarket website for their assistance at all times. Luckily most of our images were shot long ago and we believe out of copyright, but we do try to add a courtesy "thank you" where we do know the donor.

The Licensing Act of 2003 made drastic changes to the licensing for the sale of alcohol. The power was removed from the local Magistrates Court and given to the Local Authority.

Personal licences, premises licences and club premises certificates are granted by licensing authorities under the Act, which generally will be the local authority for the area in which the premises are situated or, in the case of personal licences, in which the individual applicant is normally resident.

The premises licence remains in force until surrendered or removed, but a fee is charged each year. The personal licence remains with that person and lasts ten years and is renewable and can be used in any licenced premises. A person holding a personal licence must be present on the premises when alcohol is on sale, meaning more then one licenced person is likely to be employed by that outlet.

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All possible sources of information have been explored, but directories are not always the most accurate.
It can be found at times that a directory places a publican in a pub for several years after his death.
The census, 1939 register and licensing records and registers are better trusted sources.

Above is a map taken from Peter May's book "Newmarket Medieval and Tudor" with his impression of how Newmarket would have looked in 1472. The key is here.

# tenants/owners # tenant/owners
1 John Balow aka Bladesmith, Ralph Balow 31 William, Thomas & Henry Cheveley
2 William Buntyng 32 Nicholas Bocher, William Jourdon
3 Thomas Helbye 33 Henry Cheveley
4 Ralph Balow 34 John Leycestre
5 John Wykes 35 Ralph Cooke
6 THE SHIP William Nameskyll 36 Roger Holyngworth
7 THE BEAR Thomas Depden 37 Richard Deresley
8 John Pere, Richard Gateward, John Laste 38 THE SWANJohn Kyrkeby, Roger Holyngworth
9 William Aylenoth 39 THE GRIFFIN Willam Baron, Arthur Greysson, Leonard Beale, Richard Hamerton
10 William Palgrave, John Cracke 40 THE BULL Richard Motte, Arthur Greysson
11 John Ray, Ralph Hancocks, Thomas Percyvale 41 Ralph Lote
12 John Ray, Ralph Lote 42 SARACEN'S HEAD William Farwell, Roger Mayner, Arthur Greysson
13 Ralph & Richard Gateward, Ralph Lote 43 Vicar of Wickhambrook, Thomas Depden
14 John Leiston, Roger Holyngworth 44 John Ickelyngham, John Wyles
15 MAIDENHEAD John Archer, Henry Dale 45 The Dundich (Watercourse)
16 William Mey, Christopher Roughe 46 BULLSYARD John Wykes
17 THE SWORD John Higham, Arthur Greysson, John & David Ayers 47 Thomas Quylter, Ellis Jordon
18 The Pound John Higham, Richard Gatweward, John Bonde 48 John Kydde
19 THE CHRISTOPHER John Wright 49 Ralph Lote
20 THE BELL Henry Dale 50 Ralph Lote, John Cracke, Roger Holyngworth
21 John Upryght, John Yeresley 51 THE FANFAIR Simon Funston
22 John Upryght, John Yeresley 52 Ralph Lote, John Kevin
23 Thomas Depden 53 Ralph Lote, John Grygge
24 Katherine Poperyk 54 Ralph Lote, Henry Dale
25 John Wykes 55 THE FANFAIR WAY Simon Funston
26 John Bede 56 BULLSYARD
27 Thomas Pateryk 57 THE FAIRWAY Richard Motte, Arthur Greysson
28 THE RAM John Withall 58 SHRAGGERY ROW
29 THE HART John Redere, Prior of Fordham 59 FAIRSTEAD, or St Mary's Square
30 Walter Bocher, Henry Cheveley
Most information from the distant past has been found from Peter May's series of books on Newmarket, which should be compulsory reading for all interested in Newmarket history outside of racing. Those who consider it unusual, the number of licensed premises in Newmarket should realise that as far back as the 15th century there were at least 12 alehouses or inns along the High Street

At the end of WW2, provided you were a member of the various clubs, you could drink on the premises at no less than 15 places in the High Street. Even as late as the 1980's, when I carried out a survey, Suffolk as a County was very high in the UK for the number of alcohol licences per head of population but Newmarket had about double that number. In comparison, today, 2020, the town verges on teetotal, except for the fact that there are so many off licences and licensed restaurants and drinking at home seems to be the choice of more natives. in August 2022 there were only 11 pubs/hotels in the whole town and it seems there were double that number of restaurants and coffee shops.

Since the whole area has been completely redeveloped, below is a map of the Rookery
which hopefully can be updated when we find better maps detailing the various lanes.

The red areas seem to be either communal yards or arches through to the lanes. The whereabouts of The Eagle is at present a surmise,
and the Green Dragon, next to the Bushel became a shop many years before this map.
Somewhere is also the Unicorn. The George and Dragon was in Wellington Street, but exactly where is as yet unknown, but most likely in the Powters to New Cut area.

This aerial photo taken in the early 1920's shows several pubs/hotels, some of which had ceased to trade.
For reference, the 2 green crosses on the map above were the trees either side of the gate to Albion Lodge
and were originally still in place when the Market Square was opened, exactly halfway along the car park square, opposite Autozone

Gould's Wine Store beer labels below
Goulds was later Linford's and now (2020) Corney & Barrow. Their yard was halfway along Rous Road on the east side.

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