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GREAT HARWOOD

Public Houses

Depending on your point of view there are too few or too many public houses
in Great Harwood and both of these opinions have been aired in the past.

In the middle of the 16th century the government thought that drinking (of alcohol presumably) had become such a great problem that they had to act and it is because of this that records began to be kept of licences issued in Great Harwood. Strict rules were applied to the quality and price of ale and beer, which games were allowed in the house or garden and restrictions placed on the serving of meat and drink on Holy days and Sundays.
The oldest surviving records are from 1635 when there were six ale-houses but only the ale-house keepers' names are given not the name or location of their premises. By 1655 the number had been reduced to four probably because, as elsewhere, Cromwell's Commonwealth looked unkindly on ale-houses not simply out of religious conviction but because they were meeting places and so possible sites of riot or revolt. The innkeepers themselves were under scrutiny for more than the quality of their ale. "Three suspected" was written on the grant for that year.
For over two hundred years the number of ale-house licences fluctuated between four and seven with the addition, now and then, of the odd beer-house selling a milder beer but no wines or spirits. It was not until the middle of the nineteenth century with the building of the cotton mills and the population growing to over 3,000 that more licences were granted.

Game Cock, Great Harwood

PUBS EXISTING BEFORE 1800

Lomax Arms, Great Harwood

PUBS LICENSED UP TO 1860

Walmesley Arms, Great Harwood

LICENCES GRANTED 1860 TO 1870

Royal Hotel, Great Harwood

PUBS BUILT AFTER 1870

Dog and Otter, Great Harwood

DOG and OTTER 1805

Victoria or Butcher Brig, Great Harwood

THE VICTORIA HOTEL 1905
A near-complete example of a purpose
built early C20 public house

 

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Sources

Great Harwood Gleanings, Louie Pollard, 1978, Lancs County Council. Passim
A Great Harwood Miscellany, Louie Pollard. Pages 8, 11, 13, 32
1066. Great Harwood from William the Conqueror to the Millennium, Louie Pollard, Great Harwood Civic Society, 1999. Page 8
A History of English Pubs, H A Monckton, The Bodley Head Ltd., 1969

 

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