Brewing was like baking in the early times, undertaken by many ordinary tenants. Before public water supply companies, well and river could be unreliable brewing was one of the methods of sterilizing it for consumption.
The licensing of brewers and the testing of ale was one of the duties of the abbot’s court in the Middle Ages. The regulation of brewing and beers retailing continued to be an important function of the court in Elizabethan times. Amongst the oggences considered in one court were:
Local courts decreed the recognised beerhouse procedures and records show how Elizabeth Boyer failed to chain her gallon at her stable door. John Fielder suffered the same ignominy.
It is incredible that at one time there were 15 pubs/inns in the village, the location of many are unknown.
Before the 1920s there was no mains water in Titchfield; folks used the town pump at the corner of East Street, private wells, some had it delivered by donkey dray and others dared to dip their buckets into the canal. Mains water came to the village in 1923 until then preserving, pickling an brewing were essential skills in every household.
But brewing gradually became a profession and beer houses mostly evolved from farmd and small holdings By Elizabethan times the brewing industry would become one of England’s major revenues both for the government It would be and still is, strictly regulated by HM Customs and Excise both in terms of brewing installations, ingredients, alcohol levels and taxation.
One of the first taverns in Titchfield was the Old House Inn in West Street and looks as though it started out as a smallholding. The earliest were small and informal, offering a single open room catering for the same group of friends and relations each day. There was no bar with beer engines to stand at in these places and drinks were filled from jugs and barrels.
In the mid 19thC there were said to be 5 breweries in the town. In East Street there were two, the ‘Hope Brewery’, on a site at the end of the road and another near Rockstone House. The Bugle did its own brewing too. Fielder’s Brewery, founded in 1744 and listed in 1895 Kellys Directory as Titchfield Steam Brewery. Fielders absorbed the Hope Brewery and by 1961 was the sole survivor.
There were Taverns in the 14th & 15th centuries but the first inns that can be actually located are ‘The George’ located in Bridge Street and the Old House Inn West Street in 1546. In the late 18thC and early 19C three existing inns had appeared, ‘The Coach & Horses’, ‘The Queen’s Head’ and ‘The Wheatsheaf’, in addition to that there were 5 other Inns which have now disappeared, ‘The King’s Head’ (Cordwainer’s, South Street), The Nags Head (The Red House, South Street), ‘The Crown’ (Mill Street), ‘The Clarendon’ (East Street), and ‘The Horse & Jockey (West Street). Most of these were there to offer food, drink and accommodation for the carrier’s waggons which had regular timetabled stops in Titchfield. A small tannery on the corner of Fishers Hill became ‘The Railway Inn’, to cater for the men working on the railway. This eventually became ‘The Fisherman’s Rest’.
The coaches ran via Catisfield, down Fisher’s Hill, Mill Street, East Street, High Street and into the village centre where a number of Inns were waiting to supply fresh horses and sustenance.
The Old House Inn. Farmers began to adapt their premises. One of the oldest in Titchfield was this Inn on West Street at the corner of Guessons Path. Business gradually became concentrated in fewer, more professional hands and was carried out in permanent apparatus that could be property maintained. The Old Inn eventually closed and was replaced by ‘The West End Inn’ located a few houses down.
The Horse and Groom on West Street sold United Breweries Ales. Elizabeth Bath was the licensee between 1872 and 1875 and William Frederick Fe;ltham was the registered owner. In 1903 Francis Philip le Cornu held the license but one year later Charles Henry Mitchell had taken over. After only six week it lost its license when the police reported drunkeness.
The Nags Head. Nothing is known of the location of this Inn. The only reference we have to it is below.
The Red House, South Street. Formerly a beer house. A typical cottage style frontage but to the rear there are barns, stables and a large function room that had a high domed ceilling giving the impression that it served an active social life. In the years 1830 to 1890 music hall nights smoking concerts and early movies were popular. Bare fisted boxing matches were also held there. In 1889 the licensee, Charles West sold the products of Hurst & Company, a brewery in Gosport. In 1875 a record shows that Richard Lock was a bricklayer and the landlord of The Red House, Coach Road, Titchfield. Mr Cave Kingman, sold Kinnell & Hartley’s beers, a brewery in Emsworth. South Street was his family home for 38 years, but in 1921 he revoked the license and it became a shop. In 1946 it was the village post office, which seemed to move location quite often.
The Kings Head, ‘Cordwainers, South Street’ was adapted from two cottages numers 24 & 26. According to the 1881 census there was ample rear space to keep horses, and when music hall was in vogue a function room was built. In 1859 Alex Whitcher was the proprieter, followed in 1871 by Samuel Brewer. In 1885 Ronald and Ellen Hooper began their period of tenure. It eventually closed in 1900.
The George. Situated in Bridge Street going out of the village, was ideally situated for Sailors & Fisherman.
The Coach & Horses, which was demolished in ………. to make way for residential houses was once a leather making business until the railway line from Southampton to Netley was extended to Fareham when in was name ‘The Railway Hotel’ and became a hostel for the railway workers. It went on to host the crews who built ‘The Avenue’ and the A27 Titchfield bypass…….
The Clarendon. Not since about 1921 has ‘The Clarendon’ East Street quenched the thirst of the village. It is now a three storey double fronted house (once known as ‘The Corner House’). It stands in its own orchard and there are signs of stables and most likely a brewery to the rear. At the beginning of the 19C the ‘Collins’ and Moore’ families ran the pub, possibly starting as a single room hostelry when it was referred to as a ‘beer house’. In 1872 Andrew Barlow & Co Ltd of Victoria Brewery, Southampton acquired it and may have expanded it until 1913 when it known as ‘The Clarendon Inn. Both the Old Inn and the West End Inn also sold beers from the Victoria Brewery.
The Wheatsheaf……….. was the first inn for the coaches entering the village. In its time it had stables and accomodation, and became a popular stop over for cyclists.
The Queen’s Head, High Street. The Queen’s Head a strong survivor down the years is a handsome double bay fronted in that had extensive stables and outbuildings. Early in the 1900s it functioned as a coaching inn and Jas. Bailey presides, but by 1871 Henry George Broome had taken over. By 1872 it had joined the Fielder group and John Jennings held the license.
The Bugle, which is also a small hotel, wins on size. It has always been the village focus and was even a premises for the Court Baron whilst Titchfield was governed by the Lord of the Manor. It is built on three levels plus a large cellar, the third floor rooms are built into the roof space and a parapet with false sash windows hides their dormers. At the back are stables and coach houses.
The Crown ( Numbers 11 & 13 Mill Street). This was part of the J.R. Fielder group. A license was recorded in 1903 to William Doe. At the rear of the property there is evidence of a malting kiln and neighbouring building number 15 still show evidence of a malt house workings. This belonged to Frederick Bunney who also ran the Titchfield Mill. Malt would have been needed by the many bakers and brewers in the village at the time.
The Fisherman’s Rest. Before 1889 the Southampton railway line terminated at Netley Hospital, but in that year it was finally extended, linking onto the Fareham and Gosport line. The leather making business opposite the abbey became the Railway Hotel, a hostel for railway workers and later host to the welsh miners that built the A27 bypass. J R Field named it ‘The Fisherman’s Rest in 1913 with Alfred James Hughes installed as the Licensee.
The Titchfield Mill, which was originally built around 672 was converted into an inn and restaurant in 1998 with many of the Mill workings being preserved.
“Rumour has it that there was a bar run by the village at the Community Centre, where prices remained low, however it was found that the books were full of red figures and so the game was over.”
In the mid-18thC there were said to be 5 breweries in the village. Bethune Leggate’s Hope Brewery was located at 6-8 East Street and at the opposite end the Clarendon is known to have been an early brewhouse, and in the 1881 census map tenuously shows yet another operating near to Rockstone House on the corner of East Stree/High Street.
Titchfield Steam Brewery was founded in 1744 on Bridge Street and around that time the Bugle also made its own beer.
John Fielder & Son Ltd
The Titchfield Brewery was founded in 1744, the date on many of their labels, and acquired by the Fielder family in 1852. The company was first registered in 1947, which is helpful in dating their labels. Taken over by Whitbread & Co with about 12 tied houses, in 1961.
Here is a somewhat tenuous link between the posting of the brewery tap photo and the piecework strawberry pickers payment token identified by Bet Frampton. (Dodger) Saunders as he was known was a prominent grower with land at Hollam and also the owner of Speedfield farm in Newgate Lane, Fareham which is now the Fareham retail park(Asda etc). He was a founder member of the Titchfield Bowling club together with the owner of Fielders Brewery to which the brewery tap was attached. Mr Fielder provided the land for the Bowling club under the condition that alcohol should never be consumed there in order to protect his commercial interests such as the Tap and the other locally owned pubs. The link between the Fielders and Saunders family has continued over the years because “Dodgers” grandson who lived on Speedfields farm and worked it, upon it’s sale for development, took up land management and in particular sports fields which included Titchfield Bowling club. He also maintained all the other Fielder owned land in Titchfield for many years. The “Tap” used to be a favourite watering hole for the younger lads in the village (me included) where it was tucked away in a quiet yard next to the dray horse stables. Happy days.