NEWPORT HISTORY SOCIETY INNS AND BEER HOUSES WALKING TOUR
THE BRIDGE INN Bridge Terrace, Newport TF10 7LB
Licensed premises from 1747 to present day
In the late 17th century, The Bridge was originally two buildings and was not an inn but a property owned by a dyer named Richard Ellerton. By 1669, we know he would have used the water from the town’s mill and pool for his business and a question which the History Society have been asking is whether the entrance to the Bridge is, in fact, the footprint of the town’s medieval mill pit?’ as seen in this map from 1681
The mill sat atop a large dam (now Bridge Terrace) which held back a large expanse of water – called Newport Pool.
The first known innkeeper was Samuel Yonge in 1747, but we have no name for the inn at that time. By the 1790s, the inn was advertised as the ‘Cross Keys’.
Much of the brickwork, the chimneys and staircase are of this period and by 1835 the inn was certainly known as ‘The Bridge’. A few lodgers are recorded at The Bridge Inn, but it did not function as a hotel as such and it was never a coaching inn.
There are ceiling beams of this date in the front building and in the cellar and there is an open inglenook fireplace in the southern front lounge on the rear wall.
The bar is situated in the northern end of the far lounge with a later bar below. The main cellar is at the front and has early timber and some sandstone walling. The stable is now a dining area and still has its original wooden door to the hayloft up above. The north wall outside is a 17th or 18th century sandstone wall. This probably mirrors the boundary of the old mill leat watercourse running down to the Strine. The map below shows the position of the Bridge in 1910.
In May 1857, Thomas Plant, the proprietor, advertised a new-fangled ‘beer engine.’ This follows from The hydraulic engineer Joseph Bramah developing the beer engine machine previously in 1797.
By 1896, there was no more brewing on the premises. The owner became E Bishop from a Stafford brewery business called ‘Noahs Ark.’ Then there was a partnership with Eleys of Stafford, but, by 1901, ownership had passed to Joule & Sons Brewery. In the early 20th century Henry Duckers was the licensee but also ran a slaughterhouse and butcher’s shop on the site.
Researched by Newport & District History Society
Funded by Newport and District History Society, Newport Town Council and BTW Pride in your High St funds.