Pubs of XX in Rutland - History and Information on the Pubs, Inns, Taverns and Beer Houses for Local Historians and Genealogists
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 Homepage > Rutland > Caldecott


Caldecott - St John the Evangelist [2003]

  Caldecott - Mill and Road Through Village [c.1948]   Caldecott - Sun Dial [2003]

The attractive village of Caldecott is located in the south-western corner of Rutland close to the boundary of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. The Eye Brook flows through the village and into the River Welland just to the south-east. A flour mill stood next to the brook but it last ground wheat around 1910 before being converted into the village hall. Caldecott is now on the main A6003 between Uppingham and Rockingham. Indeed, part of the village once formed part of the Rockingham Estates though the Marquis of Exeter was the Lord of the Manor. However, a small Roman settlement existed near the river long before any such manorial claims. The walls of the church feature recycled Roman tiles and some have made claims that the building was constructed on the site of a Roman temple. There is a small Norman window reset in the chancel wall of Saint John the Evangelist which is essentially an Early English building that was restored in the early 1860's. The date of 1648 can be seen on the additional porch. Below the date there is a lovely sundial with the slogan "Your sunny hours alone I tell". There used to be a Congregational Chapel but closed just after the First World War. In the next ware the building was used by Dad's Army. The village is comprised of a variety of interesting old buildings, many of which are constructed with Welland sandstone. There used to be a dovecote that housed up to 600 birds but it was demolished in 1966. One historic building to survive is near the church. Apparently featuring a priest hole, the Garden House is now used as a farm building but was once a butcher's shop, a wartime jam centre and the refuge of a family escaping the French Revolution. There must be something in the local water for Caldecott has produced two winners of the Grand National. The stables of Mr Hunt turned out Playfair in 1888 and Forbra in 1932. The latter won at the first attempt at the handy price of 50-1.
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Built in 1955, the village hall stands on the site of the old Black Horse Inn which closed its doors to the public in 1927. The building was demolished eight years later. Henry and Sarah Jeffs were mine hosts at the Black Horse Inn during the early 1860's. Born in the village around 1798, Henry Jeffs was also a joiner and carpenter. Sons Pridmore, Smith and Augustus all followed in his footsteps working with wood. Their mother Sarah Ann was born in Middlesex. She took over the running of the beer house following Henry Jeff's death in 1867. By the early 1870's, Sarah Ann's son Pridmore was living next to the pub whilst working as a carpenter and joiner. He had a successful business and was employing two men. His sons also continued the family tradition of woodworking. Inevitably, Pridmore and his wife Mary took over the Black Horse Inn before moving to the Old Plough Inn. Kelly's trade directory for 1891 lists a Joseph Wignell as a beer retailer in the village but the census shows Emma Wignell as the innkeeper of the Black Horse Inn. Recorded as a widow, I assume she lost her husband in that year. She lived on the premises with three young children and her mother and father Charles and Ann Ward. Despite being 70 years of age, her dad still worked as a shepherd. Emma Wignell's brothers, Samuel and Herbert also lived on the premises. Emma Wignell re-married to John Spriggs, a locally born shepherd and, together, they kept the pub into the Edwardian period.

Caldecott - Castle Inn [2003]


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The Castle Inn is included here because it is on the edge of Caldecott. However, historically and because it is on the opposite bank of the Eye Brook, it really belongs to Great Easton in Leicestershire. The pub is named after Rockingham Castle to the south. William Conqueror ordered the construction of the original castle, the moat of which remains along with the foundations of the Norman hall and the twin towers of the old gate house. The castle was used by King John when hunting in Rockingham Forest. Today's castle dates from Elizabethan times and has been owned by the Watson family since it was granted to them by King Henry VIII. Charles Dickens was a regular visitor to the castle and he dedicated David Copperfield to Mr and Mrs Watson.

Despite being named after the fortification, the Castle Inn was the principal port-of-call for passengers arriving at the nearby Rockingham Station, a matter of yards from the building. Operated by the London and North Western Railway, the line connected Rugby and Peterborough. In the 19th century the railway line was designated the Stamford and Blisworth branch of the L.N.W.R. The station closed in 1966.

The 1901 census records Edmund Phillips as a builder and victualler of the Castle Inn. However, a trade directory issued two years earlier makes much more interesting reading as he was listed as a plumber, painter, upholsterer, cabinet and venetian blind maker. Makes you wonder how he had time to run a pub! Much of the duties around the Castle Inn were almost certainly the domain of his wife Elizabeth. The couple had moved to the Castle Inn from a property next to the Shoulder of Mutton Inn at Great Easton. Edmund Phillips was born in 1842 at the Northamptonshire village of Braybrooke. Three years younger, Elizabeth hailed from Long Buckby, a short distance from today's Watford Gap services on the M1. Living next to the Castle Inn was Norfolk-born Robert Wilson, the station master. Edmund Phillips learned his trade as an apprentice to the master carpenter John Loveday at Kibworth Beauchamp. It was in this Leicestershire village that he married and daughters Fanny, Ellen, Emily and Florence were all born at Kibworth. Edmund Phillips died in 1910.
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Old Plough Inn - Caldecott

Caldecott - Former Old Plough Inn [2003]


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This building traded until 1948 when the licence was transferred to the Plough Inn across the road. Malt is thought to have been worked here from the 16th century and there is the date of 1578 above the front door. Another date [1838] with the initials R.M. is more prominent, suggesting a partial rebuild or restoration. These letters are the legacy of Robert Morris who was the publican at the Old Plough Inn at this time. He was born in the village around 1779 and at the time of the 1841 census lived at the Old Plough Inn with his children Robert, Jane, James and William. The latter was only one year old and, with Robert Morris being recorded as a widower, it suggests that his wife died in complications related to the birth. The other children were considerably older. Robert Morris employed Thomas Loveday and Mary Shilton as servants, suggesting that the Old Plough Inn was enjoying good trade. Robert and Jane were still living with their father in the early 1850's, a time when Hannah Brown operated a bakery next to the pub.

When Robert Morris died, son Robert took over the licence of the Old Plough. He kept the pub with his sister Jane who remained at the Old Plough Inn. They employed Gretton-born Mary Spencer as a servant. By the 1870's Robert Morris had decided to take things a little easier and moved into a neighbouring property whilst George and Jane Stapleton became mine hosts of the Old Plough Inn. The son of a blacksmith, George Stapleton was born in Great Casterton in 1848. Three years older, his wife Jane hailed from Morcott to the east of Uppingham. It would seem that Jane died at the pub because by the time of the 1881 census George had re-married and was living at Great Addington and working as a farm bailiff of 304 acres. This was not the end of George's life in the licensed trade. Together with his second wife Sarah, he later took over a pub in the Norfolk village of Denver.

Following the departure of the Stapleton family, the new incumbents at the Old Plough Inn were Joseph and Sarah Berridge. The son of a baker turned prosperous farmer, Joseph Berridge was born in the Northamptonshire village of Yarwell in 1846. Five years younger, his wife Sarah hailed from Gretton. Joseph's upbringing was in similar surroundings to that of the Old Plough in that there was a pub and bakery close together. He followed in his father's footsteps as a baker whilst next door to the family bakery in Fotheringhay, another of the Berridge clan was running the Falcon Inn. Joseph was another publican to become a widower at the Old Plough Inn. Following this tragedy, he moved to his brother-in-law's house close to the Hatton Arms Inn at Gretton. He later re-married and became a farmer.
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Caldecott - Plough Inn [2003]


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This building took on the role of the Plough Inn when the licence was transferred from the pub across the road [see Old Plough above] around 1948. The building fronts the main road but is in the corner of the old green where nearby there was the village pump. The people of Caldecott relied on this until piped water was installed in 1957. Up until that point it was a case of trudging down to the pump with a bucket. An older feature of the village green were the stocks but these were stolen in 1835.

The yard of the Old Plough was used for part of the village fair along with the green. Moving from the Black Horse Inn, Pridmore and Mary Jeffs were running the Old Plough in the early 1890's. Their granddaughter Laura Corbett worked as a domestic servant. By this time, nearing the end of the 19th century, Thomas Brown had followed his mother by running the village bakery. Just along the street Annie Rains was the post-mistress. She was still running the village's post office when Robert and Sarah Richards were in charge of the Plough Inn at the turn of the 20th century. The Richards family had previously lived in the Northamptonshire village of Hackleton where Robert Richards was a police constable. They had seven children living with them at Hackleton but only the youngest daughter Elizabeth moved with them to Caldecott.
© Copyright. Pub image supplied by Digital Photographic Images.

Later known as the Engine and Tender, this boozer stood next to the village watermill. It may have been re-named after the steam engine installed in the mill during the late 19th century. This was brought in to replace the heavy machinery brought in by the mill's last operator, Nottingham-born Thomas Vice.

Caldecott - Former White Hart Inn [2003]


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The building of the White Hart Inn has survived but the last pints were pulled around 1950. The pub was formerly called the King's Head. Harris Palmer was the publican in the early 1860's. Born in Swinstead, Lincolnshire, he moved into the beer house with his second wife Mary. He had previously lived in Freiston where he worked as an agricultural labourer. This was also the occupation of William Wade who was the publican in the early 1870's. Born in the neighbouring village of Great Easton in 1845, he kept the pub with his wife Mary. She was born in the village. The couple had two young sons Benjamin and William. In adult life Benjamin would later move to Lancashire when he worked as an engine driver on the railways. William, who was born in the White Hart Inn, also became an engine driver and he moved to Gloucestershire in later years.

Throughout the 1880's the White Hart Inn was kept by Charles and Ann Harris. Charles was born in the Northamptonshire village of Harringworth in 1828 but his wife hailed from Yarwell. The couple lived in Harringworth during the 1860's when Charles worked as an agricultural labourer. In an 1899 trade directory John Ward was listed as publican of the White Stag - whether this was an error or not I cannot determine. Perhaps the beer house did trade under this name for a period. The main village smithy was next door to the White Hart Inn and Wilfred Sarson was both blacksmith and innkeeper. He clearly moved with the times for he also earned a living as an engineer for motor cycles in the pioneering days of bikes.
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“Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the sky I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry:
'Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry.”
Edward Fitzgerald

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