Bristol’s Lost Pubs

Ship Ale House Horfield Common

1841. Eleanor Sanders

Census 1841.

Eleanor Sanders 60, publican, born in county
Ellen Sanders 15, born in county

Many thanks to Mike Wilson, who provided the following information and pictures.

Notes on the parish written by the Bristol historian Rev Fanshawe Bingham, incumbent 1878 – 1899, from notes of Samuel Seyer, who was the incumbent of Horfield 1813 – 1828.

I am informed that the two roads which go across the Church Common, were made about 1769 or 1779; that which goes from the Church westward to Mr. Lambert’s, was made by Mr. Lambert’s predecessor, Mr. Davis; that which goes from the turnpike road (now Gloucester Road) towards Southmead, was made by the Parish. Before this time every one cut across the Common as well as he could, by which the land, was so torn to pieces that the pasture was little worth.

“A little lane, now almost impassable, which leads from the turnpike road, about a mile and a half from Bristol, up to Horfield South Common, is repeatedly and almost every year mentioned in the old records of the Manor Court, and presented as in bad repair. “

Also that the narrow strip of ground below the Church-yard where Matthew’s cottage now stands, is a continuation of this highway, and that thence it passed by the Church to the North Common, on which Common, about 100 yards distant from its entrance, was the original `Ship Ale-house.’

In explanation of the above, so far as I can ascertain, the highway referred to started at the foot of the present Zetland Road, ascending up by the present pathway, which crosses Egerton Road and passes by the Bishop’s Road Board School, and along the back of the gaol towards “Quab” Farm, and thence by the piece of Common at the back of the “Poplars” now called “Ardagh.” To the gateway by Hughenden road and skirting the boundary wall of Horfield Lodge continued along the fence of the Rectory field, past the ruins of the cottage spoken by Mr Seyer and so on to the North Common, past the Church and the ‘Ship’ Ale House and manor Farm to Charlton, Compton Pilning and Aust. The original Ship Ale House was Weston’s Farm, formerly Hewlett’s.

In Mr. Sever’s days, following, I suppose, upon the making of the turnpike road from Bristol, the ‘ Ship’ Ale House was transferred to another place nearer this new road, but in consequence of the bad way in which it was conducted, the license was taken away. Then the house became a private residence. I have heard that Sir Henry Protheroe occupied it for a time. After the Barracks were built the house became vacant, and was re-opened and re-named as ‘ The Wellington Hotel, following upon the Duke of Wellington’s visit to the barracks. When the present Wellington Hotel was built, the former one was closed and is now pulled down.