The Swan in 1985.

Old Lympstone: Looking back through a glass

Angela Coles
Thursday, December 15, 2011
5.30 PM

This week’s article is loosely based around the subject of brewing and drink, something which, looking back through the old 19th century newspapers, as a village, we seemed to enjoy and still do.

The photo shows The Swan Inn in 1985 and was taken by Miss Ursula Perry.

In August 1827, in the Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post, a man was reported as in court for setting up a private still for distilling spirits.

Convicted with the penalty of 40s costs after the still, apparatus and 70 gallons of “low wine and spirits” were exhibited.

The goods were forfeited. Plymouth Journal 1831, “On Friday morning last, the Malt-house of Mr Throne of Lympstone together with a heavy stock of barley was entirely destroyed by fire; the destructive progess of which was not arrested until two cottages adjoining had also fallen a pray to the devouring element, in one of which such was the rapidity of the flames that the inmates were taken from their beds but an instant before the roof fell in.

“The engine from Nutwell Court, the seat of Sir Trayton Drake, was promptly drawn to the spot, but too late to be of any effectual service.

“The fire is supposed to have been occasioned by over heating the kiln.”

In December 1836, the newspapers carried the story of a hurricane which, on hitting land at Cornwall, travelled up through Plymouth, Exeter and on to London.

Whilst the fine stained glass windows were blown out of the Wesleyan Chapel in St Sidwell’s, Exeter, Mr Ball the spirit and wine merchant of Lympstone was having his own troubles. “Lost considerably by a heavy chimney falling and crushing the cellar, a cask of gin just tapped had the cock knocked out and the gin was spilled on the ground”.

Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post ran an advert in 1841 for “Desirable Free Public house to let, Lympstone.

The Globe Inn with immediate possession requiring but a small capital and rent very moderate, apply to Mr Collins, mason at Lympstone”.

Lastly, May 1844, “A single bottle of Bett’s Patent Brandy or any great quantity may now be obtained in an undoubtedly genuine state.

“Bett’s Patent Brandy thus preferred by the medical profession and protected from spurious substitution maybe obtained from Mr T Y Searle of Lympstone at 8s 6d per bottle, bottles included, a charge for testing its superiority within the expenditure of every consumer.

Lympstone History Society would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2012.