WEEKE LOCAL HISTORY
Public House 1
The Roebuck Inn is positioned on modern Stockbridge Road halfway between the railway line and St Matthews church. It is positioned on the 1802 borough boundary of Winchester. This followed a line from the modern Hillier Garden Centre to the location of the Roebuck and then across Fulflood to the location of the Jolly Farmer Pub before leaving the parish of Weeke.
On the front wall of the Roebuck there is a stone set into the brickwork with B.W. engraved on it. This indicates the pub was built on the boundary after the boundary had been defined. This boundary was set in 1802, so the pub building must have been built after 1802. The first evidence found is creighton’s map of Winchester (URL8) which was drawn in 1835. It shows a pub on the Winchester boundary called the Three Horse Shoes Inn. This must have been built between 1802 and 1835 when the map was produced. Based on the building it was probably built nearer to 1835 than 1802.
The pub was probably called Three Horse Shoes Inn when it was built. By the 1841 census it was called the Bridge Inn (cf 1841 census for Weeke). It is somewhat surprising that its name was changed. It seems likely to have been given this name based on the then new bridge for the railway line as it reaches Winchester station from Basingstoke. It may well be that the Navvies building the line frequented the pub and the name change was made in honour of the builders.
The new name did not survive long probably because most customers could not understand a pub called the Bridge Inn that was nowhere near a river bridge. Probably the publican changed and the new publican decided the name should be changed. By the 1851 census (cf 1851 census for Weeke) the pub was being called the Roebuck Inn and has used this name ever since. The pub had a cricket ground that was regularly used on the land opposite the pub across the Stockbridge. This was is recorded in a lease in 1864 (HRO W/F3/427)and from at least 1869 was used for the annual sheep and lamb fair until about 1902 (HRO W/F4/1/3).
At one time the pub was owned by Young & Co of Twyford Brewery, on the front walls was painted “Celebrated Twyford Ales & Stout”. On one of the panels inside the bar are the words “Brickwood’s Finest Beers” The pub was subsequently owned by Winchester Brewery and then when the Brewery was taken over by Marston’s. The pub is now part of Greene King pubs (Yates, 2007 p 106).
The Creighton map of 1835 (URL8)does not show the Jolly Farmer pub. It is on the line of the City boundary set in 1802 on the Andover road. At the time of Creighton’s map there is a house shown on the line but no pub.
In late 1835 the house was taken over by the brewer Crowley in Andover and was converted to a pub (HRO 120A03/23/7). It is unclear how the name was chosen. It could be it is in honour of William Cobbett who was referred to as the Jolly Farmer (Biddle, 1999) and died in 1835. The pub was very close to Gallows Field shown on the Tithe map of 1840. This was where executions were undertaken. The prisoner was marched up the hill from the jail in Jewry Street.Executions took place from about 1790 to 1862 (Yates, 2007 p 109).
The pub was demolished and replaced in 1905 when it was repositioned on the site (HRO TOP343/3/103). It sits on the corner of Boscobel road and Andover road. The earlier building may well have come to the end of its life. The opportunity was taken to realign the building on the site since the earlier building was effectively off the Andover Road because of the road realignment when the railway bridge was built in 1839. For many years it was run by Strong & co of Romsey, but it is now a Greene King pub.
The Railway Inn
The Railway Inn is on the corner of Clifton road and St Paul’s Hill (upper Stockbridge Road or Weeke road in earlier times) opposite St Paul’s Church. The pub was built sometime between 1861 and 1871 since it appears in the 1871 census for Weeke. This was well after the final section of the railway had been opened in 1840. The pub now belongs to Marston’s PLC and is the closest pub to the railway station on the Weeke side of the railway line (Yates, 2007 p 104).
Release 1.0 last update 02/09/08