Inn’s Of The Village 1775 - 1985
There are three inns [public houses] in the village, the Woodman’s has been traced back to circ 1840 [Ann Dennis], The Sloop and the Cedars started life as a private house in 1901.
We have traced records back to 1775, which detail the leases between various people and the lawyers of the Holford estate. These leases speak of ‘The Water Mill, Mill Pond, South side of Wootton Bridge & Fishery, two tenements and a public house-‘The Greyhound’ [ale house]. It would appear that the Greyhound was in a building adjacent to the corn mill. We have not traced the actual closure of the Greyhound, but must assume it is related to the opening of the Sloop Inn in the early 1800s.
Records go back to 1775 and detail leases between various people and the lawyers of the Holford Estates and concern the Water Mill, Mill Pond and the south side of the bridge and fisheries; two tenements and an alehouse [Greyhound] are also mentioned. No records have been traced which record the actual closing date of the Greyhound Inn but see the information below.
Recently we have traced the following information, which gives a little more background to the Greyhound Inn, the author is unknown.
“In July 1775 Joseph Tarver of Romsey, Hampshire and William Hearn of Hazeley Manor, Arreton, joint lords of the Manor of Briddlesford, sold to James Perry of Kite Hill, Binstead, a miller by trade, the Greyhound Public House at Wootton. The transfer was allowed by a copy of the church roll of Briddlesford dated March 1767 to Ann and Martha Abbott for their lives with waste land on the shore of Wootton River on the north and east sides of the of the said public house. The wasteland had been leased for a 100 years on the 6th February 1767 to John Dunning and John Lisle of Moyles Court, Hampshire owners of Wootton Manor Farm or house. They had also had also leased to John Dunning of Wootton on his own life and that of his sons, land including the brick kilns in Wootton."
In 1781 James Perry sold the Greyhound Inn and Gawn’s tenement and wasteland upon which he had recently built another public house called ‘The Sloop’ to his son-in-law, Phillip Ballard of Newport, a maltster.
The Sloop Inn
The inn is situated at the bottom of the High Street in an area known as Mill Square and from the rear, enjoys a wonderful view down Wootton Creek. It dates back to mid 18th century and is the oldest of the village inns still operating.
In 1759 James Gumm of Newport had an interest in part of a property in Crocker Street, that later became known as Benjamin Mew’s Brewery. Following his death in 1787, his widow Ann, made up a will dividing her property among her nephews and nieces, including a codicil which stated she had purchased a half share of the Sloop Public House, Wootton.
Reported in the Hampshire Chronicle of 1 August 1789 under Lot 2 a Public House, known by the name of the Sloop, was in the occupation of widow Wyatt with a rental of £12 per annum, to be sold by Auction on Friday 21 August at the Sun Inn, Newport
Speak to the older members of the village and they will say “Wootton Bridge Time”. The reason that time stood still in the village was - there was a clock in a shop by the Sloop Inn next to where the coaches [omnibus] from Newport to Ryde and it was stopped at 7.45.
A list of some of the landlords over the years is shown below.
- 1782/1789 Ann Gumm [Half share]
- -1789 widow Wyatt
- 1821/1847 Edward Williams [Senior]
- 1847/1859 Edward Williams [Junior]
- 1861/1874 Abraham Vanner
- 1880/1894 Frederick Purkis
- 1885/1903 Robert Burke
- 1903/1906 William Purkis
- 1906/1933 George Bennett
- 1933/1938 Albert Henry Tuthill Batt
- 1938/1941 Jack Gibbs
- 1941/1965 Arthur Henry Golding
- 1965/1966 Stanley Atwood
- 1966/1971 G & M Morris
- 1971/1976 John & V Wollerton
- 1977 Thomas Denoon
- 1982 John Wollerton
- 1992/2006 Chiswell Properties – Whitbread plc
- 2006- Mitchells & Butlers Plc
The Woodman Arms
Sited at the top end of the village near the Briddlesford/Station Road crossroads the Woodmans started life as two cottages.
A list of some of the landlords over the years has been collected from a number of sources.
- 1861-1898 Martha Cooper housekeeper/innkeeper
- 1878-1898 Arthur Cooper innkeeper
- 1898-1904 Frederick Purkis innkeeper
- 1904 Charles Hancock
- 1905-07 Robert Clark
- 1912-20 John Willie McDine
- 1920-21 Mrs. McDine
- 1921-32 Thomas William Butler
- 1932-35 Harry Beacham
- 1935-45 Fred Hallam
- 1945-50 Harold Morrill
- 1950-66 William H Spidy
- 1966-75 Mr. Carter
It was originally built by William Please as a private dwelling around 1901 for Edmund Brading when he left after being headmaster at New Road School for over 22 years. The building was/is sited at the junction of High Street and Station Road and took its name from the cedar trees in the garden. Records indicate that within 5 years the family had moved to the house next-door called The Linden, which we believe, was also built by the same builder. On the 4th April 1907 his daughter Daisy Gertrude aged 21 married William Henry Mew age 31 an Eng-Lt. in the Royal Navy and Edmunds occupation is listed as estate agent. Edmund died 12th August 1912, aged 63.
Some of the subsequent owners of property have been found in various publications and we list those herewith
- Brother of Major Brodie of Fernhill
- Rupert Hewitt
- Reverent Blake
- John Fulford architect lived there from around 1930 until the 50s.
The Cedars Hotel
In October 1954 a licence was granted to E.H. Abraham and the Cedar Hotel was born, the formal opening was 6th May 1955.
Nearly 200 people enjoyed the hospitality of Messrs W B Mew Langton & Co. Ltd., on Friday week (6th May), when Mr. L. P. Mew (Managing Director and Chairman) opened the Cedars Hotel, Wootton. Mr Mew said he hoped everybody would enjoy the new hotel.
The hotel has two public rooms and three bedrooms for accommodation of visitors. The public rooms are tastefully decorated with red tables and chairs and give an air of brightness against light coloured wallpaper. Dartboards are provided in each room. Spacious well laid out garden surrounds the hotel and in the summer teas will be provided on the lawn. A room will be provided in which parents can leave their children.
The licensee Flight. Lieut. E. J. Francis who has just left the RAF is accompanied by his wife and two daughters. Help is provided by Mr. W. R. Hooper (Falcon Hotel, Shanklin). The first customer was Mr. G. Wheeler
- 1956/70 R & F Irvine
- 1970/71 Finnerty Family
County Records office
Various Kelly’s Directories
St. Edmunds Church Records
Isle of Wight County Press, 14th May 1955