April 2016 Print E-mail
In Hambledon's history we have examples of alehouses, inns and a hotel (but we have yet to
see a tavern mentioned). Happily The Vine Inn endures (along with The Bat & Ball) and proved
a popular venue for our last meeting on the evening of Thursday 10th March. For this inaugural event all Hambledon's hostelries were mapped out along with historical photographs and we marvelled at Hambledon's ability to support eight of them in close proximity in the mid 19th century with four still in place in the 1950s.
In 1686 Hambledon inns could offer guest beds for 13 and stabling for 38 horses. After that there is a 100 year gap in our knowledge — until we can get clues from the various directories that started to appear from the late C18th, from the 1842 tithe map, from Census information and villager memories. There is a wealth of information out there, our challenge is the time needed to explore and capture it.
Before 1800, inns were generally purpose-built to accommodate travellers whereas alehouses were ordinary dwellings where the householder served home-brewed ale and beer. Taverns were different again: they served wine — much more expensive and therefore attracting richer patrons. Over time, taverns often became coffee houses; inns and ale houses got bigger and the latter started to be called public houses. Businesses were identified by their hanging signs as many people were illiterate. The term hotel was rarely used before 1800. The proliferation of alehouses and the national problem of drunkenness led to the licensing act of 1830 followed by more legislation in 1869. 
In our last article we highlighted that Hartridges acquired The Vine, along with other properties on 23th September 1887 from William Horne. Thanks to Geoff Hartridge we now have the original particulars of this sale, including a map of the seven lots auctioned at the George Inn that day by Robert Burrill of Portchester. We were particularly pleased to welcome Gill and Bruce Horn at The Vine on the 10th March. Bruce is a direct descendent of William Horne and Gill has done amazing research tracing the Hornes/ Horns back as far as 1651 century. They are a well-known farming family in this area and Gills research is revealing wonderful information and stories which we plan to post in the future.
This first drop-in session at The Vine led to a fascinating exchange of information from a number
of new sources — the Dettmers at Mornington House brought new light on its history and people
enjoyed placing their house on the 1842 tithe map. We received lots more information on the
photos scanned at last September's open evening. A couple more examples of these wonderful
photographs are shown here.
Over the next months we will continue our scanning, indexing and research, with the aim of
a well populated archive by the end of the year. And it seems like our ‘Pub Hub' format is a good
way of bringing people together to share their common history. We are accumulating a wealth
of historical material and getting it into digital shape is time consuming but rewarding. Thank
you to all who are helping us with this and please do continue to help us capture and preserve
information on Hambledon yesterday and today through your photographs, historical documents
and knowledge.
Martyn Kille
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 May 2019 )