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Solway Plain - past and present

The Lost Pubs of Allonby

By the late 1800s, Allonby had ten pubs - serving a population of about 400!

Allonby, Aerial view showing location of pubs

The locations of seven of the pubs are shown on this aerial view. The other three were up the lane behind The Ship. Their positions are indicated on the enlarged section below.

pubs behind Ship 

Allonby, filling station formally The Sloop

The Sloop was located at the south end of the village and seems to have closed in the 1870s. It was the building on the right of this postcard view from the 1950s and is now a private house.

Grapes and Solway Hotel 

The Grapes (left) and the Solway Hotel stood close to each other on the green.

Allonby, Queen's Temperance Hotel

The Queen's Head was located at the other side of the bridge. It closed as a pub around 1850 and became a Temperance Hotel.

Allonby, Ship Hotel

The Ship was always Allonby's premier hostelry. Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins stayed there in 1857. This view dates from the early 1900s and shows a magnificent collection of horse-drawn vehicles which were probably waiting to take the members of the local Band of Hope on their annual trip.

Allonby, sketch showing Swan and Sun Inns

The Swan and the Sun stood in the narrow lane behind The Ship.

The Greyhound was also located in this area, in Temple Square, named after the family which owned it.

The Globe, originally known as The London Apprentice, was nearby on the road leading to Westnewton and Aspatria.

In both cases, the buildings have been much altered and it is difficult to pin-point the pubs' exact location.

All the pubs would offer special events for their customers such as that advertised on the right in 1856.
Handbill

Allonby, postcard view

The Spirit Vaults was located somewhere in the block of buildings seen in the postcard view above. Again, many changes to the structure have occurred since the pub closed

Costin's Stoneware Bottle The Vaults was a traditional 'grog shop' run by the Costins who had family links with the West Indies.

It is thought they imported their rum directly from there. It was sold in the stoneware bottles seen in the picture on the left. These are now highly prized by bottle collectors.

The last landlord, Alfred Costin, lost his licence in 1903 when its renewal was opposed by both the police and the local Temperance Movement led by Sir Wilfred Lawson, MP, of Aspatria.

The pub was described as a 'darksome place' with a large rum barrel which had been constructed in the premises. There were only rudimentary furnishings and most customers had to stand.

Sketch of Spirit Vaults interior

A 'Merry Neet' at The Vaults.

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