Project Info


The River Wye



Walks - Hoarwithy pubs

Wednesday 21st June 2006

Pubs of Hoarwithy, present and past - A Ross Civic Society Walk for the Walking Festival

A 3 mile walk around the present and past pubs of Hoarwithy led by Heather Hurley (part of Herefordshire Walking Festival - walk number 31) 


The walk visited the sites of nine known pubs, inns, beer and cider houses. Coaching inns provided food and shelter, alehouses served ale, taverns sold wine, public house was a later name for licensed premises and beer and cider houses were only licensed to sell those beverages usually produced  on site.  From medieval times attempts had been made to curtail the number of drinking houses which led to Justices having the power to licence and suppress premises at the  turn of the 16th century.  Since then licensing has been a complicated process.

The New Harp: The only remaining pub in Hoarwithy, established by James Preece in the late 1880s in Fishbrook  Cottage. Thomas Dance was the landlord in 1902 about the time it was acquired by ACBC who sold the pub in 1962 to West Country Breweries later taken over by Whitbread. Since then it was sold to a private company, and after being damaged by fire in 2005 Fleur and Andrew took over as managers.


The New Harp

Old Harp: originally the Anchor in the C18th , but when Richard Smith, a harpist took over the name was changed to the Harp. Richard died in 1810 and buried at Bridstow where his tomb reads ‘The Harp whilst Mortal aft he strung, To please the gay and jocund throng, With angels now he plays and sings, Glory to God, the King of Kings’. The inn was extended around 1820 under John Williams, and after being purchased by Chandos Hoskyns of Harewood in 1861 it was put up for sale with the rest of the estate, but was not sold until 1884 when it became the Harp Temperance Hotel. Its cellars remained dry until the Hurleys purchased the property in 1978.

Three Salmons: was a cider house in 1851 run by Thomas Evans, but after being purchased by the Harewood estate was closed. The cider mill has been converted, but unfortunately a large stone slab on the garden wall was damaged several years ago. This was where the fishermen of Hoarwithy displayed and sold their salmon.

The Foresters: originally the Odd Fellows Arms, was built in 1834, and with its skittle alley was sold in 1887 to James Preece for £340 who closed the premises two years later. It then became a laundry and is now a dwelling house.

Fisherman’s Arms: was one of five licensed premises on Wye Hill, it was kept by Phillip Preece in 1851 and its precise location is unknown.

Yew Tree: was a cider house in 1851, and was advertised for sale in 1900 with Cider House and Cider Mill House.

Forty Steps: named after its original number of steps leading up to the beer house of 1870 occupied by Phillip Preece, and only open for a short period.

Yew Tree: traditionally said to have served as a licensed premises in the C19th, but no documentation has been found to support it.

Prussia : another former inn in Hoarwithy known by the sign of the King of Prussia in  the C18th  and named after Frederick the Great. It continued as an inn kept by H Harry until the 1820s, but long before the bridge was built the inn closed. The Prussia became a grocers and general stores which closed at least 30 years ago.

More information about the old pubs of the area can be found in Heather Hurley's book 'The Pubs of South Herefordshire', Logaston Press, 2001




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This project was part-financed by the European Union (EAGGF) and DEFRA through the Herefordshire Rivers LEADER+ Programme.