- The market town of Bourne, Lincolnshire, England -
BOURNE HAS NEVER been short of inns and 14 were in existence during the later years of the 19th century to cater for a rising population and trade boom although some were already well established when the century began.
By 1857, there were eleven taverns or public houses in Bourne in addition to the old established hostelries, the Angel and the Bull (now the Burghley Arms), and some survive to this day, notably the Golden Lion in West Street (pictured above), the Red Lion and the Masonís Arms in South Street, the Anchor Inn in Eastgate and the Nagís Head in the town centre. The exterior of this building is largely unchanged since it was erected during the early 19th century in the yellow brick and blue slate much favoured by Victorian builders and it appears to have assumed the name the Nag's Head Hotel that had been discarded by the Angel around 1800 although this has been shortened in recent years to just the Nag's Head, a name that reflects the Englishman's affection for the horse in this agricultural community although it has been interpreted in some districts as a shrewish wife.
The Anchor Inn stands on the north bank of the Bourne Eau behind Eastgate and was built in the 18th century, a reminder that the river was once navigable at this point because this was a quayside and the hostelry was frequented by boatmen playing their trade. Barges would have turned round here after bringing in coal supplies for the town and taking away hides and corn. The inn is a Grade II listed building, as is the old tannery building across the road, now converted for use as private homes.
Two of the most popular public houses in Bourne that both date back to the early 19th century can be found in South Street. The Red Lion is a favourite haunt of young people, especially at weekends, and across the road is the stone built Mason's Arms.
Two public houses have closed in recent years, the Royal Oak in North Street and the Marquess of Granby in Abbey Road, but several new ones have opened, the most impressive being in May 2002 in a converted shop on the west side of North Street. A grocery business founded by John Smith in 1857 operated from this three-storey listed building until it closed in December 1998 because of competition from the supermarkets and it has now been turned into a public house although the new owners have incorporated several of the original features in the refurbished premises, including the Victorian front window and the old enamelled trade plates on the front. The name of the original business, Smiths of Bourne, has also been retained as the name of the new public house.
A history of the inns, hostelries and beer houses in Bourne and
the current inn signs