It is nice that Shottisham villagers have refrained from the use of ‘Ye Olde’ to signify a previous use for their dwelling. Well not that I have not seen that on any house signs. Something I need to check for when I next have a stroll.
At least one house has two previous uses. The Old Police House. It was an ‘Ale House’ before it became the Police House. It was pointed out to me that the Police House front door is wider than normal and you can see this as you pass by. Apparently, this width was used to get large barrels into the alehouse, not very large policemen.
With the Ale House and The Sorrel Horse pub, the village had two drinking establishments. In 1851 the village had 372 souls, up from 161 in 1801. That number of people, mostly agricultural workers, could support two pubs. In Whites directory of 1855, the village was shown to have two ‘landlords’, Joseph Laws, shoemaker and beer-house and Sus Manthorpe, victualler of the Sorrel Horse. I expect Joseph had the alehouse and did a bit of shoe mending on the side. In 1896 (Kelly’s directory) the village was recorded as having a bobby. My assumption is that the Police House was not an alehouse by that time. It may have been the licensing law changes in 1869 that put paid to the alehouse. Joseph had moved to Birmingham by 1861 and his occupation recorded then was Boot and Shoemaker.
Not sure how many people survive in this village now, but this would have reduced from the 2011 census number of 197 with more houses being turned over to holiday rentals or weekend cottages. There has also been quite a bit of amalgamation of multiple small dwellings into one property.
We now just have the Sorrel Horse to drink in. I spoke to a previous landlady and landlord who were both visiting from Dorset. Interestingly they had both managed the pub at a similar time but not at the same time. There were not married to each other then. I asked them if the pub had changed since their time, the early 1990’s. They responded ‘well they have changed the fire’. They obviously did not take a close look at the thatch. Whenever I see an old picture of the inside of the pub it does not look very different to now. I just love the fact that it is so unspoilt although I did notice a review once that said ‘yeah the pub is OK but it looks like it has not changed since the 60’s’.