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The Coach and Horses – Charmouth's famous Coaching Inn.
The Coach and Horses c.1900 that replaced the original thatched building which was destroyed in a fire in 1882
The Coach and Horses – Charmouth's famous Coaching Inn.

This article will mainly deal with the Golden Age of Coaching and the part the Coach & Horses played in it. This is the era that Dickens portrayed so vividly in the Pickwick Papers and our Village Inn could so well have been the model for that chosen by him. This period of history coincided with the introduction of the Royal Mail at the end of the 18th Century and was to quickly decline with the growth of the Railway. The Inn`s History is entwined with this and for a while was actually renamed “The Mail Coach Inn”.
Charmouth`s position on the Road that linked London to Exeter could well go back to pre-Roman times. But we do know from an archaeological survey carried out nearby at Hogchester Farm that it was on the Ackling Dyke which the Roman Legions used from Dorchester to Exeter. The Domesday shows a small community which included sixteen Salt Workers who boiled the sea water in large lead basins to extract the salt. In the thirteenth Century the village was to be given to Forde Abbey and there is a reference to the settlement in 1240 with regard to the Chapel here in a dispute between the Parson of Whitchurch Canonicorum and William Heiron, Lord of Charmouth.This same building forty years later must have been near the coast as it was being battered by the sea and a new one was needed at a safer spot, no doubt on the site of the present Church. In 1278 the Abbot of Forde was granted a weekly Market and a yearly Fair at Charmouth. Old deeds relate to the ancient market being held in the Square outside the Inn. This site was important as it was at the crossroads of The Street to the Lane that went to the Sea and another Lane, now encompassing Barrs Lane, which went inland. In 1298 The Abbot of Forde created a Borough in Charmouth with half acre burgage plots stretching back from the Street to a ditch in the south and the present stone wall to the north. These were not economic and were amalgamated in time. A 1564 Survey of the village shows most tenants occupying a house with an acre of land on the Street and another acre of Common Land within the area between there and the beach, a name that still survives in “Double Common”. There was no doubt a building on the site of the Coach and Horses, because of its importance next to the Church and Manor House, though whether it was a Hostelry, at this stage I am not sure.
The earliest reference to the Inn which was originally known as “The Ship” is in the 18th century Alehouse Returns for Dorset which is a remarkable survival and can now be seen at the Archives in Dorchester. They show that in 1714 the Licensee was William Kidnor, but he was not the owner, which was probably a member of the Edwards family. His will of 1726 describes him as a Victualler with George Browne, a Maltster, as trustee. The same gentleman owned a number of Taverns in Bridport and often acted as surety to his tenants when they were seeking to renew their licenses each year. The Returns show that Charmouth also had “The Fountain Inn”, which is now “Charmouth House” at the corner of Higher Sea lane and “The George”, which still survives as an Inn today. On the death of Kidnor,Thomas Follett briefly takes over and is followed by William Raymond in 1730.The first reference to it being called “The Ship” is two years later, when a Deed shows Clement Joynes of Charmouth and his wife Elizabeth, selling the lease of the Churchyard Close and a messuage called the Ship to Robert Batten of Charmouth. It would have been a Hostelry for the many coaches that were then passing through the village between London and Exeter and a revealing incident is described in The Western Gazette, of 9th April 1739:
"Our townsmen beheld by only going to Charmouth, the wonder of the day, better known as " The Exeter Flying Stage Coach" which reached Dorchester from London in two days and reached Exeter in three days. The lofty Stonebarrow Hill had to be ascended from Morcombelake and the descent - a perilous one - to be made by the main road, better called narrow lane, beyond the eastern brook by Charmouth, since abandoned for one further inland, and recently for one still further inland, by which the hill from Morcombelake is altogether avoided."
By 1747 Hannah Newberry is shown in the Alehouse Returns as the Licensee of “The Three Crowns” as it was to be renamed by her. This name derives from the Three Wise Men at the birth of Christ. Six years before she is shown as Landlady of an Inn at Marshwood with Thomas Paul of Wootton Fitzpaine as Surety. She is always described as a Widow, although her bereavement must have been early in her marriage as she was to own and initially run the Three Crowns for almost 50 years. She was a member of the Independent Church in Charmouth, whose records are incomplete and as yet I have not been able to find who she was married to and her maiden name, although she probably was a member of the Edwards family as she seems to be associated with them throughout her long life. The earliest surviving Poor Rates List of 1754 show Mrs. Hannah Newberry paying 2 3/4d.Her name would appear annually both on this and the land Tax list until her death in 1793. Her only child, Mary was to marry Thomas Edwards in 1756. He was the eldest son of William Edwards who had lived in the family house, which is now the building incorporating Stanley House, Rupert House, Breeze and Charmouth Stores. His father describes himself as a “Common Carrier” in his Will and would have been associated with the Inn opposite. Soon after his marriage, Thomas is shown as running the Inn for his mother in law. Later he was to lease it himself and is shown as living in a house next to it, built on the 2 acres of land at the corner of Lower Sea Lane that Hannah is shown as owning in the Land tax records. This is probably what is today known as Beech House, which appears on the Tithe Map before Winton House is built to the east of it by John Hodges, a butcher.
Hannah Newberry`s time at the “Three Crowns” coincided with the growth in Turnpike roads which revolutionised traveling from the mid-18 th Century. Before then roads were virtually impassable at times and teams of horses would have to be used to carry goods on it. Their upkeep was often neglected by the villages they passed through. But in 1754 Charmouth was to be part of “The Harnham, Blandford and Dorchester” Turnpike. There were other sections linking it to Bridport, Crewkerne and Lyme Regis and four years later it would be referred to as “The Great Western Road”. When properties were advertised for sale they would invariably refer to this as in the following examples show:
This Afternoon, at the Bull Inn in Bridport, -The valuable and Improvable MANOR of CHARMOUTH, truly eligibly situated midway between Bridport and Axminster and the Great Western Road." 1788
“ Charmouth is on the turnpike road, and about a quarter of a mile from the sea, a Mail and three other coaches pass to and from London daily”. 1789
“The situation of Charmouth is remarkably cheerful and healthy, it lies on the Great Western Road, is well supplied, and has excellent machines for sea bathing”. 1799

The village was to have a Toll House in what is now Claremont House at the top of The Street and a gate across to the other side to ensure travellers paid their Tolls. There were exceptions with the Royal Mail whose coaches would blow their horns before to ensure that the gate was quickly opened so that they did not have to slow down. The Parish Records show that a man was killed in 1760 by one of these Mail Coaches in the village as it sped through.
The Mail still took many days to travel across country and it is not until John Palmer develops a faster non-stop system in 1784 that it improved. His first Mail Coach left Bristol at 4pm then called at the "Three Tuns Inn" at Bath by 6pm and arrived at "The Swan with Two Necks" in London at 8 am. Three years later he began a route linking the same Inn with the "New London Inn" in Exeter. This was to pass en route through Charmouth, where it would have a brief stop at “The Three Crowns”. It was one of a number of coaches that would stop at the Inn where their travellers could enjoy its hospitality or travel to other parts in due course.
By 1780 Hannah Newberry was a grandmother to William and Hannah Edwards, who was to marry the wealthy Bento Dare from Wootton Fitzpaine and have a child which would also be called Hannah. In the same year there was a Court Case when John Randall took the Parish Officers to Court alleging unfairness in his Poor rates demand. The detailed records now kept at the Archives in Dorchester, provide a snapshot of the village in that year with descriptions of owners and properties. They include: “Mrs. Hannah Newberry and Occupier, in respect of a Dwelling House called The Three Crowns and a field thence belonging in possession of her and her Under Tenants. Thomas Edwards lives in a House with an Orchard”.
There is also a Map Reference Book for Charmouth in the year 1783.which records:
no.182. Mrs Hannah Newberry House & Garden (£2-0-0d) - 24 roods.
no.183. Mrs Newberry Church Yard Mead (£3-11-10d) - 2 acres 34 perches
no. 85. Margaret Edwards House & Orchard (£3-10-0d) - 1 pole 29 roods
no.91 Thomas Edwards House & Orchard (£3-0-0d) - 2 perches 28 roods

This shows clearly that Hannah owned the large field on the corner of Lower Sea Lane on which her daughter and son in law had built what is now Beech House. Margaret, is the mother of Thomas Edwards and lives in the house opposite in which Charmouth Stores forms part today.
Hannah was to live a long life and when she died in 1793 she was to leave considerable property to her grandchildren – William Newberry Edwards and Hannah Dare. But her granddaughter must have died shortly before her Mother as the property is inherited by William alone.
We are fortunate that The London Metropolitan Archives has recently catalogued many of the Sun Insurance Policies for the country and there are over thirty for Charmouth and include much of interest about the buildings and occupation of the residents. Amongst them are these for 1790 as follows:
“William Edwards of Charmouth near Bridport, in Dorset, Butcher – On his household goods in his dwelling house only not exceeding £100 only in tenure of Joseph Bradbeer, not exceeding £150. Stables, Slaughterhouse adjoin not exceeding £50. All thatched situate at Charmouth aforesaid”.
Joseph Bradbeer of Charmouth in Dorset, Victualler on his household Goods in his now dwelling house and office adjoining situated aforesaid (The Three Crowns) thatched and exceeding £150
Utensils and Stock therein not exceeding £30, Wearing Apparel therein not exceeding £10, China and Glass therein not exceeding £10.

Joseph Bradbeer, who is referred to above took on a lease of the Inn under the ownership of William Edwards,on the death of his grand mother,Hannah Newberry. As well as the many coaches that were stopping at the Inn, there were also the heavy “Russell`s Fly Waggons” which were pulled by a team of eight horses which would have been needed to cope with the hills in the neighbourhood. The Hill into Charmouth was notorious and passengers would have to get out and walk alongside. There is a famous incident when King George III was travelling from Weymouth to Sidmouth in 1789, which is reported as follows:
"Between Bridport and Chard are two very large steep hills, Chideock and Charmouth. It was impossible for his majesty's horses could here proceed in the swift manner in which he usually travels. The King, Lord Courton, Colonel Goldswothy, &c. dismounted, and walked up the hill. The King said he had never travelled such a stage in his life. During all this part of the road the multitude walked with him, and at times conversed familiarly with such as were near him.
The people of the village of Charmouth had prepared a lofty triumphal Arch of oak bought, with a crown of Laurel and wreaths of flowers”.

There are other incidents relating to the Coaches reported in the newspapers of the time:
“Friday last a passenger from London, on the top of the Western Coach, being sick at Chideock expired before he came to Charmouth, through the excessive cold of the foregoing night”. 1791
“Sunday the 28 th October three mail coachmen attended divine service in Charmouth Church, and it is remarkable they had patience to continue to the conclusion of it”. 1798
“On Friday night a stage coach from Exeter for London overturned on Charmouth Hill, by which accident a young woman, an outside passenger, was thrown with such violence on the road, that she died immediately – her name was Anne Pitts, she was Lady`s maid in the family of James Buller, esq. M.P. and she was on her way to visit a relation in this city, when she encountered the above fatal accident. ”.
1805. Her Grave Stone is still to be seen in St. Andrews Church, showing she was 58 years of age.
Thomas Bradbeer as well as running the Inn was to become the Village Post Master, no doubt using the facilities of The Three Crowns with its extensive Stables situated behind it. His son Francis had married Elizabeth, the daughter of Robert and Dinah Crout. It was Dinah, who was the daughter of William and Margaret Edwards, who was to inherit their family home in the building of which Charmouth Stores form part of today in 1784. When she died in 1793, her daughter inherited the house and in 1801 she married Francis Bradbeer. They had two children, but her life was foreshortened when she died five years later. Her husband, who was a Tailor moved to Woolwich, where his brother was stationed as an Artillery Officer and remarried soon after. The tragic chain of events is made worse when you read that in 1804 his father lost not only his wife, but both his daughter, Maria and her husband. But his life changes for the better when in 1806 at the age of 56 he marries the 31year old Lydia Margrie. It is in that year that he moves into the eastern part of his son`s former House opposite “The Three Crowns”, where he is Landlord and opens his Post Office. This is the building, part of which survives in the rebuilt Charmouth Stores (Nisa) that has seen continuous trading for over 200 years. The earliest references to it are in adverts from 1809 for receiving letters, where they make a point of letters being post-paid, as if not the recipient had the expense and often refused them. In 1810 an advert for The Taunton Journal describes both the Inn and the adjacent property when they came up for lease. It was in this year that the lease was taken over by John Clemoes. But just four years later William Stephens from Axminster is the new landlord. He is very enterprising and purchases stabling opposite and converts it into a house and later buys what was a shop standing on the site of “Little Lodge” which he rents as a Tailors. The other side of the passage leading to The Star Inn, which may well have been established by Stephens, was Joseph Bradbeer`s Post Office, which on his death in 1821 was run by his wife Lydia. The 1832 Poor Rates Lists show her letting part of the building to John Carter, who takes over the Post Office and includes this with a Grocers and Builders in his entry in Directories of the time.
After William Stephens time at the Coach and Horses, the Inn is briefly run by John Clemoes once more and then in 1824 William Foss begins a long occupancy under the ownership of William Edwards. He renames the hostelry as as The Mail Coach Inn, as this trade forms a substantial part of his business. There is a newsparer report in 1827 of a devasting fire which destroys much of the interior. The ownership of the Inn passes over to Samuel Gundry on the death of William Edwards in 1829. He owns a number of properties and his Brewery is based in Gundry Lane in Bridport. He continues to build up the trade and an 1839 Directory shows the Royal Mail, Herald and Red Rover stopping at the Inn daily between their journeys from London and Exeter. The 1841 Census supplies further information regarding William who is aged 52 and living with his wife Mary and five children. In the same year the Tithe Map shows the ownership of the 28 roods of land as Bowden Gundry, the large 2 acre piece of land that went with it on the corner of Lower Sea Lane was now under new ownership. Two years later William moves to Lyme Regis and an advert at the time reveals him as the new landlord of The Golden Lion in Broad Street. At the same time an advert appears in the Western gazette for The Mail Coach Inn, which is now to be run by Richard Burdon, which he intends improving. He offers superior Fly, Phaetons, etc with good horses and cordial drivers. There is also Good Stabling and Lock up Coach Houses. In 1846 the parish records show that he marries Elizabeth, daughter of R.Major of The Greyhound Inn at Bridport. Just two years later there is an advert placed again the paper showing that George Holly, for many years head waiter at The Kings Arms, Dorchester was taking over. In the same paper was a similar advert for Richard Burden, showing that he was now at The Cups in Lyme Regis. It is interesting seeing that the Holly and Burden families were related through the wife of George, who was previously Elizabeth, sister of Richard Burden.
Here he appeals to the readers of the Newspaper as follows:
George Holly, for many years Head Waiter at the King's Arms Hotel, Dorchester), takes the earliest opportunity of announcing
" to the Inhabitants of Charmouth and the neighbourhood, as well as the Public at Large, that he has taken and entered upon the above old - established Hostelry, and must respectively ask from them a continuance of that Patronage and Support which they have for so many years afforded to his Predecessors, assuring them that no exertion of any kind shall be wanting on his part to maintain the reputation of the House and to ensure entire satisfaction to the Customers.
The House offers accommodation to Families, Commercial Gentlemen and others - being replete with excellent Beds, Capital Stabling and Coach Houses, and every Comfort than can reasonably be desired".

The Inn was used extensively by commercial travellers during the coaching period. One of these gentlemen was accidently drowned whilst bathing. Mr Holly paid for his funeral and 357 of his friends subscribed and gave Mr. Holly, a silver Coffee Pot as a mark of esteem in 1849. The 1851 Census describes it as a Commercial Inn and Posting House run by George Holly, aged 32 born in Quedhampton and Elizabeth Holly, his Wife, aged 40 born in Purlice. In the same year Job Legg acquired the Brewery from the Gundrys and was the owner of a number of pubs, including The Coach and Horses, The Royal Oak and The Star in Charmouth. He moved the operation to what is now the Old Brewery. Four years after his death in 1892, Legg's brewery passed to John Cleeves Palmer and Robert Henry Palmer.Two of their descendents, John and Cleeves Palmer still run the company today.
The reign of the Coaches came to swift end with the advent of the Railway. Bridport Station was opened in 1857 and another station at Lyme Regis with a link through Charmouth was planned but never came to Fruition. George Holly as a result changes the name from Mail Coach to Coach and Horses. There is an astonishing pictorial record of the affect it had with a photograph taken in 1860 of the last Coronet Coaches journey outside the Mail Coach Inn. It was taken by Mr. J. Bottomley, a Charmouth Schoolmaster, who took a number of early images of the village. The Coronet coach ran between Bridport and Exeter from February 1858 till the summer of 1860 when the opening of the L.S.W Railway to Exeter brought the service to an end.It left the Bull Hotel Bridport at 11.30 a.m. arriving at Pratts Hotel in Exeter at 5pm. In the reverse direction departure from Exeter was at 10.am Bridport being reached at 3p.m. The fares between Bridport and Exeter were: inside 12/- Outside 8/-. The driver of the coach was called Tiny, the post boy was Dam Biles, who afterwards kept the Star Inn opposite. Fred Wild, in the white waistcoat, was the uncle of Henry Wild and met all the coaches. Reg. Pavey had the information concerning this historic photograph from William, the son of George Holly who was the landlord at this time.
In 1873 George purchased Charmouth House, which stands at the corner of Higher Sea Lane for £1560 and was to live there and run it as an Hotel. Until 1810 it had formerly been known as The Fountain and could trace its history back as an Inn to the times of the monks of Forde Abbey. Since its closure it had been the residence of the Census shows. The 1881 Census shows William Holly, son of George Holly living in Beech as House job and Post Master and his father, George now aged 62 at the Coach and Horses with his wife, Elizabeth, aged 58 and son George, junior aged 31. The following year there was a devasting fire which caused extensive damage to the ancient thatched building . Mr. Holly did not agree with then owners when they decided to rebuild in 1882 after the fire and he moved to Charmouth House which he had already been running in conjunction with the Coach and Horses. During the time that the new Inn was being built the licensee was transferred to Wisteria House. A Miss Hillman was manageress. There is a commemorative carved stone to be seen today on the left side of the present building recording the year that it was finished. George was to die in 1886 and has daughter Mrs Elizabeth Salisbury took over running his Hotel with her brother, George Holly Jnr..
The 1891 Census now shows James Ingram aged 63 at the Coach and Horses, with his wife, Emma and Mary Foss barmaid, aged 20 as a bar maid. It is interesting to speculate if this was the daughter of William Foss, the earlier landlord. A Rates List for Charmouth from 1898 has survived and is very deatiled showing that Alex Cox Pagan is the Landlord. He was married to James Ingram`s daughter and the building owned by the Executors of of Job Legg, Brewer from Bridport. The 1901 shows him aged 34 with his wife and three children. On his death Mrs Pagan married Morgan from the shop opposite and he briefly took over the license. The later bought the Axminster Bus from William, son of George Holly and started the first Motor Bus. He did not last long, for in 1907 the Coach and Horses has a new Landlord in the shape of George White, who advertised as follows:
"The Coach and Horses Family Hotel, five minutes' walk from Sea and close to Golf, Tennis and Cricket Grounds. Charges Moderate and Home Comforts Guaranteed. Messrs. Palmers Celebrated Draught Beers and Stout. Bass and Salt`s Bottled Ales and Stout. Choice Brands of Wines, Spirit and Cigars. Good Dinner Ale in 4 ½ and 9 gallon casks at 1s. per gallon. Agent for London and South Western Railway. Hotel Bus to Axminster Station at 9 a.m. returning at 3.23 p.m."
By 1911 there was yet another new landlord, with Sidney Boucher, the first of a succession to follow. I have been through the Electoral Rolls and list briefly who they were and their years as tenants:
Alfred and Harriet Forty (1928), Richard Gay(1928 – 30), Captain Alfred James and his wife, Ida, (1930-32), Douglas Smith (1936-1939), Bettina Thomas (1939-45), Jane Colquhoun , (1945) Sydney and Gladys Coleman(1945-59), Donald and Betty Jones (1961-65), Margery Porter (1965- 70), Charles and Heather Sargeant(1970-74), Thomas and Judy Digby (1974-77) John Jacobs and Family. (1977-?) .....
I am not sure of the more recent history and will add more information as I find it. But sadly after 1996 it was closed and converted into flats. If you can supply any new insights into the history of the Inn, please email me at neil@freshford.com.
Neil Mattingly

Listed below is a more detailed History of The Coach and Horses in Chronoloigical Order
1714 Ale House List for Dorset show William Kidnor,Victualler with John Read, Gentleman and Rev.Brian Combe, South Mapperton for Surety.
1718 William Kidnor of Charmouth shown as a Victualler on Ale House List for Dorset.
1726 William Kidner married to Elizabeth appears in 1714 list of Alehouses with Richard Darke, James Dober (George Inn) for Charmouth. In 1726 he appears in quarter session books as a Victualler with George Browne, Maltster of Bridport. This gentleman appears in his Will of 1726. There is a detailed Will for George Browne dated 1756, where he is described as a Maltster and leaves a number of Inns in Bridport to his family including one opposite to the Shambles and next to the George Inn on the east side, to John Palmer, Victualler, whose family run continues to operate the Brewery today.
1726 Thomas Follett of Charmouth shown as a Victualler with Thomas Gray, Yeoman as Surety.
1730 The Alehouse returns show John Goreing Senior and Junior as Landlords of two Inns and William Raymond of The Ship.
1732 In 1732 Clement Joynes of Charmouth, Gent, and his wife Elizabeth, with others leases Churchyard Close and a messuage called the Ship to Robert Batten of Charmouth , Gent. In 1735 the same Property, near the Church is assigned in trust.
1739 "Our townsmen beheld by only going to Charmouth, the wonder of the day, better known as " The Exeter Flying Stage Coach" which reached Dorchester from London in two days and reached Exeter in three days
1741 Alehouse Returns: Hannah Newberry is shown at Marshwood with Thomas Paul of Wootton Fitzpaine and Thomas Venner as Sureties.
1747 Alehouse List show Hannah Newberry for the first time at the Inn which is noweferred to as The Three Crowns.
1749 Alehouse Returns: Hannah Newberry.
1754 Mary Hutchins alls Chappel of Charmouth. Hannah Newbery paying 2 3/4 poor rates
1756 Thomas Edwards marries Mary Newberry
1756 Hannah Newberry baptised in Independent Church, Charmouth
1757 Sarah, daughter of Thomas and Mary Edwards baptised.
1758 Lyme Regis Turn Pike Trust formed.
1760 Mail Coach kills a man
1761 Ale House entries for Dorset: Hannah Newberry for 3 Crowns, Thomas Edwards & John Dimond, Victualler as Surety.

In the Name of God Amen - I William Edwards of the Parish of Charmouth in the County of Dorset, Common Carrier being in good bodily health and of sound disposing mind and memory do make this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following, first and principally I commit my soul and the hands of God who .. It my body .. to be recently Buried at the discretion of my Executrix herein after named. As to my worldly goods I give and dispose of in the manner following. First I give and devise to my dear and loving wife, Margaret Edwards, all those two Closes and Fields which were Hutchings containing 8 acres be the same more or less and also those two other fields I bought and purchased of Mrs Ffloyer containing 8 acres, be the same more or less, lying being in the Parish of Whitchurch Canonicorum in the County of Dorset aforesaid for her natural life only and after her death I give to my son Samuel Edwards the Close part of Hutchings which is 5 acres with a proviso herin after mentioned. I give to my son, Stephen Edwards the... Close part of Hutchings which is 3 acres. Provided my son, Samuel Edwards should die unmarried, then I give the Close part of Hutchings which is 5 acres to my son, Stephen Edwards and if my son Stephen should die unmarried.
I then give to my son Benedick Edwards, the Close part of Ffloyers above mentioned which is 5 acres with a proviso therein afore mentioned, which is 5 acres with all proviso therein afore mentioned. I give to my son James Edwards the lesser Close part of Ffloyers which is 3 acres provided my son Benedick Edwards should die unmarried then I give the Close part of Ffloyers which is 5 acres to my son James Edwards and if my son James Edwards should die unmarried then I give the close part of the said Ffloyers which is 3 acres to my son Benedick Edwards but provided my sons Benedick Edwards should live to enjoy these closes part of the said Ffloyers which is 5 acres then that close I give my said son James Edwards the sum if £ 70 to be paid him by his brother, my sin Benedick Edwards. I then give to my son Thomas Edwards the feather bed that he did lay upon with the furniture him do belonging. I also give my said son Thomas Edwards 7 Cyder Casks. Item. I give to my son William Edwards the sum of £ 20.
Item. I give to my wife Margaret Edwards the House that was her Fathers, Samuel Cornelius for her natural life only and from after the death of my said wife, Margaret Edwards I give devise & bequeath the said House to my daughter Dinah Edwards and all the rest and residue of my lands, tenements, & hereditaments with the appurtenances thereto belonging and not thereby otherwise disposed of together with all my household of what kind so ever ( except what is before herby given) Plate, Bonds, Stock of my estate as well within as without Door together with all my other Properties to me belonging I give devise& bequeath to my above named wife, Margaret Edwards whom I thereby constitute and appoint my whole and sole Executrix of this my last Will and Testament herby revoking all former Wills. In witness whereof the said William Edwards have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of March 1757. William Edwards.
On the 4th May 1767 This Will of William Edwards deceased was proved by the oath of Margaret Edwards, the Widow of the said deceased.

1767 Will of William Edwards (see above), a Common Carrier, leaves to wife, Margaret closes of 8 acre of land bought from Hutchings. Five acres to son, Samuel Edwards, three acres to Stephen Edwards. Benedick Edwards,James Edwards, Thomas Edwards seven cider casks.He leaves to his wife life interest in the house that was her Fathers, Samuel Cornelius House. On her death it was to go to his daughter Dinah Edwards, who was to Marry Robert Crout in 1775.
1767 Gravestone, still to be seen in Church Yard showing that William Edwards died aged 65. His wife Margaret died in 1784 aged 77
1773 Robert Crout of Dalwood, Excise officer from Dalwood, a widower marries Dinah Edwards, spinster of Charmouth, in presence of Thomas Edwards and Anne Pile.
To be sold the residue of a certain long term of years, wherin about 900 years are yet to come and unexpired, subject to an Estate. therin subject to the life of a person aged about 70. All those 2 Closes of rich meadow ground called HUTCHINS`s, containing 8 acres situated in the parish of Whitchurch Canonicorum, in the County of Dorset, adjoining to the turnpike-road leading from Charmouth to Bridport, late in the estate of William Edwards, deceased.
For which purpose a survey will be held at the house of Thomas Edwards, known by the sign of the 3 Crowns, in Charmouth aforesaid, on Thursday the 2nd day in December next, by 2 o`clock in the afternoon.
In the mean time, for further particulars, apply to Mr. Clarke, attorney at law, at Chard, in the county of Somerset, and for a view of the premises, to the said Thomas Edwards.
Chard, Novemeber 13, 1773.
1780 A Court Case disputing Poor Rates which describes the ownership of the Village. It shows that Thomas Edwards lives in a House with an Orchard. Mrs. Hannah Newberry and Occupier, in respect of a Dwelling House called the Three Crowns and a field thence belonging in possession of her and her Under Tenants.
1782

Land Tax Returns Show that Hannah Newberry is renting 3 Crowns to Thomas Edwards & John Jifford. Thomas Edwards also owns a House and Margaret Edwards, the widow of William Edwards is shown as owning the House opposite The 3 Crowns.

1783

Mrs Hannah Newbury and occupier of the 3 Crowns and a field thereto belonging in possession of her are described below from a Map Refrence Book for Charmouth in 1783.
no.182. Mrs Hannah Newberry House & Garden (£2-0-0d) 24r.
no.183. Mrs Hannah Newberry Church Yard Mead (£3-11-10d) 2a 34p
no.85.Margaret Edwards House & Orchard (£3-10-0d) 0a 1p 29r.
no.91.Thomas Edwards House & Orchard (£3-0-0d) 0a 2p 28r

1784 John Palmer`s first Mail Coach left Bristol at 4pm then called at the "Three Tuns Inn" at Bath by 6pm and arrived at "The Swan with Two Necks" in London at 8 am.
1787 Marriage License for Bento Dare of Wootton Fitzpaine and Hannah Edwards of Charmouth, in the presense of Ann Tozer and William Edwards, her Brother.
1787 Hannah, born to Bento and Hannah Dare, Hannah is grand daughter of Hannah Newberry.

I Hannah Newberry of Charmouth in the County of Dorset, Widow, being of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding do this seventeenth day of July in the year of our Lord 1787 do publish and declare this my last Willard testament in manner and style following, that is to say give and bequeath to my Grand daughter,Hannah Dare, late Hannah Edwards the sum of £ 20 as a reward for her favour and attention towards me also I give to the said Hannah Dare my wearing apparel with linen, silk and woollen also I give and bequeath one undivided moiety or half .... the whole into two equal parts to be divided of all and singular my freehold messuages, tenements, lands,.... and premises with the appurtenances lying and being at Charmouth aforesaid unto my said Granddaughter, Hannah Dare, now the wife of Bento Dare for and during the term of her natural life without impairment of or for any manner of waste. The other undivided Moiety or Half ... The whole into equal parts to be divided of all or singular my said freehold tenements, lands, lands and premises with the appurtenances situated and lying in Charmouth unto my said Grandaughter, the said Hannah Dare for and during the term of her natural life without impairment of or for any manner of waste and from and after the Determination of that Estate by forfeitshire otherwise in her life time I give and devise the said other Moiety or half Indeal of the said Messuages or Tenements, lands,.. and Premises with the Appurtenances unto the Rev. Brian Combes of Charmouth aforesaid ,Clerk and Thomas Edwards of the same place, Farmer and their heirs during the life of my said Granddaughter Hannah Dare upon trust to preserve and support the Containment .. and Estate herin after limited from being defeated or destroyed and for that purpose.... To permit and suffer the said Hannah Dare and her assigns to... And take the rents, issue and profits of the last mentioned Moiety of her own use during her natural life and from and after the decease of the said Grandaughter, Hannah Dare I give and devise the said other Moiety of the the said Messuages, Tenements, lands, heridiaments,and premises to...

1787 Hannah Newberry, described as a widow in her detailed Will, (abstract above) gives to her Grandchildren - Hannah Dare and William Newbery Edwards each a half Moiety in her Estate.
1787 First Mail Coach between London and Exeter. "Swan with Two Necks" in Lud Lane and "New London Inn" in Exeter
1788 Landlord of 3 Crowns, with William Edwards, grandson of Hannah Newberry as owner
1788 Insurance Policy for William Edwards as a Butcher. He could be living in Crouts?
1789 Landlord of 3 Crowns ( insurance policy)
1789 William of William Newberry and Hannah Edwards born
1790 Landlord of 3 Crowns ( insurance policy)
1791 Landlord of Fountain ( Insurance Policy)
1793 Dinah Crout buried.
1793 Hannah Newberry dies
1793 Robert Crout lets to Edwards and Davey
1798 Will of Robert Crout. Leaves to son Robert Crout and to his daughter,Elizabeth his house, orchard and garden in the occupation of William Edwards. A butcher.
This was found amongst theChurch Records showing Rev. Hales, Vicar using the services of Russells Fly Waggons for delivering an item to London.
The above are some of the adverts placed by Russells in the Western Gazette.
1801 Son, Francis Henry marries Elizabeth Crout, witnesses are James Love and Maria Richards, live in property referred to as Crouts.
 
1805 Ann Pitts killed by Stage Coach on Charmouth Hill. Grave stone in Church, showing she was 58 years of age.
1805 The Mail and two other coaches pass through charmouth to and from London, it being the Great Western Road
1809 Advert appears with Post-Office in Charmouth as forwarding address
1810 Advert showing Coach and Horses (3 Crowns) to let from Bradbeer in Salisbury Journal
1810 Colonel Mudges Map of Charmouth c.1810 showing the roads in yellow.
1810 Bradbeer is shown as renting 3 crowns from Thomas Edwards.Francis Bradbeer is shown asIs renting part of Crouts to William Browning, a Coachman and the other part to his father. Joseph Bradbeer.
   
1811 Clemoes is new Landlord of Mail Coach Inn, formerly 3 Crowns
1812 Census shows Clemoes as innkeeper at Mail Coach Inn with 9 people living there. Joseph Bradbeer described as a Post Master and Thomas Browning as a Coachman.
1812 Francis renting Crouts to Thomas Browning, a Coachman, he rents it until 1814, then Frances Shute is tenant until 1818, when his Father appears as Tenant until his death in 1821
1813 Richard, son of John and Honor Clemoes, Mail Coach Man
1814 John, born to William and Ann Stephens, Mail Coach Man
1814 William Stephens shown as Innholder at Mail Coach Inn, daughter appears at christening
1815 Bill for John Clemoes, described as a Coachman
1816 Joseph Bradbeer living in Crouts.
 
1816 William Stephens described as an Inn Holder on Lyme Regis deeds.
1816 William Stephens purchases from Atkinsons a Coach House and Orchard. Probably the site of the Star, set back from road.
1816 Deeds show that William Stephens has just bought a Coach House and orchard. Ann Kitt has bought the house, now known as Little Lodge, where she would open a Grocers. Joseph Bradbeer is shown as having orchard to west and Atkinson have a house and old workshops to the east and rear.
1817 William and Ann Stephens described as Mail Coach man at daughters christening
1817 Joseph, son of Joseph, served in Royal Artillery Drivers discharged in this year
1817 Francis Bradbeer writes to John Ridge Esq, regarding his time as Parish Officer. He finishes as follows: I will take it as a favour if you will be so good as to inform my father that myself, wife and family all enjoy good health.thank god for it.F.H.Bradbeer.p.s. F.H.B.junior sends his respects to Mr. Ridges and Mr. Combe.
1817 Francis renting Crouts 5/8 land tax and also new house at 3/8 land tax.
1820 William Stephens at 3 Crowns, called Coach & Horses,
1821 Joseph Bradbeer dies and will describes shop goods and Post Office
1821 Joseph Bradbeers Grave in Churchyard against wall, there is also one for his second wife.
1822 Welsh sells Former Ann Kitts shop to William Stephens for £300
1822 Mrs Bradbeer shown as renting Crouts from Francis Bradbeer in Land Tax
1823 Clemoes back at 3 Crowns
1823 Mrs Bradbeer shown as owning and living in Crouts in land Tax. She has probably inherited it on death of Francis, son of Joseph.
1824 William Foss takes over and renames it Mail Coach Inn
1825 Receipt and release from all further claims for payments under the will of the late Thomas Richards of New Sarum.
1825 Poor rates show William Foss at. Mail Coach Inn, William Stephens renting 2 Stables and yard to Wiliam Foss, he also rents House, Garden and Shop to Baker and Palmer.
1826 John Clemoes,aged 49, buried at Bridport.
1827 Fire at Mail Coach, destroys interior, Atkinson mentioned.(newspaper)
1829 William Edwards dies and The Coach and Horses is bought by Bowden, Gundry, of Bridport whose original Brewery stood in Gundry Lane in Bridport.
1829 William Foss, late of Charmouth appears in bankruptcy list.
 
1830 Post Office, Charmouth, Letters from Exeter, etc, arrive every day at 20 minutes past one, and are dispatched at 20 minutes past twelve. Letters arrive from Lyme Regis by Foot Post every day at 10 minutes past twelve, and are dispatched at half past one.
A Painting depicting a Mail Coach outside a village Inn.
 
 
 
1839 Susan Bidwell buys Charmouth Lodge from Stephen Atkinson. He dies in 1839, memorial in Beaminster Church.
1839 Coaches Exeter, Royal Mail from The Mail Coach Inn,daily 9am, returns 4 pm
  Exeter, Herald from the Mail Coach Inn, daily 1 pm, returns 11 am
  Exeter, Red Rover from the Mail Coach Inn, 5 pm, returns 11 am
  London, Herald from the Mail Coach Inn, 11am, returns 1 pm via Bridport
  London, Royal Mail from the Mail Coach Inn.daily 4pm, returns 9 am
  Southampton Red Rover from the Mail Coach Inn, daily 11am, returns 5 pm via Bridport
The 1841 Census map with 1926 Aerial Photograph of the area showing more clearly the Coach and Horses after being rebuilt on the same site, with the extensive stableing behind it.
1841

Census for Coach and Horses :William Foss, aged 52 Inn Keeper,Mary Foss, Wife, aged 49. Robert, 22, Jane, 15,Mary, 15,Elizabeth, 9,William 6.

1841 Tithe Map produced which is very detailed and shows the building being owned by Bowden Gundry & Co.(Bridport Brewers) with a garden and outbuildings extending a considerable distance back from the Street.
no.
Occupier
Owner
Description
A
P
R
200 Reverend William HATHEREL Reverend William HATHEREL (Glebe) House & Garden - - 1 31
201 William FOSS Bowden GUNDRY & Co. House, Yard & Garden - - - 28
202 UNOCCUPIED John CRONIE House & Garden - - - 35
203 John HODGES Reverend William HATHEREL Field & Garden Meadow & Garden 2 1 23
1841 698 inhabitants.
1841 Pigots Directory, shows John Carter as Carpenter, Grocer and Post Master. Lydia Watts is shown as shopkeeper.
1842 Francis Henry Bradbeer dies in Woolwich, aged 64
1844 1844 Dorset County Chronicle to let well accustomed desirable Inn called The Mail Coach Inn now in the occupation of Mr William Foss, who is about to move to Lyme . The Stage Coaches and Waggons which travel on the road from London to Exeter through Southampton stop at this Inn.
1844 Advert showing William Foss as landlord of Golden Lion in Lyme after 20 years at Charmouth
1844 Advert for Richard Burden, new landlord of Mail Coach Inn at Charmouth
1846 Richard Burden of Mail Coach Inn, marries Elizabeth, daughter of R.Major of Greyhound Inn at Bridport.


The Mail Coach Inn, Charmouth.

George Holly, for many years Head Waiter at the King's Arms Hotel,Dorchester,) takes the earliest opportunity of announcing to the Inhabitants of Charmouth and the neighbourhood, as well as the Public at Large, that he has taken and entered upon the above old - established Hostelry, and must respectively ask from them a continuance of that Patronage and Support which they have for so many years afforded to his Predecessors,assuring them that no exertion of any kind shall be wanting on his part to maintain the reputation of the House and to ensure entire satisfaction to the Customers.
The House offers accommodation to Families,Commercial Gentlemen and others - being replete with excellent Beds,capital Stabling and Coach Houses, and every Comfort than can reasonably be desired.

1848 George Holly takes over Mail Coach Inn. He was previously at the Kings Arms Hotel, Dorchester.
1848 Richard Burden now at Cups Hotel in Lyme Regis
1849

Inn was used extensively by commercial travellers during the coaching period. One of these gentlemen was accidently drowned whilst bathing. Mr Holly paid for his funeral and 357 of his friends subscribed and gave Mr. Holly a silver Coffee Pot as a mark of esteem in 1849.

1851

In 1851 Job Legg acquired the Brewery from the Gundrys and was the owner of a number of pubs, including The Coach and Horses, The Royal Oak and The Star in Charmouth. He moved the operation to what is now the Old Brewery. Four years after his death in 1892, Legg's brewery passed to John Cleeves Palmer and Robert Henry Palmer.Two of their descendents, John and Cleeves Palmer still run the company today.

1851

Mail Coach Inn: Commercial Inn and Posting House.
Census:George Holly, aged 32 born in Quedhampton,Elizabeth Holly, Wife,aged 40 born in Purlice

1861

Census for that year shows George Holly with wife, Elizabeth and Sarah Burden - Wife's Sister described as an Assistant, born in Churchknowle. They are the daughters of Richard Burden, the previous landlord of the Coach and Horses.

The photograph is very early and probably taken by local School Master Mr. Bottomley and depicts the last day of the service in 1860. The Western Gazete for 16th October 1858 reports   "This pretty little fashionable watering place, which is provided with nearly every trade and profession has just added to its list of professors that of Photographic Artist", in the person of Mr. J. Bottomley, schoolmaster, whose ability and taste have already displayed themselves in the specimens that he has taken ".
The coronet coach ran between Bridport and Exeter from February 1858 till the summer of 1860 when the opening of the L.S.W Railway to Exeter brought the service to an end.It left the Bull Hotel Bridport at 11.30 a.m. Arriving at Pratts Hotel in Exeter at 5pm. In the reverse direction departure from Exeter was at 10.am Bridport beng reached at 3p.m. The fares between Bridport and Exeter were : inside 12/- Outside 8/-. The driver of the coach was called Tiny, the post boy was Dam Biles.,who afterwards kept the Star Inn opposite. Fred Wild, in the white waistcoat, was the uncle of Henry Wild and met all the coaches. Reg. Pavey had the information concering this historic photograpg from William Holly, a Landlord of the Inn.

An Advert for the Coronet shown in the Photograph above.
An Early Photograph c.1870 with Flags celebrating an event in Charmouth
An early Photograph pre 1882, when the Old Inn was lost in a Fire
An early photograph of the old Inn next to St. Andrews Church
A Photoagraph c.1870 with carriages outside The Coach and Horses. To the left is Beech House and Winton House, where Hodges ran his Butchers Shop.
A Carriage is shown pulled up outside the old Coach and Horses pre 1882.
1871

1871 Census shows George Holly and his Wife, Elizabeth and Sarah Burden, wife's sister unmarried, aged 42.

1873

Mr Holly of the Coach and Horses Hotel has purchased the residence situated at the Top of the Village, known as Charmouth House, occupied some years ago by Squire Gordon, which the Purchaser intends running as a Hotel. It is rather remarkable that the premises in bygone times were used for a similar purpose, the name of the hostelry being The Fountain, we understand that the remnants of the ornaments - A Bunch of Grapes- which adorned the entrance 70 years ago are still hanging in the stables, a fact which forcibly brings to our minds the saying of 'times go by times'. As our readers are still aware Mr Holly, whose fame as a Landlord is widespread, has occupied the Coach and. Horses for a long time period, which dates back far into the coaching days of old. The premises ' mine host' has now purchased are very pleasantly situated and exceedingly commodious. The cost of the property purchased by Mr. Holly, which in addition to Charmouth. House, consists of several cottages, almost 5 acres of land (including Fountains Mead) is £1560.
Bridport News 7th March. 1873

1881

Census shows:William Holly, son of George Holly living in Beech as House job and Post Master.
George Hally aged 62 at Coach and Horses with Elizabeth, aged 58 and George, junior aged 31.

1882 Mr. Holly did not agree with then owners when they decided to rebuild in 1882 after the fire and he moved to Charmouth House which he had already been running in conjunction with the Coach and Horses. During the time that the new Inn was being built the licensee was transferred to Wisteria House. A Miss Hillman was manageress.
1882 A commemorative carved stone to be seen today on the left side of the present building recording the year that was put up.
1886 George Holly dies
1891

Coach and Horses : James Ingram 63 from Burcombe,Emma Ingram- Wife,62, and Mary Foss barmaid, aged 20.
Charmouth house - Elizabeth Salisbury 39 lodging house keeper with her brother George Holly shown as a gardener and Sarah Burden living on own means aged 78.

1898 Rates List show Alex Cox Pagan as Landlord, he was married to James Ingram`s daughter and building owned by exors of Job Legg, Brewer from Bridport.
1901

1901 Alex Cox Pagan aged 34 born 1867 with Mother in law - Holly aged 75 born 1826 and 3 children.

 
1898 Directory Advert for Coach and Horses
 
 
1907

Charles White is new Landlord.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1911

Sidney Boucher aged 47 born 1864 is described as Hotel Manager with his wife, Lily aged 48, and four 4 children.

1911

On Pagans death Mrs Pagan married Morgan from the shop opposite and Morgan took over the license. The latter bought the Axminster Bus from William, son of George Holly and started the first Motor Bus. Robert Morgan - Lower Sea Lane, Railway Bus Proprieter born 1875 married aged 36.

 

Licensees after George Holly, Ingram, followed by Pagan who married Ingram`s daughter. Their two sons were Ralph and Jack. At Pagans death Mrs Pagan married Morgan from the shop opposite and Morgan took over the license. The latter bought the Axminster Bus from William, son of George Holly and started the first Motor Bus. Boucher followed Morgan.

1915-27

Sidney Boucher

1923 A photograph of The Coach and Horses with Billy Gear seated in his Automobile at the entrance to the Garage that he had opened at the side of The Coach and Horses which used the large stabling in the Yard behind the Inn which stretched as far as the Tennis Courts.
1928 Alfred and Harriet Forty
1930 Richard Gay
1932 Captain Alfred James and his wife,Ida
1936 Douglas Smith
1939 Bettina Thomas
1945 Jane Colquhoun
1939 Sydney and Gladys Coleman
1961 Donald and Betty Jones
1965 Margery Porter
1970 Charles and Heather Sargeant
1974 Thomas and Judy Digby
1977 John Jacobs and Family
1996 Coach and Horses and was converted into flats.