The Victoria Hotel – a lost Brimington hostelry – part 1

There’s a few lost hostelries in Brimington. This blog takes a very brief look at them but focuses particularly on the Victoria Hotel, New Brimington – the subject of some recent Facebook posts and an article in our Brimington & Tapton Miscellany publication.

An undated photograph, thought to be around 1890, of Victoria Place, taken from the Chesterfield Canal – the site of the lost Victoria Hotel. James Steele, one time occupier of one of the houses shown at the canal side, is to the right. The terraced houses behind once formed part of Victoria Street, but were later demolished. The building on the far right appears to survive as Victoria Farm and may well have been the site of the relatively short-lived Victoria Hotel – which was in fact a beer house. (Courtesy Joanne Steele).
Extract from the 1921 edition of the 6-inch to 1-mile Ordnance Survey map showing New Brimington and the village centre. Victoria Place once the home of the short lived Victoria Hotel, is to the top part of this map, including and around Victoria Place.

Lost local public and beer houses

The Bugle Horn, was situated on Hall Road. It closed and its licence was given up (with the Moulders Arms at Hollingwood) when the new Hollingwood Hotel opened in 1928. There’s a little more about the Bugle Horn, which was a fully licensed public house, together with a photograph in our earlier blog ‘The Chesterfield Brewery Company’s Brimington and Hollingwood connections’.

There was another very short-lived beer house at the Calow end of Manor Road. We don’t know much about this and would really like to hear from anyone who does. Beer houses did not carry a full licence (they could not sell spirits) and are generally not listed under their name in directories. This makes them harder to trace.

We’ve also seen a couple of closures in recent years. Though not in Brimington parish there’s the Canal Tavern, Frog Row (closed 1963); Prince of Wales, Manor Road (2007); Corner House, Church Street (2012) and the Brickmakers Arms, Manor Road (2015). You’ll find a short history of the Prince of Wales in our free download of Brimington & Tapton Miscellany 1.

It’s believed that the former Victoria Hotel was in the building to the far right of this February 2017 photograph, (probably represented by the half that is jutting outwards). Hounsfield Bridge was just out of picture, to the right. The low post on the right of the towpath is a reinstated mileage stone indicating it is three miles from Chesterfield. Compare this with the black and white image above.

The Victoria Hotel – not really an hotel

Now to the Victoria Hotel – but it was never really an hotel and didn’t have a full licence. It was situated right at the bottom of Victoria Street in what is now Victoria Farm, adjacent to the canal.  (The property also included other houses known as Victoria Place, earlier Steele’s Cottages).

Paul Freeman has written at length on his search for this lost beer house, in our Brimington & Tapton Miscellany 9. We hope to publish this on-line once we have the necessary copyright permissions for illustrations. Paul believes that the so-called ‘hotel’ occupied one side of the present Victoria Farm property, which had been divided (see photograph).

A very brief overview will have to suffice until we can publish Paul’s account on-line (otherwise you can still purchase the full 49-page account).

1866 – A charge brought against the licensee (Thomas Steele) of the Victoria beer house

1868 – Application by George Steel for a full licence refused

1869 – George Steele convicted of selling beer outside lawful hours. He later applied for a full licence again but this was refused. It is probable that after these two events the Victoria Hotel ceased to trade.

This first edition 25-inch to one mile Ordnance Survey map from 1876 shows the pair of buildings that comprise Steels Cottages. The left-hand building, divided into three, shows the extension to the left that was most likely the Victoria Hotel. Field no. 67, which was Flaxley Meadow, has an old mine shaft marked. It was in an old shaft in this field that the body of a new born girl was found in 1864.

Later history

Paul also traces the earlier and later history of the property, of the Steele family, land use in the area (including coal and ironstone mining), the history of the Hounsfield bridge and the footpath which used to cross it.

After some time, the Sharman family later tenanted the property, but moved to Hall Farm, in the centre of Brimington, in 1920. After a short tenancy by the Waring family the farm was for sale by the executors of John Gill Hazard in late 1924.

Arthur Garratt was dairy farming (complete with a milk round) there, when the 1941 national agriculture survey was completed (as part of the war effort). Amongst other items the survey reported that electricity was used for both household and farm, but only for lighting.

A year later Garratt sold up; a Mr Pilkington of Whittington Moor being the new owner. Garratt moved into 1 Victoria Place. The farm comprised just over 10 acres of land and outbuildings. (It seems the farm house was probably number 2 Victoria Place).

Up for sale by auction again in September 1950, the property was withdrawn, suggesting sale by private treaty. It looks as though the Scott family were the next occupants of the farm house. In this period it is probable that a right hand pair of semi-detached houses were demolished around 1961.

In the 1960s, amongst others, were the Needhams, followed by Keith Andrews, until sold in 2007. It’s now known as the ‘Canal Kennels’.

More to follow…

As we say, this is by necessity a very shortened account of the property’s history. There’s also been some interesting posts on Facebook during the last few weeks. We hope to publish these here, in part two, together with any further comments on this blog.

On this second edition large-scale Ordnance Survey map of 1898, Steels Cottages have become Victoria Place. Compare this with the map above.

This blog was edited on 6 October 2021 to correct mis-spellings of the surname Garratt.

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