The Green Man - Swindon
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Good Food, Good Beer & Good Company

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The Green Man Inn owes its existence to the Duke of Wellington’s Beer House Act of 1830, which permitted a householder, on payment of two guineas to the Excise, to turn his private house into a public house. 

Taking advantage of this, dealer Jeremiah Hobson converted one of his rooms into a bar and opened later that year, retailing both ale and cider.

Licensing hours were long: eighteen hours a day, from 4 am to 10 pm, seven days a week, closed only during Divine Service, Christmas Day and Good Friday.

 

 
 

A simple basic beerhouse with few comforts, most customers were employees of the adjacent ironworks, opened by Dud Dudley c1621. Trade expanded with the opening of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal in 1772, increasing the Swindon population to 419 in 1841.

In the census of that year, Jeremiah Hobson, 40, was the licensee, his wife Ann (40), sons Joseph (10), Thomas (6) and daughter Sarah (2).

 

 
 

By 1851 Jeremiah had rebuilt his shop/beerhouse across the lane in the field opposite and had taken five lodgers. The Green Man now held Inn status, allowed to remain open as long as a bed was empty; offering basic accommodation, food, home brewed ale and stabling to the lawful traveler.

Jeremiah Hobson had passed on by 1860, and his wife Ann was the landlady. She was helped by her daughter Sarah, young son Humphrey, and brewer John Potter from Alveley. They now had two servants.

 

 
 

Butcher William Gold from Sedgley bought the Green Man Inn and became licensee in 1871, selling meat alongside his ale.

The pub was known briefly as the Bridge Inn in 1879 (it is adjacent to the bridge over Smestow Brook), when the host was grocer David Blest. By the time of George Abraham in 1888 it had reverted to the Green Man.

More recent licensees include the local boxer Paul Chance(from 1985).

 

 
 

In the mid 1970s Baldwin’s Steelworks was demolished and the only sign of its presence is the old works canteen – now donated to the village as a Community Centre. Even this has recently been transformed with a pitched roof. The air is cleaner, the village quieter and the Smestow Brook runs clear for the first time in many decades. Trade is different, now houses sit where the works once dominated the local vistas, and the canal is used more for leisure than freight.

Your current hostess is Raye Smith, upstanding Black Country wench, aided and abetted by her husband Alan.

 

 
     
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