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Fountain Inn (now a house)

It is believed that the building was originally a house where a colliery manager lived.  The Califat tramway (which ran parallel to what is now St George’s Hill and Main Street) emerged between what is now Fountain House and Brook House.  There was a weighbridge next to the colliery manager’s house.  The tramway continued across the road so that the coal could be taken up the Incline.

It was bought by Thomas Atkins in 1870 and became a beer house.  It was leased to Marston, Thompson and Everard who eventually purchased it in 1947.

The Fountain Inn
The Fountain Inn closed 2013

Landlords / Landladies

1875-1883 George Easton

Barker & Co’s 1875 directory lists George Eaton as a beer retailer, so probably at The Fountain.

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Gazette – Saturday 27 August 1881 George Eaton, of Swannington, beerhousekeeper, was charged with having, on the 18th August, kept his house open for the sale of intoxicating liquors during prohibited hours, to wit, at twenty minutes past ten at night.  P.S. Hardy said : At twenty minutes past ten on the night in question I visited the defendant’s house and found five men in, all of whom were neighbours, and a woman followed me in and was supplied with ale in a bottle. I called the defendant’s wife’s attention to it and she said she was not aware it was sold.—P.C. Chapman gave corroborative evidence.— Fined £1 ls. and costs, or 7 days’ imprisonment and conviction not to be recorded.  William Brooks, Jno. Stevenson, John Mellors, Wm. Mellors, and Hannah Bradley, all of Swannington, and John Welsh of Coalville, pleaded guilty to being on George Eaton’s licensed premises on the day mentioned in last case.—Fined 10s. 6d. including costs.

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Gazette – Saturday 03 September 1881 – BREWSTER SESSIONS. THURSDAY, AUGUST 27. Before Major Mowbray (Chairman), and H. E. Smith, Esq.. – This was the annual Brewster Sessions, and the following persons were ordered to attend to make personal application for the renewal of their licenses, on account of their having during the previous year been convicted of offences under the Intoxicating Liquor Act, viz. :— Thomas Mason, of the Saracen’s Head, Staunton; John Chambers, of Worthington ; Joseph Mellor, of the Crown, Heather; Joshua Barber, of the parish Breedon ; Thomas Cone, of the Shoulder of Mutton, Woodville ; James Mugglestone, of the Rat and Ferrett, Breedon; and George Eaton, of Swannington.  After having been duly cautioned, the renewal of the license was granted to Thomas Mason, John Chambers, Joshua Barber.  The renewals to Thomas Cone, James Mugglestone, and George Eaton stand adjourned until the 24th September.

1883 Joseph Edwards

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Gazette – Saturday 14 July 1883 – ASHBY PETTY SESSIONS Saturday, July 7 – Before Major Mowbray and H. E. Smith, Esq. – A license to deal in game was granted to Mary Robinson, of Ashby, shopkeeper.  The following licenses were transferred: — Hastings Arms, Breedon, from William Tatchell to William Slack ; Navigation Inn, from Ann West to William Moon ; Black Lion, Blackfordby, from John Cole to William Godfrey Moore ; the Vaults, Ashby, from Sarah Love to P. E. Howe ; Joiner’s Arms, Whitwick, from John Turner to Michael McCarthy ; Abbey Inn, Whitwick, from Elizabeth Hallam to William Moore ; Fountain, Swannington, from George Eaton to Joseph Edwards.

1886-1891 Richard Rowell

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Gazette – Saturday 17 April 1886 – ASHBY PETTY SESSIONS SATURDAY, April. 10 – Before H. E. Smith, Esq., the Hon. Paulyn Hastings, and the Rev. W. B. , Beaumont. – TRANSFER OF LICENSES. -This was a Special Sessions for the transfer of licenses, and the following transfers were granted, viz. :—To Levi Lovett, of the Station Inn, Swannington ; to James Harriman, of the Waggon and Horses, Whitwick ; to George Holloway, of the Duke of Newcastle, Whitwick ; to Thos. Insley, of the Black Lion Blackfordby ; to Amos Parker, of the Gate Inn, Osgathorpe ; to John Davies, of the Royal Oak, Osgathorpe ; to Thomas Marriott, of the Blacksmith’s Arms, Whitwick ; to Thomas Richardson, of the Fox Inn, Thringstone ;. to Jas. Leeson, of the Engine Inn, Thringstone ; and to Richard Rowell, of the Fountain Inn, Swannington.

The 1891 census places Richard’s family at the Fountain Inn:

  • Richard Rowell 41, Innkeeper, born Moira
  • Mary Rowell, wife, 43, born Coleorton
  • William H Rowell, son, 18, Railway Labourer, born Coleorton
  • Elizabeth Rowell, daughter, 14, born Swannington
  • John Burrows, father in law, 75, born Coleorton

 

1911-1936 Frances Robinson

At the 1911 census living in the nine roomed inn were the widowed inn keeper, Frances Robinson (48) who had given birth to eight children.  Four of her six surviving children lived with her.

John Alfred (Alf) (26) a bricklayer and his wife Elizabeth Agnes (22).  Also Albert William (19) an apprentice carpenter and joiner; James Arthur (15) and Edith Emma (12) were both still in school.  Alf enjoyed playing bowls and made a bowling green at the Fountain that became the envy of other villages.  When Emma went to university she became a keen tennis player and persuaded her brothers to build a tennis court at the rear of the inn.  Frances Robinson remained as landlady of The Fountain until 1936 when she retired to St George’s Lodge.  The bowling green and tennis court fell into disrepair during the Second World War.

1939 Henry E Burton

The 1939 Register taken at the beginning of the Second World War records Henry E Burton, publican, at the Fountain Inn with his wife Florence Burton.

Can anyone provide dates, info or photos of the following:

  • Alec Mason
  • Vic Bedder
  • Norman Fielding

 

1963-1979 Kath Peters

Kath Peters and her husband Bill Peters were at the Fountain for 16 busy years when on average they sold more than 300 pints of beer a day.  Read more about the dogs that drank Pedigree beer each night, the tipsy revellers who were wheelbarrowed home after their New Year’s Eve celebrations and the landlady who phoned through bets on the horses, in some wonderful memories from their daughter in law Pauline

John Bott

Daren Smith

Marriage of Bill Peters and Kath Johnson in Swannington 1950 - provided by Pauline Peters
Bill and Kath Peters - provided by Pauline Peters

Closure Of The Fountain Inn

To the sadness of many the Fountain Inn closed in December 2015.  It has since been converted back into a house and three other houses are on the former car park.

Front on inn with pub sign
Last landlord Graham Wright in the serving area
The lounge facing Main Street
Last landlord Graham Right enjoying a brew in the bar
The bar
The beer garden was once a tennis court at the instigation of landlady's daughter Emma Robinson