Photo of Horse & Groom

Melton Horse & Groom

historical era: 21st century

closed December 2009

Yarmouth Rd, IP12 1QB

grid reference TM 283 506

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listed building grade II

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CAMRA Ipswich & East Suffolk branch.

last updated 29/08/2016

A former coaching inn in middle of the village.

The building dates from the 18th century, with a 19th century fa├žade.

Years of neglect saw the both kitchen and the letting rooms fall below standard. In the pub's last two years a succession of tenants came and went. No purchasers came forward, so the doors closed for the last time in December 2009.

Now residential and called Thomas Churchyard House.

An advertisement in the Ipswich Journal** in Aug 1810 states :

Melton Lamb Fair, will be held on Monday 20th at the Horse and Groom Inn. The company of gentlemen and public in general, will much oblige their very humble servant, Mr William Elvis. Dinner at two o'clock.

A report in the Ipswich Journal** in Dec 1825 states :

Died on the 29th December 1825, aged 90, Mrs Elvis, mother of William Elvis, of the Horse and Groom, Melton.

A report in the Ipswich Journal** in Mar 1835 states :

To be sold by auction, Lot 1, all that well known and well accustomed Inn, called the Horse and Groom, in Melton, in the occupation of Mr Elvis, whose lease expires at Michaelmas. The premise are in excellent repair, well situated for business, and possess a frontage of 194ft 5in, on the road leading from Melton Street to Wilford Bridge, and a new frontage of 53ft on the high Yarmouth Road, and from the locality and superior accommodation of the house, it commands a good and highly respectable trade. The purchase of this Lot will be entitled to the exclusive right of holding the Melton Lamb Fair; and the free right of holding it in the field the property of Jonathan Abbott Studd, Esq., is reserved by deed for a term, of which 22 years from the 22nd October, are to come. Lot 2, a piece of land, at the end of Lot 1, nearest to Wilford Bridge, and now forming part of the premises of Lot 1. This Lot offers an excellent site for building. The premises are copyhold, land tax on Lot 1, £1 2s 0d and quit rent 3s 0d.

Historically may be listed in Ufford (in 1839)

A report in the Ipswich Journal** in Aug 1840 states :

To be sold by auction, valuable pictures, prints, etc., the property of Mr William Elvis, who retires from Innkeeping at Michaelmas, on the premises of the Horse and Groom, Melton; embracing a picture, Mr Kemble, as Rolla, in Pizarro, 3fy by 3ft, in a mahogany frame, mr Kemble, in Hamlet, same size, 2 pictures framed and glazed, beautiful print, Cain departing from his family, in a handsome gilt frame, William Penns treaty with the Indians; Issac and Rebecca; Woodbridge church, view of the Angel Inn bury; Chesapeake and the Shannon; Bonaparte, in a neat gilt frame, the Royal Rose of England, King William the 4th, etc. The books are neatly bound and in a good preserved condition. The furniture consists of a capital wainscot bureau, half a dozen neat mahogany chairs, barometer, telescope, bagatelle board, complete; useful bed table for invalids, and other effects.

A report in the Ipswich Journal** in Oct 1840 states :

William Elvis tenders his best thanks to his numerous friends and the public, for the many favours received for the last 44 years residence at the Horse and Groom Inn, Melton, and trusts his conduct during that long period has been as such as to merit their approbation; he most respectfully announces he has retired to a private house near the above Inn, where the post office department will be conducted by him as usual. W E has much pleasure in recommending Mr James Hartridge, of Alderton, his successor, for whom he respectfully solicits a continuance of their favours.
James Hartridge, having taken the Horse and Groom, respectfully solicits the favours of friends of his late predecessor Mr Elvis. Wines, spirits, ale, London Porter of the best quality; also, well aired beds and good stabling; and an Ordinary each day during the cattle fair.

A report in the Ipswich Journal*** on 09 Jul in 1842 states that a capital brewery in Ipswich with residence & inn attached and several well accustomed public houses to be sold at auction by Robert Garrod including the Horse & Groom inn, Melton near Woodbridge with the gardens, paddock and outbuildings.

A report in the Ipswich Journal*** on 31 May in 1851 states that :

A well-accustomed & capital Inn or Public House, known by the sign of the Horse & Groom Melton, now in the occupation of Mr J FISHER.

A report in the Ipswich Journal*** in Jan 1880 states that :

Died on the 15th, aged 41, Mr Walter Burrows, for many years land lord of the Horse and Groom, having survived his wife by 5 months, leaving a family of seven children.

To be sold by auction, all the household furniture and effects of Mr Burrows, deceased, of the Horse and Groom Inn.

The 1904 Woodbridge licensing records show that the Horse & Groom's license was issued in 1853. Whether this was when it was first licensed or when it got a full (ie not just beer) license isn't clear, though the latter seems more probable.

(Most pub, location & historic details collated by Nigel, Tony or Keith - original sources are credited)

(old PO directory information courtesy of londonpublichouse.com)

(** historic newspaper information from Stuart Ansell)

(*** historic newspaper information from John Martin)

(**** Last Orders is a free local newsletter - published by Suffolk CAMRA members since 1978)