Almost certainly dating from before the first documented date of 1700, the Globe has been at the centre of life in Topsham for hundreds of years. It was owned by the same licensee who ran the King John in South Street, Exeter.
When Topsham had a flourishing port in the mid 17th century, a healthy trade in port wine from Portugal developed. The Globe was certainly involved in this trade as the 'Globe' was the sign of the Portuguese Wine Traders. That is why many coastal towns on the south coast have a Globe Inn or Hotel.
From 1790 to 1870, three generations of the Harrison family ran the Globe. They built the Georgian facade and retitled it as the Globe Hotel - influenced, no doubt by the Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter, the country's first hotel in 1770. In the 1830's it was a coaching inn, with coaches travelling to Lyme Regis, Salisbury and London starting at the Globe. Horses were stabled in Globefields at the rear of the hotel - now all you will find is houses. Some of the landlords are:
c1800 - Richard
Harrison, owner and licencee
1844 - Globe inn, John Swaile Harrison. Harrison was also postmaster and maltster - Pigott's
1878 - Globe, Topsham, J P Harrison - White's
1897 - Globe inn, Edward Hodder, Fore street, Topsham,Exeter - Kelly's
1923 - Globe inn, John William Radford, Fore st. Topsham - Post Office
The Globe Hotel was thatched until 1900, when it was known as 'Radford's', Globe Hotel. The landlord, John William Radford would refuse to serve patrons if he didn't agree with their political views. On the first floor, a drawing room is said to have been a merchants' meeting room.
The black circle with three prongs on the front is an Edwardian sign for the Cycle Touring Club, showing that the hotel welcomed cyclists. This is one of the most interesting hostelries in Topsham and is worth a visit.
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