Along with the Ship (& Pelican) on the opposite corner, this pub dates back to 1740. The only older buildings in Heavitree are ecclesiastical. Originally called the Horse and Jockey, the building was a popular refreshment-stop for many when walking to public executions at Ringswell. The building was often used as a public assembly room before school buildings became available, for such a use, in the second half of the 19th century. The public house was also used for providing refreshments after a paupers funeral. There was an allowance of 3 shillings (15 pence) per burial which was paid until the 1820's.
The Horse and Groom was the first public house to be purchased, in 1891, by the newly incorporated Heavitree Brewery, which traded from Church Street.
The public house was renamed 'The Heavitree' on 4th August 2006. Some locals did not approve of the name change, and a 300 name petition was raised to prevent the change, to no avail.
Some trade directory entries for the Horse & Groom:
1844 - Horse &
Groom Tavern, Herring Robert, Heavitree - Pigott's
1871 - Cutler, I., horse & groom inn, heavitree - Pocket Journal
1878 - Horse & Groom, Isaac Cutler, Fore street, Heavitree, Exeter - White's
1897 - Horse & Groom, T. Blackman, Fore st, Heavitree, Exeter - Kelly's
1906 - Horse & Groom, Blackman, Mrs. Alice Lucy, 9, Fore street, Heavitree, Besley's
1919/23 - Horse & Groom, Henry Channing, 9 Fore street, Heavitree, Exeter, Kelly's
1956 - Horse & Groom Hotel, Clifford S. Bastin (bed & breakfast, fully licensed), 52 Fore st. Heavitree - Kelly's. The landlord, Cliff Bastin was the former, Exeter City, Arsenal and England footballer from the 1920's/30's - see Exeter People for biog.
1967 - Horse & Groom Hotel, 52 Fore st, Heavitree - Kelly's
The building to the right, with the double garage front, is now part of the public house. It used to house Exeter Fire Brigade's, Heavitree's District Fire Station. When the Danes Castle site opened in 1932, as the main Exeter Fire Station, this station, along with all other district stations was closed. The building then became Swanston's fruit and vegetable shop and then an extension of the pub.
Source: Heavitree by Hazel Harvey, the Express and Echo and the trade directories.
The Horse & Groom in 2005.
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