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Horse and Dray - Blackboy Road

Page updated 10 October 2008

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The name refers to the method of transporting barrels of ale from the brewery to pubs and inns before the polluting combustion engine. It was named the Royal Oak between 1785 and 1799. From 1799 and 1831 it was the Temeraire and then the George & Dragon from 1831 to 1967. Like many public houses in the early part of the 19th-century it was used for inquests, with one such occasion in 1841. In 1854 the Flying Post reported both the sale of the George and Dragon and the marriage of the landlord.

The Flying Post also reported a particularly poignant suicide, as it was the 17 year old John Palmer Lane, son of the landlord John Lane who was found hanging by the bar staff in August 1875. The inquest stated that he "...committed the fatal act whilst in a state of temporary insanity, brought on by over study". His father said that his son had been particularly absorbed in studying a dictionary during the previous few weeks.

The Temeraire was a man o' war of Nelson's time and subject of J M W Turner's painting, 'The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up' painted in 1839. Great painting, that's well worth seeing. In the 19th century, when it was the Temeraire, the pub was the finishing line, every Whit Monday races were held between the Victory Inn and the Temeraire along Sidwell Street and Blackboy Road. Women would run for gown pieces. Donkeys would also be raced, presumably for carrots. Other festivities included bull baiting, cock-fighting and cudgel-playing.

Entries from the trade directories from 1844 onwards:

1816 - Temeraire public house, St Sidwells, Drake F. - Exeter Pocket Journal
1832/3 - Temeraire, Mary Drake, St Sidwell - Pigot's

1844 - George & Dragon Tavern Black Boy Rd George Ash - Pigot's

1871 - Loosemore, R., george & dragon p.h. blkby-r - Pocket Journal

1878 - George & Dragon, 10 Blackboy Rd, John G Lane - White's

1897 - George & Dragon P.H. Charles Geo. Stevenson

1923 - George & Dragon, F. Coplestone, 10, Blackboy rd. - Post Office. They were noted as a brewers in the guide.

1956 - George & Dragon, G. F. Milford, 10 Blackboy rd. - Kelly's

1934 - George & Dragon, Hayward H. J., 10, Blackboy rd - Besley's

1967 - George & Dragon, 10, Blackboy rd. - Kelly's

The Horse & Dray, Blackboy Road

The Horse & Dray token

This 1½d token was produced by Seage & Son of Exeter for the George and Dragon. The intertwined CS initials on one side are those of the licensee Charles George Stevenson who ran the pub between 1897 (or earlier) and 1910.

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