The history of yeovil's pubs





albion inn

10 Vicarage Street


Albion is the oldest known name for the island of Great Britain and derives from the Proto-Celtic Albi̯en. The Albion Inn (marked 'B' on the 1886 map here) was an old pub for many years almost opposite Frederick Place.

It was rebuilt in 1937 by the brewery as a corner site public house at the junction of Vincent Street with Vicarage Street after Vincent Street was built.

The rebuilt Albion photographed below was constructed of ashlar under a slate roof with squared hood moulding over a mullioned window at first floor and a similar, continuous hood moulding over the squared entrance (with mock-Tudor head to the doorway) and side windows.


This is a public house 'check' or trade token from my collection, probably issued in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, from the Albion Inn in for the value 1½d. Made of brass, it is just under 24mm in diameter and is 1.4mm thick.

At this time 1½d would have bought a pint or two of local cider or ale.


Public house 'checks' were frequently used in pub games, such as skittles or quoits where, for instance, players would 'chip in' a check to the 'kitty' which would be won by the winning team to redeem at the bar. By issuing checks a landlord could guarantee they would be spent in his establishment only.

See also Yeovil Trade Tokens and Checks

By the 1890s the Albion Inn was a tied house of the Royal Osborne Brewery, with a long lease owned by Earle Vincent. When Vincent died in 1893 his estate was sold off the following year which included "the Albion Inn at Vicarage Street, at £22 (about £2,200 at today's value), and rented by Mr Hubert Beare."

The Albion finally closed on 27 March 1983 and demolition began on 30 May 1983, as part of the wholesale redevelopment of the area that became the Quedam shopping centre.


The first licensee, William Patten, was a 40-year old cooper living in Vicarage Street in 1841 but is recorded as the licensee in 1842. The second licensee listed below in Hunt & Co's 1850 Directory and in the 1851 census as a harness maker and innkeeper was actually William's son, also called William, who was listed as a 14 year old apprentice saddler in the 1841 census. In the 1851 census he is listed as licensee of the Albion but he died that year and the license was taken over for a while by his widow, Elizabeth.

The Pattens were followed by Joseph, or Josiah, Farthing from Worcester who was licensee for some fifteen years. In 1851 He was listed as a tailor living on Reckleford with his first wife, Mary, and their children. Within a couple of years Mary died and Joseph remarried. But within a couple of years he too died and was succeeded briefly by his widow, Hannah.

I could find no other records for Joseph Facey who was listed as licensee in 1875.

Yeovil-born Henry Oxley then took up the license for a few years. Henry had been a Private in the Royal Marine Artillery but by 1875, following his retirement from the army, he was running the Albion at the age of 36. He was still licensee in 1881 but seems to disappear from the records after this date. He was followed for a brief spell by William Glover, a fishmonger before, during and after his period as licensee.

The next licensee was Hubert Beare (born 1833 in Yeovil), an experienced licensee from a pub-running dynasty. His father, James, had run the Beehive in Huish and was its first licensee in 1841. His widow, Joanna, is seen to have taken over the license by 1851.

Their son Hubert, a foreman in a coal yard in 1861 but listed as a coal and salt merchant by 1866, was licensee of the Beehive from at least 1866 until at least 1875 but by 1895 was licensee of the Anchor Inn in Vicarage Street where he only stayed a few years because by 1898 he was licensee at the Albion Inn.

Hubert doesn't seem to have advertised his presence as the Albion's landlord with advertisements, but he did place a good number extolling his business as a Coal and Salt Merchant. Hubert's son, James, was licensee of the Quicksilver Mail in the 1910's.

Hubert didn't stay long at the Albion and by 1891 he was followed throughout the next decade by a series of short-term licensees. Robert James Parsons was licensee by 1911 and both he and his wife, Elizabeth, were listed as innkeepers in the 1911 census. He had been born in Ilminster in 1877 but had lived in London where his daughter, Doris, had been born in 1903 but the family had then returned to Somerset. Robert remained licensee of the Albion until 1938.

Arthur Rankin, who had previously been licensee of the Heart of Oak in Westminster Street, was licensee of the Albion from around 1947 to about 1954.




Courtesy of Tony Robins

This photograph was taken from Frederick Place about 1935 and looks across Vicarage Street. The sign of the Albion Inn is over the inn's yard, the inn itself was off-photo to the right but was completely rebuilt by the brewery two years later, in 1937. Tony Robins' brother, Cliff, is sitting in the cart aged about two and wearing a dress - as was the fashion at the time. Tony's dad, Harold Robins, is holding the horse. Tony's granddad, Nat Robins, had a shop on the eastern corner of Frederick Place, opposite the inn, again just off the photograph to the right. The yard under the sign was W Walbridge & sons, later Perry's, builders yard. The sign at top left is for GH Hawkins' Fish & Chip Saloon.


Courtesy of David Collard

A photograph by Walter S Rendell & Son, probably taken in the 1940s, of the annual outing of the Albion's darts and skittles teams.


Courtesy of David Collard

Another photograph of an annual outing of regulars of the Albion, again probably dating to the 1940s. David's father, Edward Collard, is the chap in the smart suit sitting in the foreground just left of centre. What is perhaps unusual for a pub outing, is that only one bottle of beer is visible in the photograph.


Photographed in 1960 by Charrington & Co Ltd's surveyors as part of a 'stocktaking' exercise of photographing Brutton's pubs prior to the brewery takeover.


The Albion Inn, photographed about 1975.


The Albion Inn on the corner of Vicarage Street (in the foreground) and Vincent Street (with the car in it), photographed in the mid-1960s.


The Boy's Brigade marching along Vicarage Street during the mid-1970's.



Courtesy of Helen Angel Extance

The T&GWU offices at left, the Albion Inn, the entrance to Vincent Street then the old Army & Navy Stores building. Photographed from Vicarage Street shortly before demolition in 1983.


Looking eastwards towards the bend in Vicarage Street in the late 1970s. At extreme left is the Albion Inn, then the junction of Vincent Street, on the opposite corner was the building that had been the Army & Navy Stores. The modern building at centre had been Neal & Williams Ltd glove factory which, during the Second World War had been the venue for the Yeovil War Workers Club. I'm not sure if the building was completely rebuilt after the war or just re-fronted. Next was the entrance to the Council's Town Yard and finally, at right, the Methodist church - the only building in this scene that remains today.


Courtesy of Vivien and John Cornelius

The Albion, photographed in 1982 from the Vicarage Street car park. 


Courtesy of Colin Haine

.... and again, photographed in 1982.


Courtesy of Helen Extance

Looking across the car park towards the Albion, shortly before demolition in 1982.


Looking down Vicarage Street with the Albion Inn, right of centre, scaffolded and awaiting demolition in 1983. 


Courtesy of Helen Extance

.... and seen from the car park (at left in the previous photograph) in 1983.


Courtesy of Helen Extance

The Albion - all boarded up and awaiting demolition in 1983.


Courtesy of Helen Extance

Close-up of the scaffolded Albion seen from across Vincent Street in 1983.


Courtesy of Helen Extance

Demolition begins. 1983.


Courtesy of Helen Extance

.... and seen from inside in 1983.


Courtesy of Helen Extance

.... and there it was - gone!!!


Courtesy of Chris Rendell

The footprint of the Albion Inn seen from what had been the Vicarage Street car park.


Courtesy of Colin Haine

.... and photographed from Lipton's Arch, Frederick Place, in 1984. Both the Albion Inn and the old Army & Navy store on the opposite corner of Vincent Street have been flattened.





1842 – William Patten – Retailer of Beer (Pigot’s 1842-4 Directory)
1850 – William Patten – Beer Retailer (Hunt & Co's 1850 Directory) - this was William junior.
1851 – William Patten – Harness Maker & Inn Keeper (1851 census)
1852 – Elizabeth Patten – Retailer of Beer (Slater's 1852/3 Directory)
1859 – Joseph Farthing – applied for Spirit license (Petty Sessions) as Albion
1861 – Joseph Farthing – Publican (1861 census) listed as Albion Inn.
1861 – Josia Farthing (Kelly's 1861 Directory)
1866 – Josia Farthing (Kelly's 1866 Directory)
1871 – Hannah Farthing (60 year old widow of Joseph above) - Inn Keeper (1871 census)
1875 – Joseph Facey (Kelly's 1875 Directory - Hotels & Inns)
1875 – Henry Oxley (Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser 1875) listed at 15 Vicarage Street
1881 – Henry Oxley - Pensioner and Publican (1881 census) listed as Albion Inn
1882 – Josia Farthing (Kelly's 1882 Directory) This is probably a mistake on the part of Kelly
            as Josia had died and didn't have a son by this name.
1890 – William Glover (Kelly's 1890 Directory) listed at 10 Vicarage Street
1891 – William Glover – Fishmonger & Publican (1891 census) listed as Albion Inn.
1898 – Hubert Beare (Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser 1898) listed at 10 Vicarage Street
1894 – Hubert Beare  - rented at £22 per annum (Sale of Earle Vincent's estate)
1900 – Hubert Beare (Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser 1900) listed at 10 Vicarage Street
1901 – George Hales – Publican (1901 census) pub not named
1903 – F Brown (Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser 1903) listed at 10 Vicarage Street.
           Brown is probably the same F Brown who was licensee of the King's Arms in Silver Street
           in 1907.
1907 – J Connock (Collin's 1907 Yeovil Directory)
1911 – Robert Parsons - Inn Keeper (1911 census)
1911 – Robert J Parsons (Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser 1911)
1916 – Robert J Parsons (Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser 1916)
1919 – Robert James Parsons (Kelly’s 1919 Directory)
1923 – Robert Parsons (Kelly’s 1923 Directory) listed as Albion PH
1936 – RJ Parsons (1936 Yeovil Directory) listed as Albion Inn
1938 – RJ Parsons (1938 Yeovil Directory) listed as Albion Inn
1939 – John Smith (Kelly’s 1939 Directory) listed as Albion PH
1947 – A Rankin (1947 Yeovil Directory) listed as Albion Inn
1949 – A Rankin (Kelly’s 1949 Directory) listed as Albion Inn
1951 – A Rankin (1951 Yeovil Directory) listed as Albion Inn
1954 – A Rankin (1954 Yeovil Directory) listed as Albion Inn
1957 – FW Gray (1957 Yeovil Directory) listed as Albion Inn
1965 – Licensee not named (1965 Yeovil Directory) listed as Albion Inn
1968 – Licensee not named (Kelly’s 1968 Directory) listed as Albion Inn
1969 – Licensee not named (Kelly’s 1969 Directory) listed as Albion Inn
1970 – Licensee not named (Kelly’s 1970 Directory) listed as Albion Inn
1971 – Licensee not named (Kelly’s 1971 Directory) listed as Albion Inn
1972 – Licensee not named (Kelly’s 1972 Directory) listed as Albion Inn
1973 – Licensee not named (Kelly’s 1973 Directory) listed as Albion Inn
1974 – Licensee not named (1974 Yeovil Directory) listed as Albion Inn