the history of yeovil's pubs






Middle Street


There are only two references to the Phoenix in Middle Street (marked 'G' on the map below); the first being in Harrison, Hodder & Co's Directory of 1859 at which time the licensee was listed as Lewis Rodberd. There is no record of a Lewis Rodberd in Yeovil either before or after this date, however it is almost certain that the reference should be to Louisa Rodber of Middle Street. Based on the relative position of the entries in the various census records, the Phoenix was located in Middle Street between the Borough and Union Street in the property marked 'G' on the map below.

The 1861 census listed Louisa Rodber of Middle Street as a 'Victualler and Grocer".

Finally, an advertisement in the 20 September 1872 edition of the Western Gazette read "Sale this day - The Phoenix Inn, Middle Street, Yeovil, the neat and useful furniture &c., the property of Miss Rodber, declining business." Louisa Rodber died in the autumn of 1872, aged about 52.



Louisa Rodber was born at Preston Plucknett, Yeovil, about 1820, the daughter of blacksmith William Rodber and Maria his wife. In the 1841 census Louisa was working as a glove sewer, living with her parents and four younger siblings at the smithy behind the Bell Inn in Preston Road. By 1851 Louisa, still single, was living on her own in Middle Street and described her occupation as milliner. She may have been running the beerhouse called the Phoenix at this date but by 1859 she was certainly listed as its licensee in Harrison, Hodder & Co's Directory. In the 1861 census Louisa listed her occupation as victualler and grocer and in the 1871 census she described her occupation as inn keeper. Louisa died in the autumn of 1872, aged about 52.

It is possible that an earlier licensee may have been Mark Busby who is recorded as licensee of a beerhouse close to this location although possibly closer to Union Street.







1859 – Lewis Rodberd (Harrison, Hodder & Co's 1859 Directory) as Phoenix in Middle Street
1861 – Louisa Rodber - Victualler and Grocer (1861 census) listed in Middle Street
1868 – Mr Hinxman "late landlord" - License transfer (Petty Sessions, April)) Phoenix Inn
1868 – Mrs Rodbers - license transfer application (Petty Sessions, April) Phoenix Inn
1871 – Louisa Rodber – Inn Keeper (1871 census) pub not named