Burgoyne's, The Old Bell, The Bell Inn, The Admiral Vernon


The Admiral Vernon Inn
Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick

The Admiral Vernon in Chudleigh Road was previously known as the Old Bell/the Bell Inn and prior to that Burgoyne's.

The following information has been taken from Deeds and documents titled mortgages, afsignments disentailing deed, conveyance, transfer and simple agreements and passed on to me. My own research has continued through archaeological reports, Census Records, on line records and collecting memories.

The property seems to have been used to raise loans many times over the centuries. It has been suggested that Burgoyne's was originally built as an inn because of the size of the structure, the number of hearths and the extensive outbuildings. The property seemingly has never belonged to the Courtenay family, Earls of Devon.

It seems from records that William Burgoyne a merchant leased out Burgoyne's. On the 4th April 1704 William Burgoyne to Nathaniel Rowland and Thomas Fford. Then on the 3rd/4th June 1725 William Burgoyne to Lewis Birk Gentleman and John Lay.

From the 5th November 1725 to the 18th January 1753 William Burgoyne and his family raised nine documents or indentures on the property. On the records the names of the other parties involved were unclear.

On the 4th August 1755 an assumed lease of £40 from Mrs Penelope Pyne to Barbara Pince. On the 11th August 1769 a further assumed lease of £65, Barbara Pince to Benjamin Pinco. At this time the estate was described as three parcels of land buildings, Larkaborrow 3.5 acres, Shutslade 3.5 acres and Shutmore 1 acre.

Further lease exchanges took place: on the 25th August 1764 Benjamin Pinco to Kelland Luscombe; on the 21st August 1772 Kelland Luscombe to Gregory Jackson Esq. of Clyst St Mary; then on the 18th March 1775 Gregory Jackson to John Baring of Mt Radford. The third exchange referred to the fields only.

The Burgoyne family appeared to be the main owners of the estate until around 1777 with Margaret Burgoyne being the last name to appear.

In 1753 records show that Burgoyne's was owned by the executors of Gregory Jackson and was occupied by Mr Robert Strong. The earliest surviving Land Tax Assessment was also dated 1783 and this confirms the property as Burgoyne's with an assessment of £4 4s. Once again this assessment suggests that Burgoyne's was a substantial property with several fields.

On the 28th/29th September 1785 leases/sales passed from John Baring to James Jackson of possibly Topsham, William Bickford Jackson of Souton and James Pitts an Exeter ironmonger, then from James Jackson of Souton and others to Richard Chown of Exminster.

The Deeds from 1785 make the first reference to a tenement building called Burgoyne's and at around this time the Chown family seem to be taking control of the estate.

Leases than ran as follows: on the 1st October 1785 Richard Chown yeoman of Exminster to Thomas Lotard yeoman of Alphington; on the 16th November 1792 Richard Chown to Frances Broom spinster of Alphington.

In 1798 records show Burgoyne's was owned and occupied by Mr Richard Chown. From the earliest surviving Poor Rate Book we can see Burgoyne's was owned by Mr Charles Chown and occupied by Thomas Langsford. The property was still called Burgoyne's and described as a 'House and Lands'.

By 1841 ownership of the property changed to Mr Richard Chown. The property was now described as 'Bell Inn Buildings, Garden and Close' and covered three quarters of an acre.

In 1842 records show the property was a residence and included three ranges of agricultural buildings situated at the rear.

On the 29th June 1848 the property passed down from Mr Richard Chown yeoman of Morebath to Mr Charles Chown yeoman of St Jam's Somerset and Edward Knight Gillard of South Molton. In the Deeds, also dated 29th June 1848 it was stated 'The Old Bell previously known as Burgoyne's and adjacent fields and grounds'. The tenant was Thomas Langsford.

Documentation shows on the 31st July 1848 Mr Richard Chown to Miss Eliza Cobley a spinster of Chumley and on the 17th May 1849 Mr Richard Chown to William Loram a butcher. The document dated 17th May 1849 seems to cover the sale of the Old Bell and fields called Silverlands to Mr William Loram. When the property was conveyed to Mr William Loram the conveyance cited the Will of Mr Richard Chown dated 1797. The property was referred to as 'All that has Messuage or Tenement or Dwellinghouse theretofore called . . . The Old Bell and the several Fields, Hereditaments and Premises thereto belonging'. On the 26th September 1853 William Loram and William Pavey leased the Old Bell only to Harriet Baker. On the 17th June 1881 William Loram granted a 21 year lease to William Joseph Richards for the annual rents of, the Old Bell £28 and the fields £24 10s. Mr Richards is reported to have been responsible for changing the name Old Bell to Admiral Vernon around this time. In 1886 John Routley was the Innkeeper.


Inside the Admiral Vernon
Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick

In 1886 the property included the orchard and field situated at the rear, the property now extended to nearly four acres. In 1888 the orchard was recorded as being 1.7 acres in size. In 1889 the inn was still thatched and included an Ostler's room.

On the 3rd July 1891 Mr William Loram mortgaged the property to City Bank and on the 5th December 1895 he sold the inn, fields and orchards to St Anne's Well Brewery Company. On the 13th February 1948 St Anne's Well Brewery sold the land at the rear of the property to Lamp Cottage next door.

The Bell Inn

In 1841 the residents were:
Thomas Langsford aged 45 Publican, Ann Langsford aged 40 wife, Ann Langsford aged 15 daughter, Sarah Brewer aged 25 servant, John Reed aged 20 servant.

In 1851 the residents were:
Thomas Langsford aged 55 victualler, Ann Langsford aged 48 wife, Ann Hargreaves aged 26 engineers wife daughter, Ann Hargreaves aged 1 niece, Flore Brewer aged 9 niece, Mary Holden aged 23 general servant, Henry Venn aged 26 general servant inn, Adam Bryant aged 27 farmer employing four men, Sylvanus Bryant aged 21 farmer employing 2 men, Robert Bryant aged 17 farmer inn, James Horn aged 26 agricultural labourer, Thomas Mitchem aged 40 horse dealer, George Beck aged 29 agricultural labourer

In 1861 the residents were:
William Loram aged 48, Mary Loram aged 47 wife (nee Stanbury), Alice Loram aged 19, Sarah Loram aged 17, Thomas Loram aged 15, William Loram aged 14, Jane Loram aged 13, Mary Loram aged 4

In 1871 the residents were:
William Loram aged 58 inn keeper, Mary aged 57 inn keeper's assistant, Sarah Loram aged 37 inn keeper's assistant, Jane Loram aged 23 inn keeper's assistant, William Loram aged 25 inn keeper's assistant, Mary Loram aged 14 school, Charlotte Rossitor aged 33 cousin visitor

In 1881 the residents were:
William Loram aged 62 inn keeper and farmer of 64 acres employing three men, Sarah aged 37, William aged 35, Jane aged 33, Mary aged 23

The Admiral Vernon


The Admiral Vernon Inn sign
Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick

In 1891 the residents were:
John L. Routley aged 41 farmer and inn keeper, Mary Routley aged 43 wife, Ann Kenwood aged 78 mother-in-law, Edward Holman aged 48 agricultural labourer, Edward Gildon aged 20 agricultural labourer, Mimie Algar aged 18 domestic servant

In 1901 the residents were:
Edwin Tucker aged 50 publican and cattle dealer, Elizabeth Tucker aged 47 wife, Alice Tucker aged 22, Beatrice Tucker aged 19, Ernest Tucker aged 15, Florence Tucker aged 11, Arthur Snelgrove aged 19 agricultural worker cattle, William Shapter aged 16 farm boy

In 1911 the residents were:
Albert Yeo aged 46 licensed victualler, Lucy Yeo aged 38 wife, B. Albert Edward Yeo aged 8, Dorothy May aged 6, Qunnie May aged 1

Innkeepers from the Directories

Bell Inn
1844 Thomas Langsford
1850 Thomas Langsford
1878 William Loram
(From the Post Office Directory)

Admiral Vernon
1889 John Loder Routley
(From the Post Office Directory)
1893 Edwin Tucker
(From Kelly's Directory)
1902 Edwin Tucker
1910 Wm Hy Quick
(From the Post Office Directory)
1914 Albert Yeo
1919 George Denis
(From Kelly's Directory)
1923 George Denis
(From the Post Office Directory)

Behind the Inn and Other Notes

The large yard and out buildings is the site of a documented Civil War encampment. Substantial ditches containing a large amount of burnt material was found under the outbuildings and it is thought these ditches relate to a temporary fortification. Both Parliamentarian and Royalist troops, were camped at Alphington during the later years of the English Civil War.

In 1892 the farm was still attached to the inn and the double doors were left open to supply milk to customers.

It is thought that the inn expanded into Lamp Cottage at the height of the coaching days in the 18th Century. Lamp Cottage's turret was used as a look out for the carriages so that fresh horses would be ready upon their arrival.

From the North Devon Journal 29th October 1834

October 10, in Garden Street, Plymouth, aged 78, Elizabeth Vernon. She never knew who her parents were, having in the year 1757, when a few hours old been found in a basket in the passage of the Admiral Vernon at Alphington, near this city from which circumstances she took her name.


Sign showing the history of Admiral Edward Vernon
Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick


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Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick