Site of Alphingtons' old Post Office and the original New Inn
The old Post Office in Alphington was thought to have stood on the corner of Ide Lane. One record shows Robert Hern running the Post Office in 1828. Later John Hele was Postmaster and messenger, also Parish Constable of Alphington for 27 years.
John came to Alphington in March 1825 and at first worked as a tailor for Mr William Scanes. On the 28th August 1827 John married Susanna Moore, her uncle kept the Post Office and the bakery on the corner of Ide Lane.
Records for 1841, 1851 and 1861 shows John working as a tailor and postman and living at the Post Office with Susanna and their children David, John and Mary.
Susanna died at the beginning of 1870 and John married his second wife, Elizabeth Payne, at the end of 1870. An 1871 record shows John and Elizabeth residing at the Post Office and John is recorded as the Postmaster.
Between 1871 and 1873 it seems the old Post Office building was destroyed or knocked down, perhaps it was something to do with the nearby Church House fire on the 15th September 1871. The supposed site of this Post Office was redeveloped and The New Inn was built.
This original New Inn was built in 1873 and a record shows William Searle running it. An 1881 record shows William Searle aged 70 as the Innkeeper. Living with him are his son-in-law Charles Coles, a carpenters' labourer and Sexton, his daughter Sarah Ann Patience Coles, wife of Charles, and his two grandsons, William C. and George Frederick Coles. They had a domestic servant.
An obituary record in the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette dated 1st August 1884 states 'July 26th at the New Inn Alphington Mr William Searle aged 78'.
Alphington's burial records show 'Sarah Ann Patience Coles d. 5th June 1887 aged 42'.
An 1891 record records Charles Coles as the Inn Keeper and a Mary J. Coles is named as his wife. William and George are working as carpenters. From Alphington's burial records 'William C. Coles d. 6th June 1905'.
In 1911 Charles Coles is recorded as the Inn Keeper and his son George is the Inn Keepers' assistant. George is married to Rosina Edith Emma and they had five children at that time.
Alphington's burial records record 'Rosina Edith Emma Coles d. 1st March 1926 aged 48' and her daughter 'Winnifred Eliza Joan Coles d. 22nd January aged 7y 10m'.
In 1946 and 1949 The New Inn was run by G. F. Coles and Mrs G. F. Coles was recorded at Westwood House which I assume was the house built close to the New Inn.
In 1922 The New Inn was described as being built of brick with a slate roof. It had an entrance passage with bottle and jug compartment, a roomy front or public bar with bay window, a private bar at the back, a kitchen with range, a larder, a back kitchen or wash house with a furnace and boiler. On the first floor there were four bed rooms and dressing rooms. On the top floor were two attic rooms. Adjacent to the Inn were the W.C.'s, a wood and iron skittle alley; a large stone, brick and cob-built iron-roofed beer and cider cellar; a tiled coal house and store.
The New Inn had a large and productive garden at the back of the building that ran between the edge of the old village school yard and Ide Lane.
Parr's Cottages were part of the New Inn site. A record for the Parr family goes back to 1640; 'Probate Court at Exeter 6th April 1640 administration of effects of Henry Parr late of Alphington. Families who lived in the cottages: in 1911 1. Ernest Smith, 2. Henry Anstead; in 1922 1. Mr E. Darke/Drake, 2. Mrs Nowell, 3. Mrs B. Rogers; in 1946 1. Fred Drake, 2. R. C. Jeffrey, 3. Edward Rogers.
Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick