History of The White Hart
what we know about the white hart
The building originates from the 16th century, but does not appear in print until the mid 18th century. Here is what we do know....
The first mention of The White Hart is in the Sherborne Mercury 12th May 1746: "If any person is disposed to take a very good genteel saddle - horses to be let on the least notice"
The main house was then a “very good accustomed Inn with a large Malt House thereunto adjoining” and had been owned by Mrs Binick. In 1752, it was mentioned, as being shut for some time but re-opened on 1st March under the ownership of William Ivey.
On Sept 4th 1769, The White Hart was let to Mrs Williams and described as “very well situated with a Malt House capable of making 1000 bushels Cornish, formerly the only Inn or Tavern in the town”. It would seem that the George and Dragon was now competition!
1764 - Richard Godby, a cook from London assumes the tenancy.
On December 8th 1777, The White Hart was mentioned, as being “reputed to be the first Inn in Padstow”.
In 1871 on June 11th, the Inn was ‘to let’ as “the late tenant died three weeks since [and] Mrs Williams declines to continue”.
The Malt House was by now capable of 3000 bushels a season.
On the Land Tax register of 1800, M Hawken is shown on the premises and the Will of John Hawken, Innkeeper, dated 22nd February 1803 at the Record Office, shows that his daughter Peggy was married to Richard Brewer of The George and Dragon… their eyes must have met over a thousand bushels!
In 1812, The Royal Cornwall Gazette, shows the The White Hart ‘to let’ again and describes the Inn as “well accustomed, now in the occupation of Mr Jas Cowl, most eligibly situated for business, being both contiguous to the principal entrance of the town and very near the Quays. The premises are spacious with good courtlage, pump, stabling and other offices”.
Directories of 1823 and 1830, give the names of two Landlords, John Bartle and William Ibbott. Moses May was incumbent in 1834 and also in 1852, when the Inn was let again. On February 9th 1855, The West Briton newspaper reports Mrs May “joined the legion of Landladies in the sky” and on 31st July 1863 the same newspaper reports that Mary Ann Burnett of The White Hart was charged with allowing drunkenness; a year later on April 8th 1864, a similar charge was dismissed. Mary sounds like she was full of fun and it was around this time, that rumours abound as to the possibility that The White House was indeed, a brothel…
In 1911, the Gazette announces that Bessie Jane Reynolds aged 66, died at The White Hart. Presumably, Bessie is one of the ladies, with the little Jack Russell proudly posing at the front door of The White Hart, in the photograph taken on Lifeboat Day 1903.
The information above is in a letter dated 6th August 1981, to Mr J Calvert of The White Hart from the curator, Mr H L Douch BA, of the Royal Institution of Cornwall County Museum and Art Gallery, Truro. A gentleman who it seems specialised in Cornish Pubs… Historically speaking!
Patricia Rose Jacoby purchased The White Hart in April 1995. Recently widowed, on a Christmas break, staying with her friend who owned ‘Jacob and His Fiery Angel’ in the town, Pat a London fashionista who dressed Princess Diana, was attending a drinks party at The White Hart. She told the owners that she loved their home, they told her, it was for sale and Pat said “I’ll buy it!” She returned to London to announce that she would be moving to Padstow later that year.
Pat extensively renovated The White Hart and started a Bed and Breakfast business, renting rooms in the main house and converting the Malt House to The Garden Room and Apartment.
Quickly establishing a new social life, Pat joined a Bridge Club where she met, fell in love with and married a charming and handsome Padstownian widower, called Peter Blake, whose family once owned the Clipper (on the corner, opposite The Olde Ship Inn). Patsy and Peter had ten very happy years together until Peter passed away on 17th January 2007 at 89 years of age.
Pat continued to enjoy Padstow life with her West Highland White Terriers, Rosie, Mimi and Roly, until she passed away on 9th February 2019, leaving The White Hart in the care of her only son Curtis and his family.
We are honoured to be the current custodians of The White Hart, and we continue to welcome guests to the atmospheric Malt House.
You are warmly welcomed to The White Hart,
Curtis & Davina Jacoby.