Churt still has two public houses. The oldest is the Crossways Inn in the centre of the village.
The Tithe map shows that there was already a building on the pub site in 1838. It was owned by John Baker and described as ‘cottage and garden’. The Crossways still stands on that site and has remained in business ever since.
The Pride of the Valley was built by George Marden in 1869 at the junction of two new roads which we now call Jumps Road and Tilford Road. The landlord was Joseph Marshall. Although the name sounds welsh, and contrary to what some people think, the Pride was built long before Lloyd George arrived in Churt.
As we know the Pride of the Valley continues in business today (as Bel and the Dragon).
Churt beer houses.
Four public houses were mentioned in the 1871 census. These were the Crossways, the Pride of the Valley, the Devil’s Jumps Inn and the Morning Star.
The Pride of the Valley was built by George Marden in 1869 at the junction of the two new roads which we now call Jumps Road and Tilford Road. These roads didn’t really exist until the commons were enclosed and became privately owned in the years 1850 to 1860. The census returns name Andrew Marchant as the publican of the Pride of the Valley, he was described as Public House and Coachman. From 1881 till 1911 the publican was Joseph Marshall. The establishment boasted stables housing six horses. He also hired out two Victorias and a Landau. It was also the meeting point for Jumps Club Day (which had originally been based at the Devil’s Jumps Inn). This was a long-established annual event. Stalls sold soft drinks, gingerbread men and bull’s eyes. The photos show that it was well-attended and it seems to have been a stock market as well.
The Pride of the Valley (now know as Bel and the Dragon) stands at the east end of the village. Following the enclosure of the commons two new roads came into existence. These are now called Jumps Road and Tilford Road.at the junction of Jumps Road and the Tilford Road.
The new roads and the new beer house took business from an older pub in Jumps Road (then just a track) called the Devil’s Jumps Inn. This is now a private house called ‘The Cedars’.
Joseph Marshall, also appears as public house keeper and butcher in the 1871 census but the name of his establishment was not given. It was almost certainly the Devil’s Jumps Inn which appears on the 1872 Ordnance Survey Map which was based on a survey of 1871. The house on that site is now called The Cedars. The Devil’s Jumps Inn, newly-built, had replaced an earlier beer house called the Black Horse. In 1881 Newman Dopson was described as publican and grocer, address The Jumps.
The Devil’s Jumps Inn was still in business in 1891 when the publican was given as Caroline Pawney, but had become a private house by 1901.
In 1871 Charles Mathews was described as a farmer and beer house keeper living at the Morning Star a beer house which gave its name to Star Hill. The house, which has been rebuilt, was later called Beefolds and is now known as Threeways.