The Castle & The Spotted Dog

There are two pubs today up at Cold Ash, The Castle and the Spotted Dog. I am ignoring the Sun-in-the-Wood in Ashmore Green and will come to that in a future post. Before we start Cold Ash was part of Thatcham. It became a separate ecclesiastical parish in the 1860s (1864 if I remember correctly) and civil parish in the 1890s (1895 if I remember correctly). I have uncovered several Cold Ash pubs including:

  • The Fir Tree (a.k.a Fir Trees and Hartley Arms)
  • The Pheasant (a.k.a Pheasant on the Ridge)
  • The Spotted Dog
  • The Castle
  • The Lamb

There are others! The boundaries did change and you will find at least one pub appearing as being in Bucklebury rather than Cold Ash at times.

This post we will look briefly at The Castle. This was built and running as a pub, or rather beer house, by 1839. I assume as a result in the Beer Act changes of the 1830s. I have records of it in the 1830s, no names connected with it and then it disappears unit a landlord crops up in 1851 and is 65 year old George Rogers with the pub being referred to simply as "The Castle." There is a strong possibility that the pub was known by another name during the 1840s. Yes I do have a name, I will reveal in a later post. When Rogers died in 1860 the pub passed to George Sparks and was being referred to as The Castle Inn. This was followed by a series of landlords with few lasting more than a couple of years. By 1911 the pub was in the hands of Albert Attwood.

Briefly this is some of the information, names, I have so far:

  • 1839 - The Castle, noted as newly built.
  • 1860 - George Rogers
  • 1861 - George Sparks
  • 1862 - G.Sparks to G.Millsom
  • 1866 - Daniel Sims
  • 1869 - Charles Lampe
  • 1876 - William Marshall
  • 1883 - William Brown
  • 1901 - William Josey
  • 1915 - Albert Attwood
  • 1929 - J Grace
  • 2014 - Nick & Maggie Hex

The Spotted Dog

The buildings occupied by the Spotted Dog date to c.1800 when there was a blacksmith and forge there. This is another case of the buildings predate the pub, remember because a building is of a given age doesn't mean it has been trading as a pub all that time. I have confirmed the Spotted Dog back to Henry Wickens in 1869, however I do believe it to be slightly earlier but cannot 100% confirm that yet.

Why have two pubs next to each other like this? Honest answer is I do not know, I have heard theories but nothing concrete. It is not uncommon, in Bartholomew Street, Newbury, there were three pubs (London Apprentice, Bull and Dog, Wellington Arms) right next door to one another.

Again if you have any stories, information, photographs you would care to share or load please contact me.

Photo is the Castle, Cold Ash, c.1930.

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