The earliest entry in a Northampton business directory is 1830. The Pomfret Arms was evidently a Carriers pub. The passageway to the right now labelled Car Park was intended for carriers’ carts and the like. This was never one of your grand coaching inns; the passageway is too low for carriages and the building too small. Although it is rendered the structure must be of a good date a photograph of 1902 shows a building much like the present one but for the roof-angle, which is much steeper and must have been thatched. The ownership of the pub can be traced through several auction notices posted in the local press. They also give a good description of the facilities offered by the pub.
The pub is named after Thomas William Fermor, 4th Earl of Pomfret (1770-1833).
He served with the Guards in the Peninsula War until his promotion to major-general in June 1813. His eldest son succeeded him and died without issue in 1867.
One curiosity in this pub is the smoking head. This is a sandstone head protruding from the wall of the lounge. If a cigarette is put into its mouth it will slowly be puffed away, no doubt because of a draught coming through a cavity in the wall. Probably it was originally a waterspout and is supposed to have come from St. Thomas Hospital that stood on the opposite side of the road nearby.