12. Pomfret Arms

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The Cotton End Brewery is housed inside the old stables behind the Pomfret Arms

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.

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Northampton Mercury, May 18th 1805
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Northampton Mercury, June 1846
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Northampton Mercury, April 22nd 1883
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The Pomfret Arms during the floods of 1898

The pub is named after Thomas William Fermor, 4th Earl of Pomfret (1770-1833).

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The 4th Earl of Pomfret

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.

 

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The smoking head