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The London Inn - Past and Present


Watchet's Heritage - The London Inn

Watchet's Historical Buildings
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A public house or tavern has stood here for centuries and the current London Inn was at one time two separate properties. It also incorporates an unusual flying freehold with a small window giving a view to the West Pier.

It may also be the site of the Ship Inn, in existence from at least the early years of the seventeenth century although it may be that this pub (the Ship) was located next door to what is known as Melbourne House.

The London has a repuation for serving wonderful Sunday lunches in their spacious dining room, commanding a fine view over the old harbour and iconic red lighthouse.

The London Inn today is basically Georgian in style. Over time, it has had many landlords, notably Henry Chidgey who, in the mid-nineteenth century, was instrumental in founding the 'Hobblers Society' or, to give it its official title, the 'United Sailors Society'. The hobblers were responsible for guiding incoming ships into the harbour and would row out to the waiting ships. The necessity of forming the society was to stop rivals from coming to blows as they competed for the privilege of guiding the ships into port.

Of course, as with other pubs in the town, there are numerous smuggling yarns and the London Inn features highly. There are many further tales to tell in the history of this intriguing building!

For further information about the town as a whole,
please visit the home page or click

This page is provided by Watchet Conservation Society with the help of Watchet Chamber of Trade
and with funding from Somerset West & Taunton Council's High Street Emergency Fund.
Text and history provided by Nick Cotton