Thorney Green Beerhouse
A row of cottages were built by John Wells in the early 1800s on land formerly part of Thorney Green. One of the cottages he lived in himself from which he ran a beerhouse. The 1830 Beer Act had made it easier to obtain a license to sell beer and they flourished from then until the end of the century when there was a drive to limit the number in a particular area, many continued to trade as beerhouses however not upgrading to a full licence until well into the 20th century.
In February 1850 a burglary was reported at John Wells house –
“On Monday night the llth or 12th inst.,the dwelling-house of a poor old man, named John Wells, the keeper of a little beerhouse in Stowupland, was entered, burglars cutting a hole in the shutter, removing a square of glass, entering at the front window, and carrying away one pair of sugar tongs, 4 metal spoons, loaves of bread, 2 work-boxes and contents, and bottle of beer. The villains fastened the staircase door, ate quantity of cold meat, and helped themselves to beer, some which, were the fragments of the supper, that were left upon the table”
The following advertisement appeared in the Suffolk Chronicle for the sale by auction of Wells cottages in September 1857.
“Lot 1, Freehold dwelling houses, beershop & cottages Thorney Green Stowupland to be sold by H S Downing (auctioneer) at the Kings Head, Stowmarket, on Thursday September 17th (by order of the director of the trustees of the late John Wells deceased). A substantial brick built freehold dwelling house & beershop, with a yard & garden, fronting the high road leading from Stowmarket to Mendlesham, where a good beer trade had been carried on for many years. Late in the occupation of John Wells deceased, also a freehold dwelling house with yard & garden adjoining in the occupation of James Diaper at a yearly rent of £5.
Lot 2, Four freehold tenements, or cottages, with yards & gardens well planted with choice fruit trees, adjoining Lot 1, and in the several occupations of Robert Berry, Joseph Cooper widow Sheppard, & Thomas Baxter”