Some details of the very early inn on this site.

In the 17th century, the inn on the main street in Neston, opposite to the site of Iceland and the Town Hall, must surely have been an interesting place; it was there from at least the 1590s, when there was probably little in what was later to be called Parkgate, apart from the Beerhouse where the Boathouse how stands.

A couple of reports illustrate the Irish problems that Neston, a main port to Ireland, had to deal with in the years just before the English Civil War broke out. One account involved the brother of Irish Lord Maginnis at the inn, with talk of driving the Scots out of Ireland, and a false beard; another man was thought to be carrying seditious literature. A few years earlier the sons of some Cheshire papists had been trying to bribe a French merchant to take them to France, and on yet another occasion a popish priest who had landed in Neston was reported to the authorities by Betson. Catholics were regarded with great suspicion at this time.

A 1638 inventory lists the goods of the late Thomas Betson, who ran the inn, (Cheshire Record Office). Henry Rawlinson lived where the Town Hall is now situated and he was one of the three men who went around the property listing the goods.  The inn was obviously also a farm, though many of the fields would be scattered around the neighbourhood.

Betson had sixty-seven sheep and  a sheep-cote which also stored dried peas and cheeses, six heifers (two in-calf), six other cattle, two oxen and a bullock, and ten pigs in the yard. The well was in another yard. There was presumably a pond, as there were ducks as well as hens, and a pen for them.

There was a stable of course, with hay stored in the loft; two barns, one with oats and the other with barley, and straw and hay for thatch. Codfish (presumably dried) was stored in the ox house.

A cart-house held the muck-cart, corn-wain and the horse-cart. The old ox-house stored beds, spades and other stuff. Cellars held wine, meat and empty casks.

One of the outhouses was a kiln for malting the barley for brewing, with a mill for grinding it, sieves, charcoal, a furnace and copper pans.  Two butteries (a place for ‘buts’) housed barrels and casks.

Several lofts in the main building were also storing goods including bedding and furniture, books, wool and linen cloth, chests, trunks, boxes, malt and corn.  Linen included towels, napkins, tablecloths, thirty-two pairs of flaxen sheets, and thirty-two pairs of pillowcases.

All the kitchen tackle necessary for cooking over a fire, a cheese press, wooden ‘treen’ ware, brass, pewter, Spanish cushions, spinning wheels, candlesticks, a boat mast and sail, and a clock were listed.

Clare Johnson has skilfully transcribed Thomas Betson’s Inventory.  There are many such documents available for earlier Neston, providing invaluable information for local historians.

A true and perfect inventorie of the goodes Cattels and Chattells which Thomas Betson of Great Neston died possessed of at the tyme of his death praysed the fourteenth day of February by John Cottingham of Lyttle Neston Henry Rawlinson and Andrew Blakon of Great Neston  and Thomas Prenton all of the Countie of Chester yeomen  Anno Domini 1637

Sixty seavon Sheep

Threee heffers

Tow oxen

Six kine

The two Incalfe heffers

Another heffer and a little Bullock

In the yard tenn swine

All the Duckes hens and poultree

In the Shepcoat loft 11 measures of pease

In the Same loft 4 cheeses

All the treen ware a measure and flasket there

In the Kilne the hand Milne

In the Same place the fouirnauce and 6 copper pann

The coles in the kilnne

A cesterne and a trough

All the treene ware in the killne

A heire and other thinges in the kiln loft

All swine troughs and stone troughs in the yard

All the fuell and wood—in the yard

A corne waine in the Cart house wheels and Rope

A horscart and wheels

The Muck cart and wheels

All husbandry implements plowes sacks……….

A hen pen

All in the wellyard

All bedinge and things in the Dondey chamber

All the beding table stooles in the parler loft

In the little clossitt in candles……….

The bedinge table stales wainscot & cushins in ye parler

All pewter and other things in the old butry

All in the new Buttry

In the New Buttry loft a Jack and other things

The Bedds in the Lower Parler

All things in the Milk house

In the store loft first All his Bookes

All the glasses bottles and stone bottles

The presse and thinges therein

The Grate Chest and Boxes

The yarne,The wolen cloth and linan cloth……..

The Linans in the Tow Cheste in the store loft

New Cartcloutes

In the Chamber by the Clock all his wearing

Apparrell Linnan and Wollen

A new peece of Flaxen Cloth

In one trunk in towels napkins and tablecloths

In another cheste 32 payres of flaxen sheets and

25 payre of pillowberes

The bedinge in that loft

The cheste trunks and boxes there

The plate and spones

For Mault and Corne in the corne loft

All Baskettes shoolves ? and other thinges

For the Clock

For clothes in the wash

The Rack spites and grate and such things in the kitchen

All the Brasse and Pewter in the kitchen

The cubert Dishbord and other things there

All the Treeneware in the kitchen

All hatchets and husbandry tooles

The Beds and bedsteds in the mayds chamber

All in the boulting house

All in the Bowers Lofft

In the wine Seller  All the wine

All the flesh in the Seller

Emty caskes and all besides in the Seller

In the house the bacon at Roofe

A bason a Ewre and  a Voyder

All the Pewter dishes in the house

All the candelstickes in the house

All quartes pottes and pintes

The wainscoot, Table, frame formes & stooles

The cubert Glasscubert Spanish Cushins

Orlea Dishes

Three Sitting wheeles

The Caban Bedd

All the sives and a pewter Bason

In the oxehouse – a dozen of Coddfish

The Cracks and 2 swingle feet

In the old Oxehouse Beds spades and other implements

The Crack and Manger in the stable

The hay in the stable loft

The Coles in the Colehouse and all ye Muck

All the Barly in the Higher Barne thrasht & unthrasht

A Cheese presse and 2 Tubes

A long Ladder

All the Oates in the Lower Barne thrasht and unthrasht

All the Wheat

The Hay Thatch and straw there

Fourteen mesurs of Wheet sowed

A tack from John Jonson

Debtes Owing him

A boat Mast and sayle

2 Hogsheds and frames in the kitchen Entry

Summa Total