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Public Houses

Last updated: 9 Dec 2022

The Mint Public House

Although Mint Farm is a 16th century building, the Mint Public House is not nearly so old. The first mention of it is in the 1871 census when Edward Bennett is described as a beer retailer.
The Bennetts were there for sixty years.
The weather-boarded cottages in Park Road are older.  
The Mint Public House in Park Road Banstead
The Victoria Public House

The Victoria Public House was built about 1864 using chalk from the newly dug railway cuttings as foundations. It was originally named not after the Queen, but after the Victoria Carriage.
In 1867 Richard Payne was the landlord but from about 1870 to the 1930s, the Gilbert family ran the pub. Tom Gilbert, whose name used to hang above the door, was Captain of the Cricket Club and also a farmer.

Victoria public house

The old building had the porch demolished and rebuilt when the place was turned into a Pizza restaurant called ZIZZI's.

The photo shows Bolter's pond, also known as Gilbert's pond, on the right hand side. There was a way in and out for the horses and carts – the water was used to keep the wooden wheels from shrinking, as in The Haywain.

The site of the fir trees is now the location of the Marks and Spencer food store.

The Wheatsheaf

The Wheatsheaf Inn was originally the Black Boy Beer house. Robert Shallcrass was the Landlord in 1851.

In 1938, the new Wheatsheaf was built directly behind the old one and for a time, they stood together.

Beyond the pub was Greatley's Highfield garage.

The Wheatsheaf
Public contribution to BHRG In February 2009 Jane Smith wrote

"I can tell you bit more about The Wheatsheaf Inn where I was born in 1950.

Robert Shallcrass, remained Landlord until 1881 when Thomas Blackman (who was born in Sevenoaks) took over.  In 1871 he lived near The Sportsman at Lower Kingswood.
My Great Grandfather Henry James Barber, born in 1863 was landlord on the 1901 census and his two elder daughters aged 13 and 15 were listed as barmaids.   Henry James Barber was a baker at Burgh Heath when he married a local girl, Rosa Farley whose father was a lawyer. 

My mother remembers the two Wheatsheafs standing together. I will quiz her more!!! My family left the Wheatsheaf in 1966.

The Woolpack
The original Woolpack Inn was built in the 17th century.

In 1741 John Simmons, a soldier, was murdered by one William Thomas at the Woolpack. The landlord at this time was John Ingram, who also acted as barber and supplied the gentry with wigs, notably John Lambert of Well Farm. When John Lambert died in March 1762 John Ingram's bill after the funeral was 13s 4d for dinner to the bearers - "Beer and bacco, pudden, bread, butter, etc., for Dreassen".

In the mid 1800s village life would have centred largely around the Woolpack Inn, which was the place where parish business was transacted for the "Town end" of the parish. John Ingrimes, the landlord in 1820 also acted as Receiver of the Mail. He was later succeeded by Thomas Jeal.

Woolpack etching by Reg Eason.

[John Ingram was the brother in law of Thomas Hebbard, butcher, at 2 West Street, Epsom and copyholder of the adjacent Horse and Groom (later Marquis of Granby) from 1763.

Thomas Hebbart (sic) of Epsom had married Mary Woodman of Banstead in her Parish on 25/9/1750, by licence. Her sister Elizabeth wed John Ingram in a Clandestine Marriage Ceremony. Elizabeth Ingrimes was buried in Banstead 13/11/1772, joined by  her husband John on 17/4/1779.]

Source: Brian Bouchard 21 March 2024

One Samuel Stevens was landlord around the time of the Great War in 1918. Stevens was later followed by Robert Putman.

During the 1920s and 30's The Woolpack came to the rescue of local buses which required topping up with water following the stiff climb from Sutton. An old watering can was stationed by the pub enabling drivers to top up the overheated radiators.

The etching of the original Woolpack Inn, shown above, was done by local artist Reg Eason. Another etching of the Forge by the same artist hung over the bar at the Woolpack for many years.

On the 8th August 1944, Banstead suffered its biggest single blow of the war when the eastern end of the High Street was hit by a Flying Bomb. One man was killed and another 32 were injured. The bomb caused widespread damage and the Woolpack Inn was one of the buildings damaged beyond repair, as was the forge on the opposite side of the street. This disastrous event did have one positive effect as the Surrey County Council was asked to consider the widening of the High Street in anticipation of the traffic problems to come.

The Woolpack had greatly restricted the width of the High Street. The building of the new Woolpack Public House was approved in late 1955 and the old building was replaced by a new one set well back from the High Street.

Water colour of the original Woolpack