the history of yeovil's pubs





rose and crown

High Street / The Borough


There are early references to an inn called the Crown in the Borough but by 1639 it was known as the Rose and Crown (marked as 'G' on the 1886 map below) with an address of High Street, a lease of that year referring to "messuage between the Bell and the Rose and Crown in High Street".

The licensees span from at least 1664 until 1790 but the early documentation is somewhat confusing. In 1664, Thomas Phelps was rated for 'the George and Crown' which may at first appear to be the name of the inn, however it appears that he owned two separate inns - the George and the Crown - as they appear separated in the Rate Book by 1689.

In his 1684 will, William Phelps recorded "Item I give unto my said Neece Jane Phelps All my right title and Interest which I have or ought to have either in law or equity Of and in all that Messuage or Inne commonly called the Rose and Crowne together with all the houses thereunto belonging lyeing and being in Yeovell aforesaid." Note: from his will, it is known that William Phelps was the brother of Thomas Phelps above.

Adding to more confusion is that 'T Phelps' appears in 1696 - not the same as Thomas Phelps of 1664 (he was dead by the time of his brother William's will of 1684), but likely his son. Were Prowse and Henry Lavor renting from him in 1689 and therefore liable for the rate?

In 1618 an order was made that only nine licensed premises be allowed in the Borough (that is the town, not that part of High Street today called the Borough) and two outside, with the rest being 'suppressed'. The Crown, the early name of the Rose and Crown, was probably one of the nine 'allowed' premises.

During the first half of the eighteenth century the Penny family of Yeovil were the owners of the Rose and Crown.





owners / tenants / licensees


1664 – Thomas Phelps
1677 – Henry Lavor (Poor Rate Book)
1684 – William Phelps (will)
1689 – Henry Lavor (Rate Book)
c1690 – Thomas Atkins (Lease)
1696 – T Phelps
c1760 – Onesipherus Penny - Owner (Conveyance)
c1765 – Boon Penny - Owner (Conveyance)





Mr Thomas Phelps 3s. for the George and Crown. Listed as Yeavell, Borough (Poor Rate Book)


In the Borough - Crown (Poor Rate Book)


Henry Lavor, rated 18s. (Poor Rate Book)

1684 William Phelps will


In the Borough, Mr Prowse for the George / Henry Lavor the Crown 2s. - Rate Book


March 1695. Portreeve and Burgesses of Yeovill to Jane Gayne of Yeovill, Messuage and burgage in High Street, between burgage now or late in the possession of Joseph Hayne, commonly called The Bell on west messuage of Thomas Phillips, als. Phelps, commonly called the Rose and Crown on east, formerly held by Thomas Atkins decd. Rent 14s. 8d. (Signed) Richard Rogers portreeve and 11 burgesses - Giles Hayward, Francis Mines, James Markes, John Chaplin, John Knight, John Old, Edward Boucher, William Rowe, Henry Avoke. (Lease, March 1695, - SRO DD/PH c298.23)


T Phelps (Poor Rate Book)


Henry Penny, glove manufacturer of Yeovil, and Simon Pretor of Sherborne, banker, Messuage called Rose and Crown in High Street, hitherto in the possession of Onesiphorus Penny, since of Boon Penny, father of the said Henry Penny, and a Close called the Hopyard, late a Tanyard, under Hendford Penn, formerly in possession of Thomas Hayward and then Basil Hayward, sister (sic) - Ann Penny 1764. (Conveyance, 7 September 1791  -  SRO DD/YB C347.31)