Tue, 11 Oct 2016
A BLUE heritage plaque commemorating an important part of Newbury’s history was unveiled last Thursday.
The plaque has been erected outside the premises of Jackson-Stops & Staff Estate Agent, The Courtyard, 2 London Road.
The Courtyard, with its neighbouring buildings, was the premises of the George & Pelican Inn, the most famous, prestigious, and most expensive of the many inns in Newbury that served the coaching trade.
The George and Pelican was the inn of choice for royalty, politicians, generals and admirals.
Nelson was a frequent visitor as his father lived in Bath.
The George Inn, which had stabling for 300 horses, was built in about 1730, but the Pelican has an earlier date.
They later combined to form one inn, but closed in 1853, with the advent of the railway.
The plaque was unveiled by the mayor of Newbury, Julian Swift-Hook.
Anthony Pick, chairman of the Town Council’s heritage working group, said: “It is right that we should celebrate the coaching trade which had so important a role in Newbury’s history.
“We are very grateful to Jackson-Stops & Staff Estate Agents for their support and to the Newbury Society for contributing one-third of the cost.
“We will be happy to receive suggestions for further blue plaques to commemorate events in Newbury’s past.”
A series of plaques have been unveiled in the town over the past year to mark important historical events and locations.
One is situated at the birthplace of Francis Baily – a Newbury astronomer who made a substantial contribution to his field.
Another is at Hogan Music, Winchcombe House, 123-126 Bartholomew Street.
The site is close to that of Herborough House, the home of Walter Money, the founder of modern historical studies of Newbury.
There is another blue heritage plaque commemorating the UK’s first official mobile phone call – made to Vodafone in Newbury.