Meeching Road, Newhaven

This picture was taken in 1860 and depicts the Phoenix Arms in Meeching Road, Newhaven.  You can just make out the word 'Parlour' enscribed in the bay window, barrels of beer out the front and what look like joints of meat hanging in front of the window of the pub!

The second photo taken over one hundred years later in Meeching Road seems to depict the former Phoenix Arms.  However, on closer inspection there is an additional bay window in this picture...

Can anybody confirm whether this is indeed the right place?

What is the building to the right?

Photo:Phoenix Arms, Meeching Road

Phoenix Arms, Meeching Road

Robert Robson Private Collection

Photo:Meeching Road

Meeching Road

Mrs Mary Morgan Private Collection

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'PHOENIX ARMS' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'PHOENIX ARMS' page
This page was added by Jackie Blackwell on 03/09/2007.
Comments about this page

Have just discovered from Peter Bailey's photographic books that these were the two most northern houses on the west side of Meeching Road. The Congregational Chapel was built to the right of the site but originally there was a gap (as depicted in top photo). The space was later filled by an extension to house the Sunday School to the Chapel.

By Jackie Blackwell
On 10/09/2007

I am currently putting a list of Newhaven pubs & landlords for the museum and hopefully produce as a small booklet to sell there. This pub seems to be a mystery, it is not listed in any trade directory or any census.This postcard seems to be the only evidence of it's existence (unless anyone can tell me more).

By Pete Mason
On 03/04/2008

Please can anyone confirm that the building to the right in the first picture was the last building in the road.  It looks as though something has been erased on the right of this photo?

By Richard Beckett
On 19/04/2008

I have looked at an original card of this and I agree with Richard that the picture has been edited, most probably due to Victorian sensitivity to showing a church and a purveyor of the demon drink in the same photo. The wall edges are not straight and the chap leaning on the fence at the right looks as if some of his head is missing.

By Pete Mason
On 20/04/2008

More on the Phoenix, I have scanned the original card and zoomed to 400% and it is definitley edited. The shop front reads" -----B Ales London XX Stout." (XX is Mild). There are 4 rabbits and a leg of lamb hanging in front of the window annd another leg in the doorway. The lantern has "The ------" but it doesn't look as if there are enough letters to spell "Phoenix".

By Pete Mason
On 20/04/2008

Like Peter, I have attempted to identify what is on the shopfront and apart from what he has stated, I think that the characters on the far left of the words are a date, 188?. Also the wording on the left face of the lamp appears to be "The ?gg??" and those on the front face appear to be "? Studio" Also since it is not listed in census or elsewhere, is it not possible that in fact this is not in Meeching Road at all (note the number of steps up to the houses in the old photo compared with those in the modern photo)?

By Richard Beckett
On 20/04/2008

Played about with the original and I reckon the front lamp says "The Stores". Pete

By Pete Mason
On 21/04/2008

On reflection and further boost to part of the photo, I am sure the words on the side of the lantern are "The Phoenix". I am also convinced that in the words above the shop, "BASS" is the word to the left (BASS ales are still made and sold), however I still cannot identify what comes between that and the word "LONDON". I have hunted the internet without success, has anybody any suggestions please.

By Richard Beckett
On 25/04/2008

Still can't agree on Bass. They were Burton based and always used the term "Burton Ales" partly as they came from there but also they used a brewing system called "Burton Union" which differs from normal top fermentation. I have looked at Brewers lists for that period and nothing seems to fit, could it be the shopkeepers name and street number? Beale perhaps? If it was Bass then it reads Bass ??? Ales London XX Stout but I can't recollect any word that short that Bass used in their branding. Others at that time used Bright or Brilliant

By Pete Mason
On 27/04/2008

I forgot to add the difference in the steps and road angle can be easily explained. In the old photo the nearer one of the 2 casks standing on its head is sloping so at that time there must have been a slope from the pavement (which was level) down to the road. The now photo shows road and path alongside at the same angle so at some stage the path must have been dug down to the road level requiring more steps.

By Pete Mason
On 27/04/2008

From the dim deep depths of my memory, I was sure I could recall seeing "Bass Ales" advertised on the outside of public houses and as a result Peter Mason's comment that Bass always used the term "Burton Ales" did not ring true with me as can be seen by the latest picture which I have posted on this page.

By Richard Beckett
On 28/04/2008

I'm not sure if the house in the photo is 5 or 7 Meeching Road but Peter Bailey would be able to tell you as his pal Charlie Robinson lived at number 7.

I was born in number 9 which was a full storey taller than it's neighbour and we had a trapdoor in the side north wall at the top which in the event of a fire led out onto the neighbours roof

By Rob Patten
On 03/05/2008

As ever, while looking for something else in the museum, I found a small piece of wood with signed in pencil,  "J Green September 1 1881".  A label attached states that it came from the uppermost bay of Louisa Villa (built 1866) 7, Meeching Road, formerly the Phoenix Arms which had a butchers shop adjoining and suggests that Green signed his work when the extra bay was added.  Donated by Charlie Robinson.

By Pete Mason
On 27/07/2008

I USED TO LIVE THERE!! My parents bought No.5 Meeching Road in 1978 and as far as I was aware there used to be a pub in the front of the property and a butcher's shop in the back (now the kitchen) we were always a bit scared of the trap door in the kitchen floor which I assume went down into a storage cellar (would have been nice and cool for the meat!!) It was an amazing house to live in as it was only about 10ft wide!! Many happy memories were made there while we shared our house with several foster children... 4 bedrooms and sometimes 12 children!! Moved from there in 1984 to 9 Hillcrest Road, I was 9 and my Mum loaded up an old Silvercross Pram with stuff which I trundled up the road, unloaded and then went back down to Meeching Road for more!!

By Lynsey Kassam
On 17/06/2012

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