Taunton Inn, Gorey

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Taunton Inn

Gorey Pier


Mrs Cartwright's Taunton Inn

When, in the 19th century, Gorey was a thriving oyster fishery port, and then a centre for shipbuilding, the inns and public houses along the length of the pier must have been thriving businesses. It is the larger establishments at the landward end of the pier whose histories are best known, but the Taunton Inn, the second building from the far end, must have been a popular establishment with seamen coming ashore on the jetty

The Taunton Inn was the penultimate building of the familiar row of properties along Gorey Pier and beneath Mont Orgueil Castle. The only surviving photographs of the Taunton establish that it was run by a Mrs Cartwright, and it is believed that she and her family owned the property.

Little is known about the history of the business, and when Jersey Archive covered Gorey Pier as part of their Street Story series, the only mention of the Taunton was that it was run by Joseph Cartwright in 1871.

Jane Cartwright

But it was in the hands of Joseph's mother Jane at least 30 years earlier, when the census shows her, aged 63, living there with 23-year-old Joseph.

Jane Cartwright, possibly nee Cole, was the widow of Soldier George Cartwright, probably a garrison soldier stationed in the area. He died in 1837 and was buried in nearby Grouville cemetery.

The sign on the front of the building makes it very clear that this was Jane's business, and she was still running it in 1851, shown in the census as a widow and inkeeper. Living with her were son Joseph, now 32 and a carpenter, his wife Fanny (1823-1896), born in Portsmouth, the daughter of James Grant, and their six-year-old son Joseph.

Jane had died by 1861 but the Taunton Inn was still in business. Indeed, this is the only census which shows No 14 Gorey Pier as the Taunton Inn. Joseph was shown as a shipwright, and Fanny had moved up market and was named as Frances. The couple had five children, Joseph, George, Jane, Henry and William.

The census does not disclose who was running the inn, but it is likely that it was still very much a family business, because the next census in 1871 shows Joseph as a ship's carpenter and innkeeper, and his wife, who has reverted to being called Fanny, a housekeeper. Only George and Jane were still living at home, George shown also as a ship's carpenter.

Joseph died in 1879 and the 1881 census shows widow Fanny living at No 14 with Joseph, George and William, all seamen, and Jane. Ten years later only Fanny and Jane, described as an 'imbecile from childhood' were at No 14. They are both shown as having no occupation, so presumably the inn had closed by then. Fanny was still the occupant of the property in 1895, but died that year.

Prison and hospital

George spent a week in prison in 1887, but the records do not show what his offence was. He was admitted to the General Hospital in September 1889 with a 'maladie'. and again in 1891 with 'indigence' - meaning 'poverty'. The Cartwright family were regular hospital patients during the 1890s and 1900s. George was admitted with a 'maladie' in 1896, his nephew Henry had an operation the following year, and, in addition to several other admissions, George and his sister Jane were admitted on the same day in 1902.

Jane lived until 1921, and George until 1926.
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