Looking back – Hook Norton pub snippets – The Pear Tree, Hook Norton
Located at the end of Brewery Lane and known as the Brewery Tap, the Pear Tree was opened as a pub in 1869.
John Harris had earlier recorded his first commercial brew in 1856 and soon after, in 1859, opened up a Beerhouse in Down End. The acquisition of the Pear Tree saw the beginning of the John Harris Brewery tied estate. The Pub was originally a substantial 18th century house with cottage attached with a well at the front, which is still present. The original owner it seems was quite well to do as the front of the building is red brick, a sign of wealth, whereas the remainder is local stone.
The name of course comes from the fact that there is a pear tree growing up the front wall. The original tree is still there on the right hand side of the entrance but as an insurance this was supplemented by a second one planted in the 1960′s on the left hand side. Looking through old Kelly’s directories I have noted the following keepers; 1871 John Dunnett, 1883 Thomas Smart, 1891 James Stone, 1901 Mary Stone, 1911 Tom Rixon, 1915 Thomas Drake, 1920 Rosabella Hoare, 1931 Ellen Messenger and 1935 Eva Heritage.
Looking at old photographs we see tall white wooden railings at either side of the entrance seemingly placed there to tether one’s horse while seeking refreshments inside? It’s nice that we still see horses outside the pub, although these days it is of course usually the Brewery dray horses.