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Home > Dorset > Bridport > George Inn

George Inn

George Inn, Bridport

Picture source: Chris Downer


The George Inn was situated at 9 East Street. This timber-framed stone building was built in the 17th century and refaced in late 18th century. It was later a pharmacist’s shop owned initially by Dr Roberts of ‘Poor Man’s Friend’ fame and later by Beach and Barnicott.

A grade-II* listed building altered early in the 19th century. With similarity to others in Totnes, Plympton, Looe, Plymouth and Polperro this is probably the former George Inn and certainly contains 16th or 17th century features. Charles II stayed at the George as a fugitive on September 23rd 1651 and was disguised as an ostler to evade capture. Dr Giles Roberts (1766-1834) Pharmacy was established in 1788 and it was he who rebuilt this building in 1804 and in 1832 became the first building in Bridport with gas lights. It remained a Pharmacy for 170 years until 1974 having been left to Mr Beach and Mr Barnicott in 1834 on his death. In 1798 Dr Roberts had marketed a revolutionary ointment known as the 'Poor Man's Friend', a cure for aches, pains, gout, etc. A pharmacist bought Dr Roberts' old shop in the 1970s and discovered the original copy of the recipe for the 'Poor Man's Friend' in a sealed envelope marked 'Private'. It was bought by the Bridport Museum in August 2003 for £480.
Steve Turner (September 2021)
Listed building details:
C16/17. Altered in early C19. Stucco. 2 storeys. Ground floor has double-bowed shop front with glazing bars, reeded pilasters, door jambs and transom, and a continuous fascia with an arcaded pattern. Double doors with Gothick glazing bars. 1st floor has 2 segmental bows with sashes with Gothick glazing bars. Parapet with raised centre, and very elaborate foliated scrolls at the sides
supporting moulded posts with elaborate finials. Interior. Ground floor has ceiling beams with convex moulding. 2 posts, 1 with stopped chamfers, both with applied Ionic capitals. 3 bay arcade against rear wall with pointed arches on thin colonnettes and blue and gold painted glass in spandrels. 1st floor room has C16/17 fireplace with moulded surround (1 convex and 1 concave chamfer, stopped) and no mantel shelf. Simple Regency staircase. Dispensary at rear has early Cl9 sash with marginal glazing bars; door and window reveals panelled with raised moulding. In the house is preserved a C17 or C18 pottery finial in form of a horse and rider, which used to be on the roof, and dates from the time when the house was probably the George Inn. (Similar ones found at Totnes, Plympton, Looe, Plymouth and Polperro). Charles II stayed at the George as a fugitive on September 23rd 1651, And was disguised as an ostler to evade capture. The present firm was established in 1788 by Dr Roberts, who made it widely celebrated by the manufacture of his patent medicine.


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