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Home > Oxfordshire > Abingdon > Horse & Jockey

Horse & Jockey

Picture source: Movement80


 

The Horse & Jockey was situated at 47 Bath Street. This pub closed in 2002 and was redeveloped into flats.   Although a bit run down, it was the home to 'The Skittle Alley' which provided a venue for local musicians to perform.  The skittle alley still lives on in name as the promoter of local music in other Abingdon pubs.
Source: Steven Green 
 
 I worked on the conversion here. How many of you knew that there was a 7m deep well under the outside victorian wc and a Roman graveyard under the skittle alley?!!
We unearthed at least four skeletons here and they remain in place protected from the underpinning. Stratton road was the Roman town boundary and the Romans always buried their dead outside the wall.
One of the guys found a coin dated 1766 built into the rear stone wall, presumably for luck when building it.
Evidence pointed to the fact that the stone front wall was added to support a jettied upper floor and the original timber had rotted or been removed. The amount of wheat grains up in the eaves suggest that the roof was originally thatched.
We also found a uniform button in the roof marked "West Riding Regt", some ivory toothbrushes (minus the bristles), unused clay pipes and unwashed crockery including a terrine containing a quails egg shell and crab carapace, the remnants of the last night's dining before the washing up was thrown into a hole underneath the "new" (victorian) toilet block!
When we removed the floor in the left hand part of the bar we found the remains and scorched earth of the old fire pit about four feet in front of the chimney, the ceiling above with matching traces of smoke stains. We also found the rim of a Roman pot. Hidden behind the render and plasterboard next to the rear first floor window over the courtyard, we discovered the original wind hole (from where we get the word window) complete with diagonally placed staves and shutter hinges. This still remains in the wall in accordance with it's listed status.
There were stories about floorboards creaking and footsteps heard when nobody was upstairs. This is probably because next door's wc actually protrudes into the space above, a reminder when it served as Morlands accounts office.
No ghosts seen although some illegitimate offsprings managed to jump over the rear wall, dragging back a total of three wacker plates!! We also had the original Artists Fare ceramic tile nicked.
All-in-all a great job to be involved with and fond memories
Chris Warne (January 2017)
 

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