History

History of the Raven – The building

Come into the Garden – and then build on it.

The extent of the Roman and Pre-Roman settlements is rather a matter of conjecture but we know that in the 17th century where the Raven now stands was farmland belonging to Barton Farm, which is just a few hundred yards north of us.

In the late 17th and early 18th centuries building spread out from the city walls, which lie just to the south of us. The first reference to our site, on a map of 1735, shows us to be a long narrow garden. This garden was probably lower than the surrounding streets as the Georgians had a habit of building their cellars at ground level and then creating a new street above to save themselves the trouble of digging.

Interestingly the walls of the building in what is now the underground part correspond to the recorded shape of the garden wall, not the house built above it. The vaults which form the cellars under the street are clearly later – the vaulting butts up against the wall of the building instead of being keyed in. It’s reasonable to suppose that this is because they built up on top of the garden wall, rather than taking it down and starting again. And that therefore the whole building rests on an old garden wall. Typical Georgian builders!

The Trades

The houses in Queen Street were largely those of tradesmen, some of whom had shops on the ground floor. In 1800, John Jarvis was at No. 6. He was a calenderer, a man who treated fabrics to give them a gloss. Perhaps the modern equivalent would be dry-cleaning.

At No. 7 was Thomas Trendell, a grocer.

By 1819, there was a butcher at No. 7, Robert Carnall. In the 1826 directory his address is given as 7 Quiet Street but the rate books show that there was also a Thomas Carnall living at No. 7 Queen Street. It may well be that this corner house had two addresses, one in Quiet Street and one in Queen Street. The plans of the building suggest that they were one and the same building.

From then on, the shop on the corner of Quiet and Queen Streets seems to have been a butcher’s shop until 1868, with a variety of trades at No. 6 Queen Street. During the 1820s, however, the south side of Quiet Street had been completed with the Bazaar and other buildings to each side resulting in the former No 7 becoming No. 12.

A drink your Highness?

One of the first businesses to move in was Charles Wright, ‘Wine Merchant to the Royal Family’, who opened the Bazaar Wine Vaults at No. 8 Quiet Street. These went through various hands and were finally purchased in 1864 by Thomas Toleman. There was still a butcher at No 12, William Sendall.

In taking over the Bazaar Wine Vaults, Toleman seems to have over-stretched himself, and he began selling off the stock by auction. In 1868, he moved to 12 Quiet Street and 7 Queen Street. He appears at both addresses, suggesting that they are indeed the same building. And indeed they are still so listed for the purposes of the rates. From then on, the building would be in the licensed trade.

Toleman was there until the 1890s with a short break in the early 1880s, when the Evry brothers ran it. It was, by then, very definitely a pub, but known as the Wine Vaults (and occasionally the Spirit Vaults).

In 1895, Toleman passed the licence to Fullers and it became known as Fuller’s Wine Vaults (Quiet Street). The bracketed address was necessary as Fuller’s had several other establishments, including one nearby in Upper Borough Walls, although that was really called the City Dining Rooms. On the death of Mr Fuller in 1913, the licence was transferred to Albert Applegate, of the Trowbridge firm of brewers. In 1935, the licence was transferred to his son Stuart. Although it was sometimes known as Applegate’s, it was also known (confusingly) as Fuller’s. At the same time, Applegate’s Brewery was taken over by Ushers.

In 1946, Geoffrey Moor took over the licence, by which time the place was permanently known as the Spirit Vaults, although it did not actually gain a full licence until 1955. Previously it had only held a wine and beer licence. It then passed to Anthony Knox-Little before becoming Hatchett’s Wine Lodge in 1961.

But why Hatchett’s? For a long time, it was believed that this was the name of a former landlord, but no such landlord has appeared. However, when it first became Hatchett’s it was run by K and E Dawes – their name appears in the directory in brackets. Was this a clue? It seems possible that it was.

Although Jane Austen is now Bath’s favourite literary figure, in the early part of the twentieth century it was Dickens. And members of the Dawes family were among the leading lights of the Bath Dickens Fellowship. They would undoubtedly have known about Hatchett’s Hotel and White Horse Cellar, in Piccadilly, London, named after its most famous landlord. Many of the Bath stage coaches left from it in the eighteenth century and when, in Pickwick Papers, the members of the club set out for Bath, it is from Hatchett’s, although the description is far from flattering. So it seems most likely that this is the reason for the name. Incidentally, there is a belief that Alexander Snodgrass (he of the Raven at 4 Quiet Street and the Caledonian Tavern in Trim Street, might have been the inspiration for the character of Augustus Snodgrass, also in Pickwick Papers. Dickens may well have met him on his visits to Bath.

Today, the pub spreads over No 12 Quiet Street (although the ground floor is an estate agents) and along Queen Street as it covers 6 and 7. At some stage the windows on No 7 have been altered – you can see where it formerly had windows like its neighbours. This may have been as a result of window tax. The fluctuations in window tax are often complicated, and in the early 1740s the act said that for a window to be counted as a separate window, it had to be 12 inches or more from its neighbour. Almost immediately, people started moving their windows together, creating a window tax pair. These can be seen in several places in Bath, most notably Beaufort Square. But it also meant that the architectural feature known as a Venetian window became fashionable. This is a triple window, with a large central aperture and two narrower apertures on each side. Because the gaps between the three apertures were less than 12 inches, it counted as one window. These became ever wider, so in 1797 the government, perceiving that it was losing revenue, imposed a width restriction. Almost immediately we see new windows made longer and existing windows being lengthened, while the side pieces of Venetian windows were often blocked. At 7 Queen Street, the Venetian window seems to have been subjected to a re-arrangement so that on first and second floor level it was now one window. However, the owners of No. 6 (and others in the street) did not bother but paid up. It is still possible to trace how the building was once two houses, and many original features survive.

During the second world war the pub was a favourite watering hole for the pilots stationed at the nearby airfield. They used to write messages on the ceiling of the upstairs bar, sadly painted over in the sixties, and occasionally get themselves into a certain amount of trouble with the police, presumably while not entirely sober.

The Raven as it is now, is still a traditional alehouse. We hope the previous landlords such as John Fox, Alexander Snodgrass and Thomas Toleman would approve.

A brief summary of those Who Went Before Us

The history of no’s 6 and 7 Queen Street

(and a bit of no 12 Quiet Street)

  1. 17th Century and before – the mists of time

The extent of the Roman and Pre-Roman settlements is rather a matter of conjecture, but we know that in the 17th century where the Raven now stands was farmland belonging to Barton Farm, which is just a few hundred yards north of us.

 

  1. 1735 – come into the garden

The first reference to our site, on a map of 1735, shows us to be a long narrow garden which was probably lower than the surrounding street level. The whole building rests on the old garden wall. Typical Georgian builders!

 

  1. 1800 – John Jarvis and Thomas Trendell.

Mr Jarvis (no 6) was a calenderer, a man who treated fabrics to give them a gloss. Perhaps the modern equivalent would be dry-cleaning. Thomas Trendell (no. 7) was a grocer.

 

  1. 1819, – Robert and Thomas Carnall.

The Carnalls were butchers and in 1826 Robert’s address is given as 7 Quiet Street (which was later renamed no 12) but the ratebooks show that Thomas was living at No. 7 Queen Street. It may well be that this corner house had two addresses, one in Quiet Street and one in Queen Street. The plans of the building suggest that they were one and the same building.

 

  1. 1864 – Thomas Toleman.

Mr Toleman took over the Bazaar Wine Vaults from Charles Wright, ‘Wine Merchant to the Royal Family’ and moved it into no 7. From then on, the building would be in the licensed trade.

 

  1. 1895 – Henry Fuller – now known as Fuller’s Wine Vaults

 

  1. 1913 – Albert Applegate

 

  1. 1935 – Stuart Applegate

 

  1. 1939 – 1945

During the second world war the pub was a favourite watering hole for the pilots stationed at the nearby airfield. They used to write messages on the ceiling of the upstairs bar, sadly painted over in the sixties, and occasionally get themselves into a certain amount of trouble with the police, presumably while not entirely sober.

 

  1. 1946 – Geoffrey Moor

 

  1. 1961 – Anthony Knox-Little – now known as Hatchett’s Wine Lodge

Although Mr Knox-Little was the licensee, the business was actually run by K and E Dawes who were among the leading lights of the Bath Dickens Fellowship. They would undoubtedly have known about Hatchett’s Hotel in Piccadilly, London, from whence, in Pickwick Papers, the members of the club set out for Bath.

 

  1. 1988 – Larry Cruxton

Hatchett’s becomes a thriving city centre pub, particularly favoured by Goths and Bikers.

 

  1. 2004 – the current day. The pub becomes The Raven