The St. Ives & Queen’s Hotels
The St. Ives & Queen’s Hotels
The coupling of these two hotels is the result of a study of the Index of Cornish Inns collated by the late Mr. H.L. Douch, author of the book Old Cornish Inns, and now held by the Courtney Library at the Royal Cornwall Institution, Truro, of which Mr. Douch was sometime-Secretary. In the relevant Index entry the two hotels seem to have been assumed by Mr. Douch to have been one and the same; the St. Ives Hotel morphing into the Queen’s Hotel at some time circa 1860s.
The earliest mention of the St. Ives Hotel noted in the Index is its listing in Pigot’s Directory for 1822-’23 which names Michael Baragwanath as landlord.
An advertisement for the St. Ives Hotel appeared in the West Briton newspaper of 25th December 1829. It was placed by William Burgess, late of the Continental Hotel, Camborne. [The microfilm copy of this advertisement held at the Cornish Studies Library, Redruth, is more or less illegible.]
Further directory listings name Mathew Bennett, Pigot’s 1830; Francis Holman, Robson’s 1841.
Another advertisement appearing in the West Briton of 16th May 1837 reads as follows:
ST. IVES HOTEL
Samuel Mitchell, having taken the hotel
lately occupied by Mr. M. Baragwanath, would so-
licit Public Attention to his superior situation and accom-
modation, good beds and wines and spirits of the best
quality, with excellent Stabling, Coach House &c.
The advertiser hopes by the moderation of his charges
and constant care and assiduity
to give satisfaction, to merit public favour and support.
St. Ives, June 14th 1837.
By the following year Mr. Holman appears to have taken charge, as witness the following advertisement in the West Briton 28th December:
ST. IVES HOTEL, CORNWALL
Begs to return his sincere thanks to the inhabitants
of this Borough, neighboring and Commercial
Gentlemen and the Public in general for the very liberal
support he has received from them during the short time
he has occupied the house; and begs further to state that
he has recently improved the Stables and Lock-up Coach
House, and by keeping a stock of good old
wines, spirituous liquors &c, well-aired
beds and by strict attention to business, to merit a
share of public patronage, which has hitherto be-
stowed on him.
N.B. – Post Chaises, Gigs and Saddle
Horses at one minute’s notice.
Hotel, St. Ives, Dec. 26 1838.
Mrs. Elizabeth Stephens is listed as landlady in William’s Directory of 1847 and is named again in the following advertisement in the West Briton of 22nd March 1850:
ST. IVES, CORNWALL
To be Let, with immediate possession or at any
time within six months for a term of Seven Years
determinable by the taker at the experation of the first
three years, that long-established and well-accustomed
INN, known by the name of
ST, IVES HOTEL
Together with the lock-up Coach-House and Com-
modious Stables belonging thereto, now and for several
years past in the occupation of Mrs. Elizabeth Stephens.
The house contains an excellent Commercial Room,
large parlour, two kitchens, bar, cellar, brewhouse,
and other conveniences on the ground floor, and ten good
bedrooms, &c. The present is an unusually favourable opportunity
for a person of capital to embark upon the above business.
For particulars and to treat for same apply to Mr.
Michael Baragwanath, the proprietor, at
St. Ives of whom further information may be obtained.
Dated, March 18 1850.
By 1852 the hotel had again changed proprietorship, witness the following advertisement in the West Briton 21st May:
Begs most respectfully to inform commercial
gentlemen, and the public generally, that he has
removed from the Red Lion Inn to the St. Ives
Hotel, where he hopes with strict attention to
business, and by keeping every accommodation for the
convenience of his friends, to retain their support
and to obtain the patronage of those who may occa-
sionally visit the town.
Well-aired Beds, increased accommodation for
Stabling and Lock-up Coach House.
Dated May 19 1852.
Mr. Wasley is named as landlord in Slater’s Directory for 1852-’53. However, four years later the hotel appears to have had both a new tenant and a new freeholder. The West Briton of 15th August 1856 carrying the following:
HOTEL TO BE LET
To be Let with possession at Michaelmas next
All that old and much frequented Hotel, situate in
the borough of St. Ives, in this county, known by the name of the
ST. IVES HOTEL,
and now in the occupation of Mr. Worden.
Application to be made to Mr. John Trestrail, Redruth.
August 6 1856.
Mr. Worden is named as landlord in Kelly’s Directory of 1856, but less than two years later, according to an advertisement in the West Briton of 19th March 1858 George Wasley appears to have been back in charge.
HOTEL TO BE LET
All that commodious and well-accustomed HOTEL , situate
in the centre of the borough of St. Ives, with the exterior Stabling and Carriage
House thereto belonging, now in the occupation of Mr. George Wasley.
Immediate possession may be had. Application
for the letting of the said premises to be made to
Mr. John Trestrail, Builder, Redruth
Mr. Wasley’s successor appears to have been James Phillips.
It is at this period that the transition from the St. Ives Hotel to the Queen’s Hotel becomes not entirely clear. There is no entry for either establishment in Harrison, Harrod & Co.’s Directory for 1862. It is also puzzling – considering the late Mr. Douch’s coupling of the two hotels – that the location of the St. Ives Hotel is generally given as “the western end of Fore Street” while that of the Queen’s Hotel is its current site in High Street. While the present Queen’s Hotel building is advertised as being “late Georgian” the frontage is more characteristically mid-Victorian. The re-fronting of older inns was a practice not uncommon in the nineteenth century and here we may see the hand of the Redruth builder, John Trestrail. In any case, the Queen’s Hotel as such was in existence by 1866 as attested by the following report in the Royal Cornwall Gazette of 13th December 1866, quoted (despite its length) in full below.
“At the Bodmin County Court, on Tuesday, before C.D. Bevan Esq., Mark Vial, innkeeper of St. Ives, came up on his own petition for protection, and release from the County Prison, and to be transferred to Penzance Court for adjudication. – Mr. Commins, appearing for Mr. Wallis, supported the bankrupt, and Mr. Downing, of Redruth, appeared for the opposing creditor, Mr. Stewart Maker. – From the bankrupt’s statement, it appeared that he had sold his effects to an incoming tenant, and decamped with the whole of the money, after having deceived his landlord by promising to pay his rent. The number of notes the bankrupt took up to Messrs Bolitho’s bank was the chief obstacle to the carrying out of his plan, as, having left the neighbourhood, he was unable to get them cashed, although he attempted to do so. – Bankrupt was subjected to a searching investigation by Mr. Downing, and having been sworn, he gave the following evidence: – I carried on business at St. Ives and kept the Queen’s Hotel there, Mr. Maker being my landlord. I left on the 17th of October. There was a valuation made between the incoming tenant and myself, upon which I think I received about £250 on the 18th of October. I was paid by Messrs Bolitho, St. Ives in notes and gold. On the 18th of October I returned home to my mother’s at Camborne. From there I went to Truro and then to Plymouth. I agreed to pay the amount of the rent to Mr. Maker, but did not do so. I paid some of the money away before I left. I applied to the bank to cash some notes but could not get it done. I was going from Plymouth to Cork, to have a sea-trip, but it is not true that I was going to Cork to go abroad. I thought I should very much like to go there to see the place. I came back to Liskeard station, where I met Mr. Hitchins, and had a conversation with him, the result of which was that I made up my mind to return home and pay my debts. I am very expensive in my living when I am out – (laughter). I was arrested under the Judge’s warrant on Monday. Offered to pay 2s in the pound. I owed about £240 or £250. I was sent to Bodmin Prison. I borrowed money previous to my going into business. I borrowed £120 of my mother, which I paid her on my return from Plymouth. I borrowed £50 from Mrs. Quintrell, which I paid on the Monday. I have lived on the rest with my family. I saw Mr. Cock, jun., on the Monday. Did not tell him that I had lost my money in Plymouth. I never said I had got into bad company at Plymouth, and that my money was stoled from me. – Mr. Downing having addressed His Honour on behalf of the opposing creditor, the Judge made a short review of the facts if the case and refused to give any order. The bankrupt will therefore remain in prison until the next sitting of the court, when he will again have to appear.
Whatever the ultimate fate of Mr. Vial, by 1872 the landlord of the Queen’s Hotel was Emanuel Keskey, who would remain in charge for at least the next 30 years. The West Briton 7th November 1872 carried the following advertisement:
ST. IVES, CORNWALL
Freehold Hotel and Shop for Sale
Mr. Johns will Sell by Auction, on the PREMISES, on MONDAY,
the 25th day of November instant, a three o’clock in the afternoon
Lot 1. All that well-established hotel called
“THE QUEEN’S HOTEL
in the High Street, St. Ives, containing
sitting room, commercial room, smoking room, spirit bar,
cellar, ten bedrooms and convenient offices, stables and
coach house, now occupied by Mr. Keskey.
Within six months of the above notice the hotel again featured in the following advertisement in the West Briton of 22nd May 1873:
To be Sold by Private Contract, all that well-frequented and old-established
Freehold Hotel and premises, with stabling opposite, known as the
situate in the borough of St. Ives, in the county of Cornwall,
now in the occupation of Mr. Emanuel Keskeys as yearly tenant.
To treat, Mr. John Trestrail, Agar Crescent, Redruth.
It remains to be discovered who, if anyone, acquired the freehold of the Queen’s Hotel in response to this advertisement. Diane Quance, Archivist at the St. Austell Brewery, informs me that the brewery leased the hotel in 1903 for fourteen years. Lacking any documentary evidence, her tentative assumption is that it was leased from Emmanuel Keskey. That assumption is certainly plausible but we are still left with a gap between the Stewart Maker, named as [presumed] freeholder in the 1866 bankrupcy case. There also a lack of clarity as to what Mr. Trestrail’s exact relationship with the hotel might have been. Whether or not he was the previous freeholder, he ceases to be listed in directories as builder but does seem to have kept a connection with the licensed trade being named as landlord of the London Inn, Redruth in 1878. Others of that name appear to be similarly connected. Mr. Keskey continued to be named as landlord in Kelly’s Directory in 1873, ’78, ’82, ’89, ’93, ’97 and 1902. It is, of course, perfectly possible that he acquired the freehold at some time during his 30-plus year tenure as licensee. Mr. Keskey died in 1908 when he was described as Retired Licensed Victualler. A photograph apparently taken c.1920 shows a St. Austell Brewery dray out side the hotel.
In 1906 Mrs. Mary Davies is listed as licensee. By 1910 she had moved to the Castle Inn, and is later recorded as keeping apartments. She had been followed by 1910 by Francis C. Wheeler, who remained until at least 1914. Directories for 1919, ’23 and ’26 name Mrs. Elizabeth May Pearce as landlady. She was followed by W.E. Ingram who is listed as landlord in 1930,’35 and ’39. A list of post-WWII licensees supplied to me, again by Diane Quance, includes: Edward Rogers, Margaret & Fred Dunston, c.1955; Clive E. & Diane P. Eames, c.1966; T.J. Meehan, c.1967; C.M. Williams, Oct. 1968; Geoffrey & Pauline Quick, c.1971-’75; A.R. Thomas, Nov. 1979; E. Savage (temp.), Jan. 1990; M.L. Williams, May 1990; Mr. & Mrs. Hartley, May 1998; Mike Meridith & Pauline Curtis, Dec. 1998; Gary O’Donoghue. June 1999; Simon & Jackie Williams. May 2002; Maurice Symons. August 2002; Marco Amura & Jonathan Garrood. May 2007; Neythan & Sarah Hayes, Feb. 2011 to present.
The freehold of the Queen’s Hotel, St. Ives, was acquired by the St. Austell Brewery from Mr. & Mrs. E. Rogers in 1966.