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Pub History

EVERARDS

It’s History:

William Everard brewed the first pint of Everards ale in 1849, and stated "No effort shall be found wanting in the production and supply of genuine ale of first rate quality".
Today, over 150 years later, Everards Brewery is very much family run company with values that echo that of William Everard - We aim to provide first class quality goods and services to our customers.
We firmly believe in combining innovation and moden technology with the best of traditional values and practices throughout the business, whether it's customer service, brewing, or our pubs. "Tradition with ambition" as Chairman Richard Everard says.
Our pub estate comprises 166 pubs that vary from city centre venues and community locals to village inns. All our pubs are within our heartland, a 70 mile radius of our Leicestershire brewery.

 

THE GATE HANGS WELL


It’s History:

At the Gate we have a history of flooding, which happens, twice a year the floodgates at Nottingham are opened which floods the area around the pub it lasts about 3 days.
The pubs famous saying is on the gated sign which hangs from outside of the pub it says “This Gate Hangs Well & hinders none, refresh & pay & travel on”.
Lewin Bridge, which is next to The Gate Hangs Well.
At the northern edge of the village close to the FOSSE WAY is a little bridge crossing the WREAKE. This was built in 1797 and, according to tradition, by nine workmen in just nine days. As the bridge contains 25,000 bricks and 150 tons of stone, this seems rather unlikely! The bridge was repaired in 1868 and again in 1938.

ST JOHN'S WELL:
There is a pathway on Bath Street, which leads from the Green to the "GATE HANGS WELL". This is reputedly an ancient track to ST JOHN'S WELL, a spring which is said to have had medicinal qualities. However, the location is now unknown and any well has long since been filled in.

 

SYSTON, LEICESTERSHIRE


It’s History:

The earliest evidence of a settlement at SYSTON was the discovery of an EARLY BRONZE AGE cremation vessel called a collared urn. This was found at the "ROUND HILL" burial mound in the village and dates from between 2,000 BC and 1400 BC. There are no specific earthworks in the area as 20th century development has largely obscured the medieval village. In 1873, a Bronze Age dagger was found in the river Wreake in SYSTON, 11 feet below the riverbed. A fragment of human skull discovered embedded in the dagger blade gives an indication of the village's sometimes violent past.

It is though that an ancient track, THE RIDGEMERE, may have run along the ridge connecting SYSTON with TILTON, QUENIBOROUGH and BARKBY and a Saxon sword were found here in 1969 during the building of the school. This, combined with the remains of a Saxon cross at the church would seem to imply that there was a Saxon presence in the area at some point.

SYSTON was one of 37 Manors granted to HUGH DE GRANTES MAISNELL, later EARL OF LEICESTER. Reputedly, this was as a reward for saving WILLIAM I's life during the Battle of Hastings. The DOMESDAY BOOK of 1086 gives the village's name as "SITESTONE" and a document of 1201 calls it "SITHESTUN". A survey of 1377 lists 32 taxpayers living in SYSTON and the lordship of the village ended very early with land being sold off to several different landowners.
By 1534, ULVERSCROFT PRIORY had become patron of the Church in SYSTON, a position that later passed to the University of Oxford.
CIVIL WAR cannonballs have been found in the garden of SYSTON OLD MANOR HOUSE. It is though that the house was besieged by Royalist Artillery under the command of PRINCE RUPERT OF THE RHINE. This was while RUPERT was based in QUENIBOROUGH during the Siege of Leicester.

In 1664, 138 households are listed in SYSTON, a number that remains unchanged in 1670. Seventeenth century records show the church paying for a curate and a schoolmaster in SYSTON in 1626, 1641, 1660 and 1681. The schoolmaster in 1660 was WILLIAM GRACE, who is described as "an ejected minister". This almost certainly means that he had been a Puritan appointed during the Republic and was removed from his post after CHARLES II came to the throne in 1660.

War came to SYSTON in 1715 when four militiamen were called to fight for KING GEORGE I against the threatened Jacobite invasion. Their names are given as THOMAS CASTLEDINE; ANDREW HURST; AARON WARREN (SGT) and JOHN LEWIN (DRUMMER).

The 1801 census lists SYSTON as having a population of 1,124.
The first METHODIST Chapel in SYSTON was built by WILLIAM COOPER, who came to the village from Rotherby in 1790. He lived in Brook Street and a contemporary description called him "a man renowned to all of great generosity, of true humility and peaceable nature". The chapel was built on land next to Whatoffs House in 1797, the same year as the famous "NINE DAYS WONDER" bridge. In 1818, an "offshoot" group favouring more old-fashioned, evangelical methods of worship grew up in the village until, in 1836, they built their own Primitive Methodist chapel in School Street. The original chapel was enlarged in 1841 but closed down in 1890 when the Methodists moved to their new church in High Street. The differing branches of Methodism came together again in 1932 as a result of the Deed of Union. After this date, the Primitive Methodists became known simply as the Melton Road Methodists and the Wesleyans as the High Street Methodists.

The first recorded Baptist activity in SYSTON was in 1755 when JOHN PORTER applied for a licence to conduct services in his own house. Worship continued in such domestic settings until 1818 when the first Baptist Chapel was built in - appropriately enough - Chapel Street. A Baptist Lecture Hall was also built in School Street at the same time. Both became disused on the opening of the new Baptists Chapel on Geedes Lane in 1925.

As well as a few "dame" schools, there was a boarding school in the village at the start of the 19th century, located at Acacia House on School Street. Education in SYSTON changed completely with the opening of the NATIONAL SCHOOL in 1817, created out of a terrace of five converted cottages.

THE WHITE SWAN, which used to stand on what is now MELTON ROAD, was an important posting house on the Leicester to Melton Turnpike. A slate panel over the door was inscribed with the initials "GWH" and the date 1709. The WHITE SWAN increased in importance after the canalisation of the River Wreake and the building of the "nine days wonder" bridge in BARKBY led to a great increase in coach traffic. WRIGHT'S DIRECTORY for 1845 records that:

"A post office for the free receipt and dispatch of letters was established at the WHITE SWAN and mails are received and dispatched by railway and mail gig every morning and afternoon".

In 1843, the Toll Bar Gate on Melton Road was smashed down by a runaway horse, which had escaped from the mail coach. The horse was killed. The stagecoach trade itself was delivered an equally fatal blow in the 1840s with the opening of the MIDLAND and SYSTON TO PETERBOROUGH RAILWAYS. The second line was originally an independent scheme but was taken over at a very early stage by the Midland Railway. The line was authorised in 1845 but due to objections from hostile landowners, it was not open until 1848. The line began a new era for the village with an eventual total of thirty trains in each direction travelling the line per day. As with BIRSTALL and the GREAT CENTRAL RAILWAY, the line encouraged new building around the station, which was some way out of the original village. This had the effect of shifting the village centre and greatly increasing SYSTON's size; the population went up sharply from 1,421 in 1841 to 2,470 in 1881. The station was closed in 1968 as part of the Beaching "rationalisation" of the rail network but in 1994 a new one was built a few yards further down the track as part of the new IVANHOE LINE.

The "railway excursion" pioneer THOMAS COOK had connections with SYSTON. In 1844, he brought a party of 500 schoolchildren from Leicester to SYSTON by rail. This was followed by a two-mile walk through the fields to MOUNTSORREL for a picnic on Castle Hill. It was on this trip that Cook’s son JOHN, then just 10 years old, helped his father with the organisation for the first time. It was his job to guide his father's young charges on their hike, directing them with a long walking stick.

Framework knitting was at its height in the 1840s when records show there were 280 frames in SYSTON. However, the drift to factory work in towns was well underway in 1851, by which time there were only 220 frames in use. SYSTON became a fully-fledged parish in 1894 with the first meeting of the village's Parish Council.

Despite village protest, the WHITE SWAN lost its license in 1919 and was demolished in 1931 to make way for "Fred Sharp's Cycle and Radio Store". This was itself demolished and replaced by a row of shops.

There is apparently a huge increase in SYSTON's population in 1951, when the census gives it as 5,508. However, this is not as dramatic as it appears, as the redrawing of parish boundaries had transferred 500 people from BARKBY to SYSTON. Today almost 13,000 people live in SYSTON.