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Market Place Market Place
Note the new building in the photo on the corner.
Regent Street Regent Street
Note the 'Old Red Lion Hotel'
Chapmangate Chapmangate
Note the independent chapel built in 1807 to the left.
The Feathers Hotel
The Feathers is probably the oldest inn in Pocklington and dates from at least Elizabethan times. In the early nineteenth century it was extensively rebuild for to attract the coaching Inn trade. It is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of Charlotte who was said to have died on the premises after an encounter with a highwayman (see below). .

At the beginning of the eighteenth century there is reference to a "Cut a Feather Inn" run by Bridget Smith. In her inventory of 1718 various rooms are listed called The half Moon, The Sun, The Lyon and Crown Chambers, The Marygold, The Back Chambers, The Brewhouse, The Star Parlour and Upper room, and the cellar. (Ref. Neave).

One of the most important meetings held in the Inn was on 25th August 1814, when a group decided to build the Pocklington Canal. The group meeting had immediately raised £15,000 and made it a viable project to pursue.

In Victorian times the Feathers was used for political gatherings, local clubs and society meetings (such as the Pocklington Agricultural Society), and for property sales (see the Tannery Sale of 1833).

The Plume of Feathers
This photograph was taken around 1920.
Taken around the mid 1920's.
Thanks to Mike Hill for providing the following valuable information:
"The date is most likely 1924. The cars from right, CX 5117 is a 10 h.p. Wolseley, the car in front is a Bullnose Morris 4 seater. WT 2537 make unknown was registered in March 1924, think was owned by a Mr. Bowman, a local worthy. PT 1854 also make unknown is a County Durham reg. from 1924, WT 2537 is a West Riding of Yorkshire reg.
This was taken around the 1950's
The Black cat on the shutters appeared in 1962 to mark the day that former Landlord Jack Rayner took over as Landlord and noticed a black cat walk in front of him on his first arrival. It was put up to keep the good luck that has blessed the hotel ever since. Ref. Dalesman Nov. 1982

A 1970's photograph of the Feathers Hotel

Haunted Hotel - The following story is taken from the Pocklington Post
2nd March 2005

Many folk claim to have seen or sensed the presence of the infamous ghost known as Charlotte at The Feathers Hotel, Market Place - including manager Graham Turvill.
And rumour of the ghoul has spread to a pair of ghost researchers at Sheffield - who are now planning to seek it out with a scientific trip this week.
Mr Turvill said: "They contacted us some time ago because it seems our spook is becoming well known. It must be logged or regis-tered somewhere and they sent us a letter saying they want to come and find it. It should be an interesting experience."

Mr Turvill said the pair are made up of a female medium and male scientist who are working together like Mulder and Scully from cult TV show X-Files to find out about things that go bump in the night. But the Mick is something of a sceptic and says he is looking for hard scientific proof to prove him wrong.
They will arrive at the pub on March 4 and their experiment will be done in two halves.First will be the scientific side with video cameras, thermometers and other gadgets designed to measure any changes what so ever in the room. They will set this up and then leave it over night to see if anybody, or anything, shows up.
As well as this the medium will also use her powers to learn about the building and an in-depth look at the history of the pub will be carried out.
Mr Turvill said the pair had already been to some other ancient buildings and how in one incident in Sheffield the medium predicted that a pub had once been a newsagents - and was right.
The ghost that is said to haunt The Feathers is thought to be a young woman called Charlotte. As one version of the story goes her husband or boyfriend was a highway man and he was killed in the stables at the back of the feathers, which is now the car park. On seeing this she ran upstairs into her room and killed herself Other versions include that she was murdered by the highwayman after she turned down his advances, and you can hear the clunk of her body being dragged downstairs. He was then hanged at the back of the hotel. The room is now a store cupboard as people were too scared to spend any time in there.
The legend of Charlotte has been passed down the generations of landlords, managers and customers at the pub and Mr Turvill said that the ghost hunt could find something after he had a strange encounter himself.
He said: "I am a sceptic and I don't really believe in this sort of thing. But three months ago I had a strange experience in here. I was sat having my tea and heard the rustle of a plant and saw a woman's arm.
I thought someone had got drunk and fallen asleep in the toilets so I got up to look but there was no-one there. But I saw it clear as day."

The following extract is taken from "Tales of Old Inns"
by Richard Keverne
(first pub. May 1939, but extract from 5th ed. 1952)

About the Feathers in Pocklington, thirteen miles from York in the East Riding, a first-class political squable arose in 1834. The Feathers was a Tory Inn, and to it came Lord Brougham, Lord Chancellor of England, his daughter and his private secretary early one morning. They were travelling by Chaise to Hull. Lord Brougham complained that he was improperly received and the local press waged war.

The Whig papers, supporting the Lord Chancellor, claimed that he had been insulted, shown into a public room, unswept, undusted and without a fire, and that no breakfast awaited him although he had notified the Landlord of his coming. One journal stated, rashly, that there were no post-horses at the Feathers or any other Pocklington Inn.

The Tory press, in arms with the landlord, claimed that he received no intimation that Lord Brougham desired breakfast, he had only been notified that he would change horses at the inn at a certain hour. Although the Lord Chancellor arrived two hours before his time, the horses were ready, and the party shown into the best room.

The battle raged hotly for a while, but the Feathers won. The rash journal that complained of the lack of post-horses had to withdraw. It published this recantation. "It is well known to all travellers through Pocklington that the Feathers Inn, post-horses have been kept for the last half-century and we understand that there is no more accommodating establishment in the East Riding."

And there the matter ended, though it is said that Lord Brougham never entered the town again.

Lord Brougham would have found the Feathers a modern house reconstructed within the last ten years or so. To-day, a hundred odd years later, it has the same character, although there are parts of a much older building left. Oak rafters and moulded beams in the office belong to the sixteenth century; the passage leading to the kitchen, with meat and game hooks still in the ceiling, is of the 1700's. So is the window of the still-room that probably once lighted a Georgian coffee-room.

The Feathers was a great market house in its time, and a hunting inn, which accounts for its very extensive stables. One of its former Landlords used to farm, and the top yard of the inn was his stockyard. The Feathers field behind the house was a busy place during Pocklington's old May and Martinmass horse and cattle fairs.

But all is past. Pocklington is just a quiet little country town, with only dreams of the busy times that used to be when the Feathers was a century younger.

Landlords of the Feathers
1937 Kelly's Directory Trust Houses Ltd. The Feathers P.H. Market place
1933 Kelly's Directory Trust Houses Ltd. The Feathers P.H. Market place
1928 Kelly's Directory Trust Houses Ltd. The Feathers P.H. Market place
1921 Kelly's Directory Trust Houses Ltd. The Feathers P.H. Market place
1913 Kelly's Directory Dunn Peter, The Feathers P.H. Market place
1909 Kelly's Directory Dunn Peter, The Feathers P.H. Market place
1905 Kelly's Directory Nicholls Hannah Margt. (Mrs.), Feathers hotel,Mk pl
1897 Kelly's Directory  
1892 Bulmers Directory Feathers Hotel, Market place ; Arthur Withers House
1889 Kelly's Directory House Arthur Withers, Feathers commercial & family hotel & posting house, Market place
1882 York Herald newspaper
July 1st 1885

Mr. A.W. House Landlord of the Feathers Hotel arrived in 1882, and in 1885 took out an action against the Pocklington Gas Company to recover damages for the illegal removal of a gas meter. Reference to old gas pipes laid 50 years earlier.

1879 Post Office Directory Curtis Francis Fallowfield, Feathers commercial hotel, posting house & inland revenue office, Market place
1871 Census Francis F. Curtis, Age 50, innkeeper
1858 Whites Directory Plume of Feathers. M. Rickaby, Skt
1851 Census Margaret Rickaby, Widow, Age 43, Innkeeper
1844 Easton's Directory Francis Fallowfield, Feathers Hotel
Owner: Francis Fallowfield
1841 Census Francis Fallowfield, Age 41, Innkeeper
1840 White's Directory Feathers  Inn,  Francis Fallowfield, Market pl
1834 Piggot's Directory Feathers Inn, Francis Fallowfield, Market place
1823 Baine's Directory Feathers   Inn,   Francis   Fallowfield, Waterloo buildings.
1794 ER Archives Probate copy will of Francis Fallowfield of Pocklington innkeeper DDPY/29/48 26 May 1794. Trustees: James Bagley, Pocklington, butcher, James Silburn junior, Pocklington, butcher Beneficiaries: son Francis; wife Sarah; daughter Jane; sister-in-law Elizabeth Fallowfield Property: freehold and copyhold estate (mentions copyhold house in St Helens Gate, Pocklington) Witnesses: John Scaife, Mary Terry, John Terry Will dated 1 Apr 1793 Probate 26 May 1794
1791 Universal Directory Fallowfield Francis, (F.), Victualler
1786 ER Archives Francis Fallowfield innholder and Joseph Terry butcher both of Pocklington: - F.F. in bastardy (Elizabeth Ireland of Allerthorpe singlewoman). QSF/312/C/2 c1786
1719 Neave "Cut a Feather Inn" run by Bridget Smith. In her inventory of 1718 various rooms are listed called The half Moon, The Sun, The Lyon and Crown Chambers, The Marygold, The Back Chambers, The Brewhouse, The Star Parlour and Upper room, and the cellar.
1695 Annual report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records, Vol. 41 p.102 at the sign of "It cuts a feather," in Pocklington, 22 Apr 1695, Plaintif Robert Dolman, Defendants; Richard Wilkinson, John Gibson, Thos. Smith, Wm. WInter, Fras. Milson, Thos. Smith senr., Edward Booth, John Lamb, Benjamin Brown.

Town of Pocklington. Whether any "toll called gatelaw hath been taken or paid unto the said complainant or his ancestors, their bayliffes, servants or agents.....for the said toll called gatelaw for every horse loadned with corn or graine which any person did lead or drive into and through the said town of Pocklington " &c. &c.
1811 map Definition:
"to cut a feather" is a nautical term to make the water foam in moving; in allusion to the ripple which a ship throws off from her bows. Nearby the inn, is the point where the two streams of Pocklington beck join together after separating around Brass Castle Island. Perhaps foam was created following the tanning and milling processes further upstream from this point.

Left: Map of 1811

If you wish to add to the story of the Feathers, or correct any of the above information, then please contact me.