The Cherry Tree

In the 17th and 18th centuries people started to travel more, and the road network gradually improved to cater for this trend. Wayside Inns became increasingly important components in peoples’ voyages. Inns not only provided food and drink for travelers, but also overnight accommodation; they provided for the care of the horses pulling the stagecoaches, and a change of horses on long journeys. They were a place where passengers could wait for the arrival and departure of the coaches, and acted as early post offices where parcels and letters could be left for collection and onward dispatch. With its strategic position on several main routes, Kettering was well provided with public house, inns and hotels and became a popular stopping of point for coaches. Their function went into decline with the advent of the railway, which in Kettering arrived in 1857, but there is no doubt that the railway brought enormous opportunities and wealth to the town.

This pub boasts of being the oldest and smallest pub in Kettering, with an inn on the site recorded as far back as the 15th century. Amongst the many landlords, Robert Augustus Manton is perhaps the best known. He traded in beer in the last years of the 19th century, and he then became landlord of the Cherry Tree. The Cherry Tree still serves food and drink to the hungry and thirsty traveler!

Wedged in between the Cherry Tree and the Old Market Inn, is the newsagent and general store, now belonging to Linnetts. These premises were occupied from 1894 until 1910 by a drapery and milliners business run by Ernest Woodcock, which was so successful that it had to relocate to bigger premises on the corner of Newland and Montagu streets.

Researched by David Brown & Bernadette Millar

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