A party of pleasure, in the year 1800, on their return from Skegness to Lincoln, dined at an old establishment inn at Wragby. One of the gentlemen after dinner took off his ring, and inscribed upon a pane of glass the name of a young lady of the party and his own in brackets.
Forghty-eight years afterwards, the lady in question (who retained her maiden name) passed through Wragby with her niece, and ordered the coachman to drive to the old inn for refreshment. Lo! to her surprise, the very foundations of the inn were razed, and she was driven to the new hotel on the other side of the road.
There, whilst taking biscuits and wine, indulging in reminiscences of bygone times, the niece, who had approached the window, exclaimed “There is the inscription you promised to show me.” “How strange!” said the aunt.
“Not so strange, neither,” rejoined the waiter, “for we brought all the windows from the old house, and fixed them here: and it was fortunate we did so for one of the panes contained in writing a promise of marriage, and I was subaenaed at a trial in London to produce it, and had a very nice journey, and all expenses paid.”
Source: Manchester Times (Manchester, England), Tuesday, May 1, 1849
Photo: Al Partington
What a remarkable story!
Consider what Wragby would have been like in 1800 – although it would have been smaller than today’s Wragby, having a population of 410 in 1801, it was one of the greater populated villages in Lincolnshire. Public buildings, including the village inn, would have been built close to the nucleus of the village – the market square. It would make sense for a coach house inn to have been situated on the main through road, nearby the centre of the village.
Considering information on the History of Wragby website, which states: “On the north side is a row of Regency buildings including the post office and newly refurbished Turnor Arms, an old coaching inn”, I would conject that ‘The Turnor Arms” fits the bill perfectly, being situated opposite to the market place and on the direct route from Skegness to Lincoln, and most probably is the inn described in the newspaper article.
Do I fancy that those windows in Al Partington’s photograph above look like the original ones?
Seems a little trip to ‘The Turnor Arms” is in order…
…and we may partake in “biscuits and wine” for our efforts!