THE SUN INN
The Sun Inn and yard
entrance by Ann Sandell
rendered stepped buttresses (on which this plaque is mounted), are where the
extended Sun Inn was demolished in the 1960’s. There was an arch to reach the
rear coach yard with outbuildings which were used as housing named Dickinson’s
Yard (1861) and later Sun Inn Yard (1881). The buildings were demolished for
improved access into Stoneshot for today’s car park and toilets.
first reference is when local shopkeeper, Abraham Dent
branched out into brewing and was listed in a 1784 directory as Dent, Portees
and Mason. In 1786,
the partnership broke up when Portees set up business in Liverpool and Dent then
mortgaged his premises namely: ‘A common brewery, a counting house, a shop
and a malt house and two inns, the Golden Fleece and the Sun’. Dent’s
sons took over the brewery but sold it in 1801.
remains of Abraham Dent’s brewing industry with a 15-foot seepage well and
cold storage is in the large manmade cave-like cavern below Stoneshot that can
be accessed (though not by the general public) through a short tunnel from the
rear cellar of Halls Newsagents. You will see the cellar entrance just in front
with the stone balustrade made from a section of window tracery believed to come
from the church during a renovation.
information contained in historical directories
and UK Census records for Kirkby Stephen, we can determine the innkeepers,
publicans, or Licensed Victuallers of The Sun Inn through the years.
Margaret Dickenson 1829, 1851
Martha Dickinson 1858, 1861, 1869, 1871
James Purchas 1873
John Nicholson 1881, 1884
Isabella Sproat 1897
Sarah Ann Webster 1901, 1905
Dan Sowerby’s cart
parked on Market Square
(Dan) Sowerby is remembered as living at the Sun Inn in 1939.
Dan was a horse dealer. He also sold fish, collecting them from the Kirkby
Stephen East station off the train and selling them down South Road into town.
The lift up from the station platform to the railway bridge consequently smelled
later years, the building to the far side of the arch was used as “Hallam’s
The Sun Inn being
demolished in 1968 photographed by Anne Swailes
WILLAN T.S., 1970. An Eighteenth-Century Shopkeeper Abraham Dent of Kirkby
Stephen, Manchester University Press.
McKAY Barry and WILSON Chris (Compiled and edited by), Kirkby Stephen at
Work 1780-1905, Appleby Record Society
UK 1939 Register
Links to other Kirkby Stephen Blue Plaques