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Shining sun

Pub sign of The Sun Inn, Hawkshead, Lake District, Cumbria


Some background information:


The Sun Inn is a traditional Lakeland pub, which was built in the 16th century on the land of a grammar school. Therefore at first the owners had to pay rent to the grammar school governors. Records also show that the landlord in 1720 was a man with the name George Walker. After George Walker left there were many landlords between 1720 and 1826. During this time the grammar school governors became lax and no rent was collected. One enterprising tenant realised, that the back rent would be crippling, so he drew up some bogus deeds and sold The Sun Inn.


In 1826 the church commissioners started to sort out the grammar school accounts, which were in disarray. They approached Mrs Ladyman, the current tenant, for some rent. She brought our her "deeds" from the sale. Eventually the High Courts in London judged in both the grammar school's and Mrs Ladyman’s favour, that Mrs Ladyman had nothing to pay as long as she left immediately.


So Mrs Ladyman left The Sun Inn, which was a profitable business and had prospered over the years. But from the money, she earned at The Sun Inn, she was able to buy a different pub, the Queens Head further along the road.


By the way, isn’t it a strange coincidence that the Sun newspaper, one of the biggest popular newspapers in the UK, has recently rated The Sun Inn as one of the best family pubs in England?


Hawkshead It is one of the prettiest villages in the Lake District, with many buildings dating from the 17th century. It has about 600 inhabitants, a lively community and a high pub to population ratio. The village is situated just north of Esthwaite Water, in a valley to the west of Windermere and east of Coniston Water.


Originally Hawkshead was owned by the monks of Furness Abbey. After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1532 it grew to be an important wool market and was granted its first market charter by King James I in 1608.


During the 18th and 19th centuries, Hawkshead became a village (or town at the time) of important local stature. The famous poet William Wordsworth was educated in its grammar school, whilst the author and illustrator Beatrix Potter lived nearby, marrying William Heelis, a local solicitor in the early 20th century.


Upon the formation of the Lake District National Park in 1951, tourism grew in importance, though traditional farming still goes on. Today much of the land in and around the village is owned by the National Trust.

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Taken on August 27, 2011