History of The Black Pig
When this web site was first published The Black Pig was the only pub in England to bear that name. But in 2007 a gastro pub opened in Tunbridge Wells - and called itself The Black Pig! Another recent addition is The Black Pig at Hawkhurst. The Black Pig at Staple is a very old building; some parts of which are thought to date back to the 13th or 14th century. Although the building is very much older, the earliest record of a brewery at the Black Pig is 1800.
At that time it was owned by Robert Tritton. Tritton's beers became so popular that he was able to buy five local pubs. When he died, he left the pubs to his five children: Robert junior inherited the Marquis of Granby at Ash (now Bickers, the Newsagents), whilst John inherited the Black Pig Pub and Brewery.
John died in 1894 and left his estate to his children. Robert junior also had children (16 of them!), and in 1895 one of them, Frank Vincent Tritton , borrowed the money to buy the Black Pig and Brewery outright from John's children. (Frank was 24 at the time)
F.V. Tritton ran the business from 1895 until 1912, and brewed beer continuously throughout this period. (The last pub in Kent to brew its own beers, 'Tritton's Fine Ales').
As well as being a brewery and a pub, the building also functioned as the village stores. (And for a while as a newsagents).
In 1912, the business (by then just a pub and shop, as brewing at the black pig had ceased ), was sold to a large, local brewery, Gardeners of Ash. In 1913 the plaster was stripped off the main building, exposing the old beams. Original windows were enlarged and some new ones inserted.
Gardner's installed Mr Harry Newing as a tenant. The pub was to remain under The management of the Newing family (Newing then Richards (nèe Newing) ) for a further 59 years!
In 1914 the brewery was brought back into service. But this time it was used solely for the production of Gardener's famous Ginger Beer. Ginger Beer was produced at the Black Pig from 28th August 1914 until 27th September 1926. (Production stopped due to Mr Tritton's old steam engine breaking down.) Gardener's Ginger Beer production then transferred to the Ash Brewery. (Where it continued until 1955).
Significant Dates In The Pub's History:
In 1945 a wine licence was granted to the pub. The Black Pig didn't have a traditional pub sign until 1947. In 1949 a spirit licence was granted (and hot & cold water installed!)
Also in 1949, the shop moved into what remained of the old brewery. (Most of the brewery having been demolished that same year). The cellars of the old brewery were used as an air raid shelter during the war.
In 1962, to celebrate 50 years of Newing/Richards occupation, the villagers presented the pub with a commemorative bench. (Which was later installed in the recreation ground).
Gardeners continued to own the Black Pig until their merger with Thompson & Wotton (of Ramsgate). Thompson and Wotton were themselves taken over in 1968, by Whitbreads. Whitbreads announced the imminent closure of the pub, but after strong complaints by local residents, changed their minds.
In 1971 the family line at the Black Pig was broken, when Mr & Mrs Richards left and moved to Sandwich (Due to Mr Richard's poor health). That year the pub was sold as a Freehouse. The shop closed the following year (1972), and in 1973 (April 3rd) Mr Richards died.
The Pub was then run by a succession of landlords and landladies until December 6th 1995, when it closed as a pub. (For almost a year). It was then bought by David Jones and Nicola Phelan who, after some frantic renovation, opened its doors again on 14th December 1996. After a 13 year run Dave & Nicola left (In August 2009) and the Pub was taken over by Mark & Vicky, who ran the pub for four years. The following four years saw several, very short tenencies; with Billy Morgan finally taking over in 2017.
I know little of the history for the period between Mr Richards and Dave Jones, except for the names of (most) of the landlords:
2017 - Present Billy Morgan
2016 - 2016: Ali & Jane
2014 - 2015: Karen & Craig
2013 - 2013: Chris & Michelle.
2009 - 2013: Mark & Vicky Fright.
1996 - 2009: David Jones & Nicola Phelan
1992 - 1995: Peter Watson.
1990 - 1992: Graham and Clair Gould.
1986 - 1990: Pat and James Wells.
1973 - 1986: Philip and Barbara Aunger.
1972-1973: Peter Podbury and Valentine Thomas Taylor