The origins of Tarvin and Tarporley Pub names
PUBLISHED: 12:20 22 April 2013 | UPDATED: 12:35 19 January 2016
Heidi Nagaitis pops into pubs in the neighbouring villages of Tarvin and Tarporley and finds plenty of Piffle and Balderdash.
Tarporley and Tarvin, picturesque chocolate-box villages, are admired by many a commuter heading for nearby Chester.
Synonymous with all things ‘Cheshire’ these beautiful settlements are both pleasant on the eye and have a history which rivals the neighbouring Roman city.
Tarporley, former ‘Village of the Year’ winner and favourite with film crews, has been a key stopping point for travellers for centuries. First mentioned as ‘Torpelei’ in 1292, by the 1800s Tarporley was the stage post for travellers on the London to Chester coaches. Market day brought pack animals carrying salt to Northwich, who came to recognise Tarporley as their local watering hole, stopping for a drink at the ancient ‘Salterswell’, on the edge of the settlement.
Although less popular with animal friends, the two main hostelries in the village continue to be popular destinations.
The Rising Sun has been pulling pints for nearly 200 years. Initially owned by the Woodward family for nearly 100 years, the pub passed from landlord to landlord throughout the 20th century. Alec Robertson bought the pub in 1985 and the Rising Sun has been treasured by the family ever since. Now run by Alec’s children, Andrew and Mandy, the pub looks to be in safe hands for the future.
Andrew said: ‘We’re so proud of the Rising Sun and the family is looking to compete with the Woodwards’ 100 year record as owners.’
Luck seems to be on Andrew’s side as the pub continues to attract varied clientele, including some famous faces.
Andrew said: ‘We’ve got many interesting customers, ranging from World Cup ‘66 heroes Gordon Banks and Roger Hunt and champion snooker player, Dennis Taylor amongst others.
‘Stoke manager Tony Pulis often pops in for a slice of our steak and mushroom pie - you could say we’re a firm favourite with local sporting stars.’
Further down Tarporley high street stands the Foresters pub, a well-known watering hole, with strong links to the famous Delamere forest wood cutters.
Although the history of the pub is mired in mystery, landlord Stuart Hulls and his staff are haunted by one episode from the Foresters’ gruesome past.
Andrew said: ‘In the 1860s one of the staff members was thrown down the well at the back of the pub and died.’
The landlord at the Foresters was originally accused of murder. Although later acquitted, Stuart and his team are conscious of a ghostly presence in the pub. Could the victim of this grisly attack still be searching for her killer?
Tarvin also had its fair share of gore during the English Civil War. Due to its proximity to Chester, it was a strategic point for both the Royalists and Parliamentarians, changing hands frequently. Reminders of Tarvin’s bloody past include the bullet holes which cover St Andrew’s church – a place of execution for many prisoners.
Nowadays, Tarvin has shed its war-torn past and is known for its beauty and strong community, encouraged by the quality pubs which act as the village’s main social centres.
The George and Dragon has always been a well-loved member of the community, but recently this former coaching inn has been transformed into a stunning social space for villagers to enjoy.
After undergoing a one million pound renovation, the pub boasts a striking glass atrium over the bar and a spacious dining area.
Kevin Adamson, joint landlord with Lee Conway, said: ‘Regulars always comment on the pub’s amazing interior, which has been constructed sympathetically so that this 300 years old building is not damaged.
‘We’ve always been a popular pub, and locals love our live music scene,’ said Kevin. ‘Many of our regulars play in the bands we feature. For the George and Dragon community is everything, so we are very supportive of local acts.’
The Stamford Bridge is also treasured by the village. Located on the Chester road, this hostelry has a big fan base and is a popular stop for commuters. However, Assistant Manager Sam O’Connor argues that there is another reason why locals choose the Stamford Bridge.
Sam said: ‘A few years ago we decided to create our own uniquely brewed beers, Piffle and Balderdash. They’ve become so popular that we’ve had them bottled so our ales can be taken home.’
‘Customers regularly question the names of our beers; Piffle, for example, was titled in honour of our straight-laced accounts manager who, when something goes wrong, utters ‘Piffle’ rather than a ruder alternative!
This family feel is something customers love. Many, after a hearty meal, regularly fall asleep by the fireside. ‘We let them rest a while,” said Sam. ‘It’s nice that they feel that the pub is a home from home.’
The local pub as a second home is something that has not been lost in Tarporley or Tarvin. Hostelries are at the heart of these welcoming communities, so make sure you stop and sample the delights of these little havens.