Inns of Castle Cary and neighbourhood
Public houses were not only places to stay, eat or drink, but were also the venue for courts, parish meetings and entertainments of all kinds including puppet shows and assemblies as well as less respectable activities. The Castle Cary area has supported a wide variety of public houses down the ecnturies. They varied in size and importance from the Ansford inn to tiny alehouses in Castle Cary's side streets. In small villages they could be found in the centre of the village, like the Quarry at Keinton Mandeville or beside important roads like the Pilgrims Rest at Lovington. Some inns have remained in existence for centuries although relocated or rebuilt but many small alehouses were short lived. Some lost their licence for disorderly behaviour others simply went out of business. For many alehousekeeping was a part-time occupation or was carried on by women because the income was insufficient to support a family. There were also many unlicensed beer and cider houses often in private parlours or farm outbuildings whose history is more difficult to trace.