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Page history last edited by Peter Tipton 12 years, 8 months ago

Coaching Days


By way of introduction the following two pages have been abstracted from the exhibition on Yateley's inns and pubs mounted by the Yateley Society at the Yateley May Fayre in 1997:





The road which we now know as the A30 was the main coaching route to many of the major towns in the south and west of England.  One of the main routes to Portsmouth (via Farnham) branched off from the inn previously known as the "Jolly Farmer" at Bagshot.  The A30 itself was the major route to Exeter, so the road was often known as the Exeter Road. From Exeter the route gave access to Plymouth and the major towns of Devon and Cornwall.  Coaches ran to the old established cathedral cities of Winchester and Salisbury.  As well as the major naval bases at Portsmouth and Plymouth, the route also provided one route to Southampton, a major trading port since the early mediaeval period.


With so many key destinations accessible from the Exeter Road it is not surprising that traffic was considerable, and large inns grew up a strategic locations to provide refreshment, accommodation and change of horses.  The road became a major route for the Royal Mail.  It is hardly surprising therefore that the barren heaths between the west of London and Blackwater have always been associated with Highwaymen who preyed on coach travellers and the mail coaches.  Since there has been very little historical evidence about the exploits of these Highwaymen, there has grown up many local myths and legends often concerning well-known highwaymen such as Claude Duval and Dick Turpin.  One such enduring legend concerns Parson Darby, supposed to have by the Vicar of Yateley (or perhaps Eversley) who was said to have been lynchedin 1841  from the yew tree which gave its name to the Yew Tree Inn in Darby Green.  Thus the name of the highwayman gave its name to Darby Green.  None of this can possibly be true, but there is no smoke without fire, so for the best part of a century the search has been on to track down the real "Parson Darby".  The story up to 2011 is given on the Yateley Local History website:


PARSON DARBY   (but for the very latest developments -- see Question 7 in Notes & Queries)







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