A Hauntology of Frome: a story through pub exteriors

Hauntology [n]: present absences; absent presences (author’s definition, after Derrida)

What do these images say? About the town? About rivalries between hostelries? What tales might be told? How might they figuratively, literally be connected to one another?

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1. The Sun Inn 1600s

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2. The Pack Horse 1770 (closed)

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3. The Artisan 1633

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4. The Angel & Crown 1770 (closed)

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5. The Angel & Crown detail

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6. Lamb and Fountain 1753

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7. The Griffin 1717

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8. Old Globe Inn 1847 (closed)

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9. Old Globe Inn detail

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10. Ring O’Bells 1721 (closed)

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11. New Inn 1829 (demolished)

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12. Masons Arms 1862

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13. Crown 1600s

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14. Cornerhouse 1693

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15. 32 Bath Street 1731

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16. George Hotel 1650

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17. Blue Boar 1691

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18. Three Swans 1600s (or earlier)

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19. Archangel possibly 14thC

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20. Champneys Arms 1739 (closed)

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21. Champneys Arms plaque

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22. Vine Tree 1972

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23. Vine Tree detail

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24. Cheese & Grain 1997

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25. Black Swan 1699

 

Notes

The primary concept was to photograph pubs that are (or were) obviously pubs. Since taking these the photos, and especially with reference to the book below, it has become apparent that many more pubs have existed, many buildings of which are still standing. The author’s ground floor was once a pub called The Castle, dating to 1774. A future project may, or may not, involve using the book as a guide to photographing those less obvious examples, hidden as they are in plain sight. The book, too, details more than can be seen: of tunnels and passages, of violence and intrigue.

As well as an effort to capture images of pubs that are easily discernible, it was also an attempt to explore the uses of black and white film. All photographs taken with Nikon F50 in January 2018. Photos 1-17 with Ilford FP5 Plus black and white film. Photos 18-25 with Ilford FP4 Plus black and white film.

All dates from: Davis, M & Pitt, V, 2015, The Historic Inns of Frome, Akeman: Gosport; except date for Cheese and Grain, from Wikipedia.

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2 comments on “A Hauntology of Frome: a story through pub exteriors

  1. Jean Atkin says:

    I’ve been eyeing the ancient inns of Bishop’s Castle, not a few of which have disappeared or been re-fronted, or re-launched as private houses. They have great names. You inspire me to find time to go back to this!

    • Thanks Jean, I’m very pleased you’ve found it inspirational! I’d love to see what you come up with – Bishop’s Castle could be a pub’s name in itself. I feel in the hands of a more skilled storyteller, someone could really fly with these Frome pubs. Thanks again, Kieron

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