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Thursday, 6 February 2014

#140 The Tontine, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire : 1987 to 2013 (RIP)

As previously noted, Stourport-on-Severn has many pubs and, back in 1987 The Tontine was one of the outstanding pubs in the town.
This photo was taken on the evening of Monday 6th July 1987 after a slightly fraught journey up the River Severn from Worcester. This was our first boating trip up the Severn and, having left Worcester's Diglis Basin at 3pm, we'd not taken the flow of the river into account making the journey much longer than we'd expected! We almost didn't make it to Stourport for the evening because the last lock on the Severn, Lincomb Lock, was technically closed for the night. We were in luck, though, because one of the regular trip boats was due to pass through and after some negotiation, the lock keeper agreed to let us through!

We moored on the river at Stourport and The Tontine was just a short walk away up the carefully manicured bank side. I don't remember too much about the inside other than it was a large pub with lots of canal pictures and memorabilia.

It was another 10 years before we returned to The Tontine on the evening of Tuesday 27th May 1997.
As far as I recall there were no significant changes, but inside were signs of a general decline.

We were in Stourport again in 1999, but didn't visit The Tontine. However, I took this photo on the afternoon of Tuesday 1st June 1999 as we passed through the locks up from the Severn into Stourport Basin.
Since then we've passed through Storuport-on-Severn several times and The Tontine had been closed for most of them. According to Closed Pubs it has been closed since 2001.

Our most recent visit to the town was the premature end of our journey because the Severn was closed because it was running very fast and high from the heavy rain a few days earlier. This gave me some time to take photos of the town, including The Tontine.

These pictures were taken in the afternoon of Thursday 16th May 2013. From the outside The Tontine is largely unchanged, unsurprising as it is a listed building, but it has been split into flats for residential use.

The Tontine is an unusual name and I'm indebted to Andrew Denny and his Granny Buttons blog for this explanation: -

How did the Tontine Hotel come to be called?  A Tontine Will is defined here - it's effectively when a group of men pool their inheritances and the last man standing gets the lot.  But that's not the original name.  According to a Stourport Tourism Leaflet:
The Tontine Hotel was constructed as the Areley Inn in 1772 and gave accommodation to merchants and travellers. It was a grand place with a ballroom and several reception rooms.
Another history of The Tontine can be found here


  1. This was the only pub I've ever been to in Stourport. I remember sitting outside on a warm Sunday lunchtime around 1990.

    1. It was a very pleasant spot on a warm afternoon...still is, but is now someone's front garden!!

  2. A fine pub. In the summer, the fish man used to come and sell cockles, whelks, crabsticks etc. remains the only pub I have ever seen this happen. The angel, next door, is still operating and has an identical view.

  3. As an apprentice working at Stourport Power Station, I stayed at The Tontine in 1950 while we installed the first 60MW steam turbine with a hydrogen-cooled alternator. I plan to visit again. Thanks for the photos.

    1. Thanks for your reminiscences - always interesting to hear other people's stories.

    2. My dad worked at the power and I always loved playing on the lawn at the tont

  4. The Tontine was a regular place we as a family would go for an evening drink, while my parents/ aunts and uncles had a drink the kids would have a glass of pop and play on the grass, many a happy moment during the 80s. when my daughter was young it had a great play area for the kids in what was the old kids room, and we would take her once a week there to play and have a drink of pop, so sad it closed, stourport without the Tontine was never quite the same after that.