The Phoenix Hotel - 15 Fore Street
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The Phoenix Hotel, which is Grade 2 listed, is said to have been an inn since the sixteenth century. Under the previous name of the George Hotel, it’s heyday was as a stopover for stage coach travellers, as there were stables in the courtyard behind.
Because of this, the hotel appears in the narrative of the Lace Riots of 1842, when the despised Ilminster Yeomanry and their horses were lodged overnight before their confrontation with the strikers from the Lace Mills the next day.
The George, being the premier hotel in the town, also catered for most of the big functions and civic occasions in Chard. The photo is from 1898 and the man seen standing in the entrance to the passageway leading to the stables is Fred, the potman, one of Chard’s characters.
For a time part of the hotel was used by Taylors, the travel agents. The building was hit by a disastrous fire in the 1990s. Rising from the ashes it was appropriately renamed the Phoenix.