The Greyhound pub: now a private house

Was the Greyhound built as a public house?

In the early l800s, there were no licensing laws, and it is estimated that in towns and cities one dwelling in seven sold beer. Brewing was a domestic activity in the countryside and every village had at at least one public beer house.

Most social problems at the turn of the 18th century were not caused by beer drinking, but by spirit drinking in cities. Wellington had the idea that if he could encourage people to drink beer rather than spirits, it would solve a great many social problems. In 1830, he promoted the Beer House Act by which any householder could obtain a licence to sell beer for two guineas. The result was an increase in drunkenness. Gladstone, Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 1860s, had the idea to solve the problems of drunkenness by encouraging people to drink wine. The outcome was the Wine Licensing Act of 1860. The result was that anyone of good character could open a place where they could sell wine, as well as beer.