Cakes and Ale: Food and Drink in Sussex Inns, Taverns and Alehouses C. 1550-1750

Thursday 3 May 2018


The Talk

This talk will cover much of the historic county of Sussex throughout the period. The differences between the types of drinking establishments will be explained and illustrated, while documentary and other sources will provide evidence for the food and drink retailed and consumed within them, showing how these provisions were supplied. Reactions from travellers and local cusmomers to what was on offer will be explored, together with the lifestyles of the victualling fraternity. The earliest reference to a ‘full English Breakfast’ can be found in The Times of India in 1950 (OED). Are we still enjoying what our ancestors ate all those years ago?

The Speaker

Janet Pennington is an independent historian with a PhD in early-modern Sussex inn and tavern history. Her MA dissertation was about Elizabethan courtier Sir Thomas Sherley of Wiston House. Whilst working as archivist at Lancing College, she also taught local history and palaeography for CCE at Sussex University. Janet gives illustrated talks through the county and is a member of the Wealden Buildings Study Group. Her research for ‘Inns and Taverns of Western Sussex, 1550-1700: A Documentary and Architectural Investigation’ in B. Kumin & B. A. Tlust (eds.), The World of the Tavern: Public Houses in Early Modern Europe, (2002) and other publications means that she has been in more pubs than most people.

Participant information

The talk will start with refreshments at 6pm and will begin at 6.30pm, duration of about 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Please bring suitable warm outdoor clothing and as part of this talk may take place outside.

Fee and refreshments

£14 per person, £10 for Museum Annual Members; £5 for Weald & Downland Museum Volunteers. Book 5 places and get the 6th place free. to include tea, coffee and cake from 6pm. Please let the Museum know in advance if you have any special dietary requirements.


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