White Horse Vat

The White Horse, 23 High Street, Steyning.

Blaster Harry Joyes.

White Horse Vat 2

The White Horse is a grade II listed 15th century coaching house. The Inn was on one of the principal routes from London to Brighton and Worthing and it is said that Charles I probably drank there.

The White Horse on the Inn sign and, consequently, its name is taken from an element in the Duke of Norfolk’s coat of arms.  The Duke had an interest in the Inn because it was one of the ancient houses whose occupant could vote in parliamentary elections.

Unfortunately the old hotel pictured above was burnt down in 1946 when a faulty fridge in the basement caught fire. The part left standing was turned into the current pub and the stables were converted into a function room. In the ladies toilets the old ring for tying up old nags can still be found.

Before the fire engine was motorised in the late 1920’s, the brigade’s horses were stabled at the hotel although they  were sometimes kept busy with other tasks. When the fire bells rang the doors to the stables were opened and the horses let out to gallop off through the town to be hitched to the fire wagon stationed at The Town Clock Fire Station, just a short distance along the High Street.

Market days provided the Joyes family, including Blaster Harry Joyes with a twofold opportunity in selling cattle to the assembled butchers and offering food and drink at the hotel. Many years later,a patron writing his memoirs described those market day lunches at the White Horse; “huge joints of beef, great helpings of vegetables, followed by biscuits and cheese, as much as one could eat – 2/6 was the charge and you felt you had had a meal”.