Ashburton Court Leet. Devon 1975<br />
<br />
Publican Stanley Kendall and his wife, with empty beer glasses.  A sprig of greenery is hung form the door of the pub, to indicate that the ale has been tasted and considered fit for consumption.<br />
<br />
A Court Leet was a manorial court that dealt with petty offences in the community and enforced regulations regarding the quality of staples, such as bread and ale. Over the years with the reorganisations of local government, their powers have been diminished. They are now purely ceremonial.  Ashburton Court Leet preserves some of the past. A meeting is held each November on the fourth Tuesday in St Lawrence’s Chapel attended by the freeholders of the town.  They elect a Portreeve the equivalent of a mayor along with officers whose job is to taste the ale, weigh the bread. Pig drivers, scavengers and surveyors of the markets and watercourses are also elected.<br />
<br />
During the annual fair they visit all the pubs, and hotels of the town in turn and give a certificate and a sprig of evergreen to each landlord who ale is up to standard, to display above the door. Loaves of bread are also weighed and tasted. Originally quality control measures such as these were made to ensure that customers got a fair deal and were not be given short measure.
Devon Ashburton Ale Tasting Fair
Ashburton Court Leet. Devon 1975

Publican Stanley Kendall and his wife, with empty beer glasses. A sprig of greenery is hung form the door of the pub, to indicate that the ale has been tasted and considered fit for consumption.

A Court Leet was a manorial court that dealt with petty offences in the community and enforced regulations regarding the quality of staples, such as bread and ale. Over the years with the reorganisations of local government, their powers have been diminished. They are now purely ceremonial. Ashburton Court Leet preserves some of the past. A meeting is held each November on the fourth Tuesday in St Lawrence’s Chapel attended by the freeholders of the town. They elect a Portreeve the equivalent of a mayor along with officers whose job is to taste the ale, weigh the bread. Pig drivers, scavengers and surveyors of the markets and watercourses are also elected.

During the annual fair they visit all the pubs, and hotels of the town in turn and give a certificate and a sprig of evergreen to each landlord who ale is up to standard, to display above the door. Loaves of bread are also weighed and tasted. Originally quality control measures such as these were made to ensure that customers got a fair deal and were not be given short measure.

Filename: Ashburton Devon Ale Tasting ceremony Img174.jpg
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Date: 30 Jan 2015
Location: Ashburton Devon UK
Credit: Homer Sykes
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Keywords:
  • Ale tasting
  • publican
  • landlord
  • pub
  • Ashburton
  • Devon
  • July
  • Court Leet
  • Folklore
  • Folk lore
  • custom
  • ARCHIVE STOCK
  • 1970s
  • 70s
  • My ref 36 /1018/
  • 1975
  • UK
  • BRITISH
  • ENGLISH
  • ENGLAND
  • BRITAIN