Heritage Open Days 2020

For Heritage Open Days 2020 we are taking a look at Skipton’s pubs and inns present and past. Usually we would do a walkabout, but this year that isn’t possible. Instead we will be doing a series of posts about our pubs using our own archive material and photos, the Rowley notebooks from Skipton Public Library, and a few details and photos from other sources including pub regulars. We also plan to do a video tour of about 45 pubs, former pubs and pub sites and a quiz, for a finale on 20th September when our Heritage Open Days end.

The first pub we cover is one of the newest – the Two Doors Inn micropub.

This is in Middle Row, between Sheep Street and High Street. Two Doors Inn opened in 2020 just before lockdown. It is a newcomer, but it is in 80 High Street – a building with a past connection to the brewing trade.

The Scott family were here by 1770 when Stephen Scott and his new wife Isabel had a beershop and coopering business. Stephen was one of the local bell-ringers. Their son fought in the Peninsular War. There may have been a distant family connection or it was more likely a coincidence that the surname is the same as that of Christopher Scott who began the Scott Brewery in Brewery Lane, Skipton, in 1816 as an offshoot of his maltings at Armley, Boroughbridge and Driffield. Christopher lived at Gawthorpe Hall in Bingley.

From 1822 to 1884 number 80 High Street was the home of Thomas, George and William Scott who were three generations of coopers or ‘tubbers’ who made barrels, casks and churns. In the cellar below the house were two wells of pure water, used for brewing beer.  Thomas Scott was listed as occupying 76 High Street in 1821, either as well as or before moving to 80 High Street. A Scott widow – perhaps Thomas’s mother – in 1813 was living at number 82 and in 1861, George Scott was listed as a cooper and barrel dealer. His widow was later described as a basket dealer whilst his son took over the cooper business.

In 1873 William Scott added the shop next door at number 78 High Street to his premises. Around 1885 this was given up. For many years there were complaints about the family storing wood, setting fires and making barrels in the High Street near to their premises.

Sometime around 1920 the Scotts left number 80. A shop front was put in about 1900 and then altered sometime after 1960. Number 80 is thought to have remained cask-free for a hundred years until 2020, when Two Doors Inn opened as a micro-pub. The name because it opens onto both High Street and Sheep Street. It serves a range of beers, mainly by small breweries.