sThis week’s theme for #52Ancestors is Food and Drink. Well that’s a topic I could talk endlessly about I thought. But bringing it back to genealogy, I thought I would write about The Three Cups Inn near Punnetts Town, now sadly closed but I have frequented it in the past for family celebrations and meals out. The Steak and stilton pie in the days of Woody was to die for!
My connection however goes back further than the Jenga chips, one of the most disappointing meals I’ve ever had, 9 chips set out like jenga blocks. The chef was trying to go upmarket, didn’t last long, homecooked pub grub was what was wanted. My x3 Great Grandmother Elizabeth Harriot Message married John Funnell in 1840 and for the 1861 census are recorded as being at the Three Cups. John was a Farmer of 15 acres but presumably he ran the beerhouse too.
John Funnell was killed in 1863 by being run over by a cart wheel and Elizabeth married again to James White in 1868. By the time of the 1871 census James White has taken over the Three Cups as Beerhouse Keeper and Orpah one of Elizabeth’s daughters was described as waiter. By 1881 James is a Farmer of 30 acres and Beerhouse Keeper. Rhoda another of Elizabeth’s daughter’s was a barmaid.
The building which is currently closed and derelict, someone is hoping for permission to build houses no doubt, has recently been listed Grade II. Apparently built around the 17th Century and extended over the years. According to the history that has been compiled on the building at the time my ancestors were running it, it was owned by the Trill family. Incidentally having just looked at the Tithe map of 1838, it was owned by Mrs Trill and rented by R Message, which needs a bit more research but that is likely to be Richard Message who was the half brother of Elizabeth Harriot.
I clearly have some more research to do as there is also an intriguing entry on The Keep (East Sussex Record Office) catalogue dated 1717 of suspected parties for a murder being involved in smuggling activities at the Three Cups Inn.
In the meantime I look back at happy memories of eating at the pub and wish wholeheartedly it could be saved and opened as a pub again!