The Falcon

The Falcon, now a private house, is situated next to the church. The main frontage is an imposing double frontage brick building but this appears to be a late additon to an earlier timber framed building. The step in the roof visible from the High Street and the now visible timber frame of the range of buildings on the return hint of its much earlier provenance. These were shown in a photgraph from the early 1900s as the entrance to the bars of what was then a Daniell's pub.

Apart from the description from John Ashworth, I have not been able to learn much of its history, certainly not from pre-20th century days. The original Inn is believed to date from the 1630s, a date consistant with the timber frame parts visible on the side lane.

The list of names is from census returns, 1867 PO Directory and 1933 Kelly's Directory. They are therefore the occupants, not necessarily the licensee or owner.

1841: Not Found
1851: John Fisher
1861: Nathaniel Rogers Ham
1867: Nathaniel Rogers Ham
1871: Nathaniel Rogers Ham
1881: Nathaniel Rogers Ham
1891: Nathaniel Rogers Ham
1901: Thomas W Younge
1911: Benjamin Arthur Barr
1933: William E Elliott

Smuggling and the last days of the Falcon

The Falcon Inn must go back almost as far as the church. It was both a pub and a hotel and for many years the most successful hostelry in Wivenhoe. It was where all the election meetings were held, all the auctions were held, where the yacht owners would come when they were looking after their yachts. Elizabeth Jeffrey has written a nice book, Cassie Jordan, which is essentially a novel about the house.

When I first knew the building it was in a very run-down condition. The hotel was pretty moribund. The Park Hotel had taken over from it and the pub was run by a strange Pole called Stefan. He had been a member of the Polish Free Forces during the War and told improbable stories about his exploits in Italy, and the Falcon was decorated with some of his war memorabilia.

He kept a not very good pub. But he had the great advantage of speaking Polish and when the Port developed a timber importing trade, whereby ships came twice a week from Gdansk laden with timber to Wivenhoe, Stefan began a very active vodka smuggling business. Stacks of timber were hollowed out and vodka was put there. The odd case here or there didn't matter, but when it got to trailer load of quantities the Revenue decided this was beyond a joke! Staked out the top of the church and caught him red-handed. So Stefan went to jail and [in the early 1970s] the brewery decided to put the property on the market.

John Ashworth


The Falcon in 2005

The Falcon

John Stewart - Wivenhoe Memories Collection

The Falcon in mid-20th century.

The Falcon

A similar view in 2017.