The History of The Cobweb
Serving as an off-licence from the 1700’s The Cobweb Inn bottled its
own beer, wine and spirits and was under the charge of the Customs.
After being unloaded from the ships it was tested for alcoholic strength and customs approval, before being sold to the inns and pubs of Boscastle and surrounding areas.
Boscastle then boasted the number of 22 pubs.
Coal was brought along this path and literally emptied over the cliff into storage at the bottom which is now the garages the custom built wall in on the cliff face can still be seen.
The Cobweb has five floors .The fourth floor at the top was used as
storage and access to ‘Private Road’ as we call it which is a road
which was built to transport goods from the ships to the building and
surrounding areas after a dispute with land owners either side of the
river (as there were no bridges back then).
The first, second floors were used for the storage of imports and exports of wine, beer, sprits, timber iron, manures, corn, hardware, bricks pottery etc. and third floor was used for grain storage and other wares and the original pulley can bee seen outside the large opening on the third floor of the building on the car park side which the goods used to be lowered onto the awaiting wagons below.
The first floor was an office which led onto a bar and through the other side of the wall more storage.
Rumour has it that you have always been able to get a drink in the Cobweb when it was a warehouse as you used to go into the door at the front enter an office order your wares and the pop into the back room which to this day is still a bar our ‘bottom bar and have a drink while you waited for your order to be prepared (the more you ordered the longer you stayed.
After the Ship Inn closed at the end of the first world war its licence was transferred to the now called ‘Launceston Cellar’ the Cobweb where it allowed the purchase of drink for 6 days a week but still not trading as an official public house.
In 1947 finally the ground floor was turned into a bar and became the ‘Cobweb’ getting its name from the cobwebs that hung from the ceiling in a thick black mat. (They had been encouraged by merchants to keep the flies away from the kegs of alcohol).
Boscastle Brass Band has been around from 1876 they used to play for carnivals, fetes and local dances. At the out break of the second world war the band disbanded only to reform after 1945 by several of the villagers with as many of the original instruments that they could gather together as quite a few had ended up at the bottom of Pentargon Cliff which was the village dump. Then in the 50’s and 60’s the Cobweb was the venue for The Boscastle Brass Band to hold there practice secessions. One of the original instruments still hangs in the Cobweb amongst the cobwebs and band music and pictures can be seen on the walls.
In the 1950’s we used to regularly have our piano playing along for the whole pub to sing along to a tradition which is well and truly still alive today. Quite often Cornish songs can be heard echoing through the valley when our local lads are in full swing. Bands still play into the late hours of Saturday nights keeping up a long tradition of music in the CobwebCobwebs still hang today some even dating as far back as the building, but now they are not so prominent, not due to removing them as this is not allowed, but they are now fewer.