Inns, Taverns and Alehouses

Ref: C3741329

Along with the church, inns, taverns and alehouses have, for centuries, been central to community life, serving as meeting place, community centre, court room and much more. Each type of public house had its own personality and place in the community. Often the name harked back to long past events and people. Now our public houses are closing fast and with each closure some of our history vanishes. This course seeks to find out more about both the surviving and lost public houses of the area, the role that they played in the their communities and the people who frequented them.

Course aim

Great coaching inns to humble beer houses, these have always been more than just a place to drink alcohol. This course looks at their place in national and local life.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify sites of local public houses, existing and closed and describe elements of their history
  • Describe the varied roles that the public house played in the community and explain the reasons for these roles
  • Explain the legal and social differences between the varied types of public houses e.g. the differences between an inn, tavern and alehouse.
  • Explain the background to the temperance movement and describe the response locally, including locating local coffee taverns
  • Describe the variety of sources that can be used to find out about licensed premises and use some of these to trace the history of a local public house

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course outline

Inns, Taverns and Alehouses Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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