12. Pomfret Arms

The Cotton End Brewery is housed inside the old stables behind the Pomfret Arms

The earliest entry in a Northampton business directory is 1830. The Pomfret Arms was evidently a Carriers pub. The passageway to the right now labelled Car Park was intended for carriers’ carts and the like. This was never one of your grand coaching inns; the passageway is too low for carriages and the building too small. Although it is rendered the structure must be of a good date a photograph of 1902 shows a building much like the present one but for the roof-angle, which is much steeper and must have been thatched. The ownership of the pub can be traced through several auction notices posted in the local press. They also give a good description of the facilities offered by the pub.

Northampton Mercury, May 18th 1805
Northampton Mercury, June 1846
Northampton Mercury, April 22nd 1883
The Pomfret Arms during the floods of 1898

The pub is named after Thomas William Fermor, 4th Earl of Pomfret (1770-1833).

The 4th Earl of Pomfret

He served with the Guards in the Peninsula War until his promotion to major-general in June 1813. His eldest son succeeded him and died without issue in 1867.

One curiosity in this pub is the smoking head. This is a sandstone head protruding from the wall of the lounge. If a cigarette is put into its mouth it will slowly be puffed away, no doubt because of a draught coming through a cavity in the wall. Probably it was originally a waterspout and is supposed to have come from St. Thomas Hospital that stood on the opposite side of the road nearby.


The smoking head