The Bargeman’s Rest freehouse pub has been a feature of Little London on Newport Quay since it first opened its doors in June 1999.
The harbour itself is located at the point where the River Medina meets the Lukely Brook. There are a number of buildings that have survived from the area’s industrial past, including the Quay Arts Centre and a number of residences that have been converted from the warehouses that once lined the quayside. In the past, both of these water courses would have been used to transport goods and power mills, one of the largest operations nearby was the Mew Langton Brewery in Holyrood Street which had its own access to the waterway via what is now Quay Arts and that was originally used to load beer barrels onto waiting barges.
So it’s fitting that now The Bargeman’s Rest sits in just this spot, providing refreshments to locals and visitors alike, including the many people who still use the River Medina for both business and pleasure. The main building that is now The Bargeman’s was once known as the Derrick Store, was built by the Shepard family in the 1880s and probably replaced a worker’s cottage that sat in the same location at a time before there was a quay built and the river had a more natural riverbank.
The building did not sit right alongside the river as there was a right of way along the bank, so a hoist was located halfway between the building and the quay to enable loading into barges (this can be seen in the picture, right). The main mast of this derrick still remains and is used to carry the pub sign and is a great reminder of previous times. By all accounts over the years the building has also been used as squash courts, a clubhouse for the local cricket club and even a toy museum, but in this location a freehouse pub that gives a nod back towards its past seems to be the perfect use.
Little London retains much of the character of the old quay’s heyday and the pub sign proudly shows an imaginary bargeman taking a moment in the day to enjoy a beer, his pipe and some traditional accordion music, whilst sat on a pile of rope that itself might have been stored in the Quay Rope Store building next door.
The image below shows the quay as well as the old Newport railway station. Can you spot The Bargeman’s Rest?
Great Island pubs in great locations
Since 1999 the Bargeman’s Rest has been operated as a Freehouse by Andrew and Jane Gibbs and has become one of the Isle of Wight favourite pubs. The Gibbs family also own the famous Spyglass Inn on Ventnor beach, The Steamer Inn on Shanklin’s Esplanade and the Dairyman’s Daughter at Arreton Barns. Each has its own character and style, but you will be assured the same friendly, Island welcome every time you visit.