Castle Cary Britannia Token

A list of Public House Checks or tokens issued in and around Castle Cary. Cary is spelled Carry and Cars as shown.

George Hotel Castle Carry (figure of St. George and Dragon).
Reverse F. W. Harrold, 1850, 1½.

W. Purchase, Castle Cars.
Reverse White Hart Inn, 1½.

J. Marshall (figure of a hart).
Reverse White Hart Inn, Castle Cary.

Britannia Inn, Castle Cary (figure of Britannia).
Reverse Jno. Speed Andrews, 1½.

Jno. Speed Andrews (figure of man bowling).
Reverse Britannia Inn, Castle Cary, 1½.

Extracted from The Castle Cary Visitor Volume 2. Page 131.


Although long regarded as one of our principal inns, the Britannia has not the antiquity of the George, or the Angel or Ansford Inn. We cannot say when the house was first opened, but it was probably about the time the patriotic people of Castle Cary raised a Corps of Volunteers to prepare for the threatened French invasion, about a century ago. At such a crisis, the name Britannia would appeal to the patriotic feelings of the inhabitants. About 1808, James Dunford was the landlord, and his daughter became the first Mrs. John Speed Andrews. After Dunford gave up the reins, the house was tenanted by three landlords in succession all bearing the name of John Speed Andrews, the first was Durnford's son-in-law, the second the well-known Freemason who retired from the house about 1876, and the third was the grandson of the original John Speed. During the whole of the Andrews' connection with the house, the patriotic character of the house was maintained, and several of the Andrews were connected with the Royal Navy. The Union Jack was often hoisted, and even the ceilings and walls were decorated with loyal and patriotic emblems. At one time Masonic meetings were held at the Britannia, although a regular Lodge was never established there. The festival of St. John was celebrated here on January 6th, 1846, and at the next meeting of the Royal Clarence Lodge at Bruton, Bro. Andrews was thanked for the very handsome way in which the brethren were entertained. The United Britons Club was formed here in 1834, and this inn has always been its headquarters. Mr. Boon succeeded the last of the Andrews family at the Britannia, and he was followed by Mr. Thomas Lees, one of the Scotch drapers who settled in Cary. Mr. Charles Hallett came next, and remained till June 1902, when the present landlord (Mr. Samuel Hermon), took possession.

Extracted from The Castle Cary Visitor Volume 5. Page 17.