The Moon was described as a Posting House in 1821-2 (Pigot), then in 1857 & 1862 White’s Directories as a “Family Commercial and Posting Hotel” … “an excellent inn and posting-house… kept by Mr. Robert Heginbotham, where visitors and tourists will find superior accommodation, and the most polite attention” … [White’s 1862]
It is situated on the south side of the junction of the High Street with The Dale, opposite the Village Cross and is now (2007), the Village’s only surviving pub. The premises used to be part of the Dower House belonging to the Shuttleworth family from Hathersage. The Dower House, and the original site of’The Moon Inn’, in The Nook, are both marked on the Plan of Stoney Middleton Bank of 1840 drawn for the proposed new road through the village. The licence was transferred from there to its present location about 1842. [qv A History of Stoney Middleton, Ch.10]
When it first opened in the High Street it was known as ‘The New Moon’ until the ‘New’ was eventually dropped. Its first landlord was William Moseley, and (according to Cowen’s History of Stoney Middleton) at one time it was also kept by George Booth, who later went on to farm at Highfield.
The ‘Old’ Moon Inn was once the scene of a brutal murder. During the eighteenth century, a travelling salesman from Scotland (the “Scotch Pedlar”) came to the Eyam Wakes during August, to sell his wares. The story is told that he reported another group of Pedlars for illegal trading, and by way of revenge, they murdered him in one of the outbuildings of the Inn.
The Landlord is said to have turned a blind eye (bad for business?) when they carted the body away on horseback to throw it in Carlswark Cavern, in Middleton Dale.
It was discovered 20 years later and identified by the distinctive buckles on the shoes, which someone had remembered the Pedlar wearing. A bell ringer named Matthew Hall is said to have made off with the buckles, whilst the bones were buried in Eyam churchyard.
Perhaps this was in 1773, when the Eyam parish register records that on 3rd March “corpse and other human bones found in a cavern in Eyam Dale by a person who was trying for a lead mine”. [Eyam Parish Register, 1768-1812]
We can only speculate which landlord turned the ‘blind eye’! Its first recorded licensee (Pigot’s 1821-2) was Hannah Thornhill, although a Joseph Thornhill (possibly her husband) was also recorded amongst Stoney Middleton – Licensed Victuallers 1822-1827 for the period 1822-25. Possibly of interest here is a record of a burial of Joseph Thornhill, described as “of Stoney Middleton” which took place at Chapel en le Frith in 1829 – he was aged 69. [ex Clive Allen]
As we have yet to identify Joseph and Hannah from amongst the Stoney Middleton Thornhills, another possibility is that they were the couple who were Innkeepers at Hayfield, who are recorded amongst Clive’s citations. This Joseph Thornhill died just a few years earlier, in 1825 aged 69, which fits rather conveniently with his disappearance from Stoney Middleton, whilst Hannah (“wife of Joseph Thornhill”) died in 1844 aged 85. It would be nice to find a better reason for this though, for a relocation!
William Moseley’s first documented appearance in directories was in 1835 (Pigot’s). The next we hear of him is 1841, when on Census night he was recorded as Innkeeper, with 7 servants!
The move to new premises must have been accompanied by a greater prosperity, but perhaps there were all the “navvies” to cater for, working on building the bypass! Other pubs tended to have 1 or 2 at most. There was also a Thomas Moseley in the household aged 40, described as a Publican, and 2 younger Moseleys.
A Post Office directory shows him still an Innkeeper in 1848, but by 1851 the Moon had been taken over by Robert Heginbotham. What happened to William after that isn’t clear, but apparently, he lived to be aged 93, according to his MI! [qv #B051, Stoney Middleton MIs] He had married Catharine Morton in 1798 [qv IGI]; she had predeceased him, dying in 1840 aged 67.
Meanwhile back in 1851, there was to be another connection with Chapel en le Frith. Robert Heginbotham, its landlord, was born in Chapel en le Frith in 1812 [ex Janet Kirk], believed to be the son of John Heginbotham and Olive, née Lomas. He was to marry Ann (Nancy) Cundey, in 1836, and he was named as one of the executors in Ann’s father John Cundey’s Will.
One idly wonders what William Clayton, named originally as John Cundey’s friend in the Will, and also one of his executors had done to displease him to be revoked as an executor just before John died in 1842. William was still alive! Ah well…
And there was yet more trouble at t’Mill to come following Robert Heginbotham’s death. An announcement in the London Gazette on 22 May1866, revealed a dispute between Nancy Heginbotham (plaintiff), and John Heginbotham and others (defendants), in claiming against “the estate of Robert Heginbotham, late of Stoney Middleton, Innkeeper, who died on or about September, 1864”… John Heginbotham was possibly Robert’s brother; he was living in the Nook in Stoney Middleton in 1871, and described as Barytes Manufacturer Master, employing 3 men.
The Tricketts, Hugh, followed by his widow, Elizabeth, were to occupy the pub for the next 30 years or so until it was taken over by George Hancockabout 1895. Hugh apparently died in 1890, with a death registration for Hugh Trickett being recorded at Bakewell in Mar 1/4 that year. When Elizabeth died is unknown, but she was still in Stoney Middleton in 1901, living with Gascoine grandchildren. Elizabeth had been previously married to another Innkeeper, William Gascoyne, of Hassop. He died 12 Nov 1875, and there was a notice in the London Gazette dated 20 Feb 20 1877 for creditors to submit claims on his estate. It also stated that Elizabeth was sole executrix of his Will, and was (then) wife of Hugh Trickett, of Stoney Middleton, Innkeeper.
George Hancock, who took over some time between 1891 and 1895 was a nephew of Robert Hancock, formerly the landlord of The Grouse. George is also remembered as landlord at the Bull’s Head at Eyam, but we have no recorded evidence of this. He died in 1926 [qv #E074, Stoney Middleton MIs], following which the pub was (presumably) taken over by the landlord recorded in Kelly’s 1932, Ben Launder.
Directories Moon Inn
Pigot 1821-2 – Hannah Thornhill – Stoney Middleton & Posting House
Glover 1829 – Hannah Thornhill – Victuallerd. 1844(?)
Pigot 1835 – William MoseleyInns & Public Houses d. 1866
White 1857 – Robert Heginbotham – Inns & Taverns d. 1864
Kelly 1887 – Hugh Trickett – source not verified
Kelly 1895 – George Hancock – Commercial d. 1926
Kelly 1932 – Ben Launder – Commercial – Moon Inn
1841 – William Moseley – Inn Keeper Publican – aged 65
(The household also includes a Thomas Moseley, Publican aged 40 – possibly William’s son)
1851 – Robert Heginbotham – Barytes Manufacturer & Publican – aged 38 b. Chapel en le Frith
1861 – Robert Heginbotham – Inn Keeper + Barytes Manufacturer – aged 48 b. Chapel en le Frith
1871 – Hugh Trickett – Inn Keeper + Farmer of 8 Acresaged 44 b. Storrs [Ecclesfield]
1881 – Hugh Trickett – Publican & Farmer – aged 54 b. Ecclesfield
1891 – Elizabeth Trickett – Licensed Victualler – aged 59 b. Hassop
(Described as Moon Hotel (Sch.56)
1901 – George Hancock – Butcher & Hotel Keeper – aged 43 (a widower)