The Sun Inn was located on Nottingham Road, Somercotes and probably dated from around the 1850’s. In Whites History, Gazetteer and Directory of Derbyshire published in 1857 mention is made of a John Caslin, who ran a beerhouse in Somercotes. The surname is likely to be a misspelling of Carlin, who is known to have been the landlord of the Sun Inn in the 1860’s.
The Sheffield Telegraph of 16 September 1867 ran a short report on the Alfreton Brewster Sessions which read “…John Carlin, of the Sun Inn, Somercotes received a severe reprimand and caution from the Bench…” Sadly, there is no mention of what exactly John Carlin had done to warrant the rebuke, but it is likely to have been for permitting gambling on the premises.
The Sun Inn was built in a row of terraced houses, and blended in to its surroundings. It was, however, of a reasonable size, having several rooms and a “club-house” on the upper floor. As with many beerhouses and inns business was supplemented by hosting various events. The Derbyshire Times & Chesterfield Herald published on 16 September 1896 ran an article which read: “SOMERCOTES BELLE VUE ALLOTMENTS VEGETABLE SHOW. Under the patronage of the Babbington Coal Company, the Fields' Brewery Company, and Mr S C D VVardell, Doe Hill House, the fifth exhibition of vegetables and flowers in connection with the Belle Vue Garden Allotments Association was held in the Sun Inn club room, Somercotes, Saturday last.”
It was not until 1939 that the landlady at the time, Eliza Ann Beet, applied for a full excise licence. A notice to this effect was printed in the Derbyshire Times & Chesterfield Herald on 20 January 1939: “To the Clerk to the Rating Authority of the Urban Council of Alfreton; The Clerk to the Licensing Justices of the said Division; The Superintendent Police of the District of the said Division; And to all whom it may concern. I, ELIZA ANN BEET now residing at the “Sun Inn,” SOMERCOTES in the Licensing District of the Alfreton Petty Sessional Division of the said County, Beerhouse Keeper, DO HEREBY GIVE NOTICE that it is my intention to apply at the General Annual Licensing Meeting for the said Division to be holden at the New Court House, Hall Street, Alfreton on Wednesday the 8th day of February 1939 at 11 o’clock in the forenoon for the grant to me of a JUSTICES’ LICENCE authorising me to apply for and hold an EXCISE LICENCE to SELL BY RETAIL INTOXICATING LIQUOR, namely WINES by retail for consumption either ON or OFF the premises situate at the “Sun Inn” Somercotes aforesaid in respect of which premises a Beerhouse Licence is now in force and of which premises the Nottingham Brewery Limited of Mansfield Road in the City of Nottingham is the owner of whom rent them and of which said premises I am the tenant. Given under my hand this 13th day of January 1939. (Sgd.) ELIZA ANN BEET”
The above application was successful, the result being printed in the Ripley & Heanor News on 10 February 1939:- “Mrs. Eliza Ann Beet, the licensee of the Sun Inn, Somercotes, made a successful application to sell wines in respect of her premises where a beer house licence was in force.”
By the 1970’s the inn was suffering from a declining trade. Several public houses within close proximity offered better and more comfortable facilities and this competition in the end helped to force the closure of the Sun. It finally closed in the early 1990’s. The building was completely re-modernised and absorbed into the premises owned by Mayfields Furniture
Some of the landlords that have been recorded in Trade Directories and other documents: