The Market Inn is a tavern which has all but been erased from living memory. It stood in Coupland Place and was the home of the Somercotes Market, before the Market Place itself was built, which is now opposite the junction of Nottingham Road and Birchwood Lane.
It was a large inn with several outbuildings and stables. In the early 1860s and 1870s it seems that it had a reputation which made it difficult for the proprietor to obtain a beer licence, as newspapers report on several occasions that such licences were refused.
In Reginald Johnson’s book “The History of Alfreton”, the Market Inn is mentioned specifically, probably due to certain documents he had located. One was an advertisement for the Inn which appeared in a local almanac dated 1871. Following is a transcript from Johnson’s book
“THE MARKET INN - SOMERCOTES”
Thos. Flowers – Proprietor
The arrangements of this inn, which is attached to the market, are well adapted for the convenience of persons attending the market from a distance. There is good stabling, a commodious house, well aired beds provided. Botanic and other beers supplied.
Thomas Flowers was still the landlord in 1876, when he was listed in the Post Office Directory. Further information can also be extracted from Reginald Johnson’s book, which continues “…The subsequent history of this house, in Coupland Place, is of interest. After Thomas Fowler’s death his wife continued the business, but for infringing the licensing laws, her beer licence was not renewed. The good lady promptly made the premises into a club-house, which it continued to be for many years…”.
When Mrs. Flowers changed the premises to a club house it is probable that the name also changed from the Market Inn to the Market House. In 1890, the premises were sold by Messrs. William Watson, auctioneers, who advertised the sale in local newspapers - “…All that Commodious House, now called the Market House (formerly a beer-house) situate in Market Place, Somercotes with large clubroom, stabling for eight horses, large shed with 16 market stalls, wherein is held the market.”
Market Place is referenced on a map of Somercotes dating from 1884 situated within Coupland Place, although the Market Inn is not separately listed, implying that it had already changed to the Market House by this date.
Sometime after the sale in 1890 it seems that the building underwent a change of use, and the Market Inn faded from memory.