Alma Inn

Curiously enough the first reference we have to a beer retailer next door to the Regent (now the Swallow) in what was Exeter Street and is now Breton Side, is in 1847, seven years before the Battle of Alma, to which the pub, like the Plymouth streets bearing the same moniker, almost certainly owed its name. Perhaps one of the later licensees was a veteran of the battle, which was fought on 20 September 1854 in the Crimea under Lord Raglan. Working together with the French, 26,000 allied troops drove 40,000 Russians across the River Alma, with 4,700 Russian troops being taken captive in the process. Queen Victoria, who took a keen interest in the campaign, subsequently christened one of her horses Alma and around the country the name was perpetuated in a variety of other ways.

The early nineteenth century premises stood to the east of the Regent (on the corner of North Street – was Whitecross Street) and was originally No.2 Exeter Street, becoming No.18 when the old Briton Side became part of Exeter Street. In more recent years this stretch has been restyled Breton Side and the eastern end of Exeter Street has moved. Incidentally the Alma had become a fish dealer’s by 1914.


1847 - Nicholas Hart
1852 - George Hannaford
1862 - Henry Harris
1873 - Thomas Dicker
1877 - John Hosking
1898 - A Anchor
1903 - John Ryall
1907 - WT Cocks
1914 - T Bassett