The Wellington Hotel in St Saviour's Road is one of the town's oldest inns.
It has changed its name several times over the years
- La Grappe de Raisins (The Bunch of Grapes)
- The Grapes
- The Water Lane Inn
- The Imperial Inn
- The Wellington Hotel
It is known that the inn was there in 1788, because it featured in an advertisement announcing the island's first bus service, between the inn and St Aubin. But the hostelry had evidently been there for some time before and was popular with farmers and others coming into town from St Saviour or St Martin, down St Saviour's Hill (Rue du Gouverneur) to bring their produce to the Royal Square market.
There is no actual record of a bus service starting from the hotel in November 1788, but the following advertisement was placed in the Gazette de Jersey on the 9th of the month by Richard Monck:
- ”For the convenience of those living in St Aubin and roundabout, Richard Monck intends to carry, in a little covered carriage, people and goods from St Aubin to town, and from town to St Aubin. He will begin next Saturday and will continue every Saturday, if he obtains encouragement.
- ”This little carriage will be found to be larger than a chaise roulante and the ladies and gentlemen who use it will avoid being exposed to bad weather, which those who go on horseback are obliged to suffer. It will leave in winter from the sign of the Swan at St Aubin at 9 o’clock in the morning and from the Bunch of Grapes in Water Lane, in the town, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
- ”Men and women will pay ten sous each and children six sous. Each passenger may carry 12 pounds of luggage. Above this weight each will pay 14 sous per central, and for each little parcel from one place to another, five sous.”
It appears that Monck did not receive much encouragement, for there is no evidence to show that he even ran the first journey, and there was no further mention in the Gazette.
By 1813 the inn had changed its name to The Grapes. Mrs Richard was the licencee and the inn hosted a gathering of Freemasons who founded the Duke of Normandy Lodge, which still exists. The Grapes would have been an isolated building because at the time there were no houses above Tunnel Street.
The Duke of Normandy Lodge moved into the town centre and it seems that the inn would have attracted little custom on winter nights.
Water Lane Inn
The establishment took this name from Rue a l'Eau, the steep road opposite, down which water ran at a furious pace when it rained heavily.
In 1866 there was another change of name to the Imperial Inn, probably to reflect in the glory of the much large Imperial Hotel along the road. The change was effected by Mr E Vigot, who was licencess from 1884 to 1890.
When Water Lane later became Wellington Road, the inn's name was changed to that which it bears today.
It was bought by Ann Street Brewery in 1930 and completely modernised in 1974-75.