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New Kent Ordinary
In the last post where we visited New Kent County Courthouse we saw in the quote from Martin’s Gazetteer from 1835 how the taverns and mercantile stores which had sprung up around the courthouse equaled the dwellings in the village. Taverns were a very important part of the courthouse life. They provided the accommodation and food for the visitors to the court. In fact, without them the courts would struggle to provide their services. The New Kent Ordinary was one of the four taverns which existed in 1835. In fact, this particular structure is the oldest remaining in the area dating back to 1691.
An Ordinary is a particular type of tavern. An Ordinary served food to all comers at a fixed price. Lodgings were also provided, although these were not necessarily at the same price for all.
The New Kent Ordinary lies within the preservation area of the County Courthouse but is privately owned.