Coaching Days 2: the Inns
The Newport Inn was built by the first Mr John Berry in 1806 to replace the earlier one which had been erected by the Dundee Guildry on the site of the later Trinity Church. The new inn was a convenient and popular coaching inn, but even after the coaching days were over the inn continued to prosper. For most of the nineteenth century the inn was the place to meet, and according to local news reports, it was regularly used for meetings of the curling club, the swimming club, the rowing club and the proprietors of the Newport railway to name but a few. Frequent mention is made in the local press of sumptuous meals provided, and lavish entertainment in the beautifully decorated rear hall. In the 1890s it was greatly enlarged to the side and rear. There was of course extensive courtyard area and stabling accommodation to the rear of the inn, but this was all demolished by the mid-1960s. By the early 2000s the hotel had became very down-at-heel, but by 2020 it had undergone a complete refurbishment and had become widely known for its top quality restaurant The Newport and art gallery, Tatha.
Because there was a ferry at Woodhaven, there was also an inn there with a farm and brewery on the opposite side of the road connected to it. The brewery produced strong ale and table beer. Like other buildings round about, the inn belonged to the Stewart family of St Fort estate. The inn also offered a horse-hiring service: the horses would be used by the coaches and also by individual travellers.
When Mr Dalgleish of Scotscraig founded the village of Maryton in the 1820s, he also established the Maryton Inn. This building is now known as Bay House, at 12 Tay Street. The houses in Union Street at the rear of Bay House were the stables for the inn, and no doubt the extensive cellar under the building was an excellent storage area. The only known tenant of the inn was Mr Thomas Honeyman. Unfortunately the main route to the ferry pier was not along Tay Street but down Cupar Road. Being situated just too far from the main thoroughfare, the Maryton Inn was doomed to failure. Mr Honeyman fell into arrears with his rent, and was eventually served with a process of eviction. Both the inn and the stables to the rear were converted to houses, possibly around 1840. Bay House was in fact used for some time as a manse for the first minister of St Fillan’s Church, which stood further up William Street until being demolished in 1979. The manse for this church was eventually built half-way up Gowrie Street, probably around 1850.