It is in 1815 that the name ‘Fountain Inn’ is mentioned for the first time, the Rosewell family being the landlords, the tenancy passing to Henry Rook in 1840. Many alterations have been made to the front of the Inn and there was once a path across the Green called Fountain Lane.
The village was not a backwater as by 1847 there were at least 15 businesses there. Tea Gardens were popular into the 1930’s, tourists arriving perhaps by the famous tram-car or light railway and the cottages along Elizabeth Terrace sold teas and flowers.
Another well quoted “tale” tells us that a tunnel from the Fountain Inn was discovered leading to Langstone Harbour. No one dared venture down the tunnel but some ducks were sent down it and are supposed to have reappeared at Langston! Smugglers are reported to have used the tunnel repeatedly for their activities and one of these smugglers could have been called Roland! Many local brewers supplied the premises down through the years.
“This article is taken from the booklet written by Mary Jane Lomer entitled ‘Round and About Rowlands Castle’ 2015, for which she retains the copyright.”