It is almost impossible to look at the history of Brompton without mentioning pubs. The first building in Brompton became a pub less than five years after it was built. As early as 1754 there were already a dozen pubs in the six streets that made up Brompton.
The Beerhouse Act of 1828 led to a vast number of beerhouses (premises licensed for beer and cider, but not spirits) being opened. By the mid nineteenth century the number of names pubs had increased to more than forty, alongside several unnamed establishments. These establishments were the homes of vices besides just drinking, with many landlords taken to court for illegal gambling and running houses of ill repute.
The number of pubs had become so great that from the 1890s to the 1930s the local authorities deliberately closed many down. The gradual reduction of the military in the area, along with the closure of the Dockyard and modern economic conditions mean that today only four pubs remain.
It is interesting to look at the names of Brompton’s pubs. Many of which reflect the history of the village. Some recall its rural beginnings - "The Plow", "The Shepherd and Shepherdess, "The Harrow", "The Sun in the Wood". Others show the influence of the nearby Naval Dockyard - "The Shipwright’s Arms", "The Dockyard", "The Anchor and Hope", "The Navy Arms". Local service personnel were not forgotten either - "The Royal Sapper/Royal Engineer", "The Army and Navy", "The Lord Nelson", "The Royal Marine". And in such a military area, some names were just patriotic - "The Red White and Blue", "The Prince of Wales", "The Duke of York", "The Crown".