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Picture of The Well House Tavern
Image posted by Quinno _
Submitted on Friday, 31st January 2014
With picture contributions to 4004 other pubs
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Requested be closed with reason - Other: Closed by devastating fire (28 October 2016).

The Well House Tavern, Exeter

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
16-17 Cathedral Close
Correct details

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Reviews of The Well House Tavern (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about The Well House Tavern

A fairly non-descript pub in a prime location looking directly out on to the Cathedral Green, it’s quite an attractive old building and makes the most of it’s location with full height windows along the front, but other than that seems to do little to entice any thirsty punters through the doors. Although the building dates from the 15th century, it has apparently only been a pub since 1984 having had a number of different uses prior to that. It takes it’s name from a well that pre-dates the building.

The interior is fairly plain with sanded wood flooring and whitewashed walls which are completely plain other than a little black timberwork and a few blackboards detailing the food offering and forthcoming music acts. There was also a plasma screen, but this was not in use on our visit. Other than that, there was nothing of any note. It was very busy on a recent Saturday evening visit with no seating available.

There were however a good choice of beers on tap which on this occasion were Velvet Ale and Head from the Otter brewery, IPA and Tawny from Cotleigh along with Hunter’s Slaughtered Lamb which had a graphic depiction of the expired beast on the pump clip – it’s a good job I’m not a veggie! Ciders were also well represented with Sandford Orchard’s Devon Mist, Ashridge Traditional Devon, Thatcher’s Gold and Aspall’s Harrow Sparrow.

On 5th August 2014 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1771 recommendations about 1701 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Well House Tavern

Well-appointed location, opposite the cathedral green and affording excellent views from the large plate glass front windows. The interior is pretty naff; bare boarded and echoey at the front, though there’s a little more character at the rear. Having got soaked in a downpour en route this really didn’t feel like the kind of place to relax and dry off in, being cold, sterile and draughty. Main reason of the visit was to see the skeleton, who was resolutely unadvertised. I decided to go exploring and headed off down an umnmarked staircase to the right hand side of the bar; this took me into a rough-hewn cellar which did indeed contain the skeleton at the far end, plus a cabinet containing some interesting bits of brewerania. Surprisingly good range of ale at the bar; I forget what I had but it was decent enough. Black-shirted staff were pretty laddish and this felt like a corporate establishment rather than a proper pub. Worth popping in for a half to see the skeleton but I doubt I’d do this one again now my curiosity has been satisfied.

On 15th February 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 4200 recommendations about 4187 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about The Well House

Located in Cathedral Close, just across the green from Exeter Cathedral, is The Well House Tavern, a bare boarded bar with dark beams and wooden furniture and that inevitably uncomfortable, rather echoey feel that such places inevitably have. Large plain glass windows at the front give you a good view of the Cathedral but, unfortunately, presumably because of Council restrictions, outside drinking on the green is not permitted.

Inside the pub, a blackboard tells us that the original building was a Norman hall and was constructed as part of the medieval burial ground before tenements were built in the 15th century. After a number of varied uses, the building became The Well House Tavern in 1984 and is now part of the Royal Clarence Hotel next door along with a sister café bar and Michael Caine's restaurant.

Despite an apparent emphasis on food and wine, particularly at lunchtime, there's 6 handpumps which, on my recent early evening visit, were serving O'Hanlons Yellowhammer, Cotleigh Tawny Owl, Cotleigh Buzzard, plus Teignworthy Reel Ale and Well House Ale ( brewed by Otter ). Mistakenly as it turned out, I went for the Cotleigh Tawny Owl ( £ 3 at 3.8% ) , which was pretty uninspiring, but a subsequent pint of Yellowhammer ( 4.2% and a notably cheaper price of £ 2.50p ) was much better. The pub is listed in CAMRA's 2010 Good Beer Guide and is holding a beer festival on 24/25 September.

Despite the lack of comfort and the rather incongruous loud music, I wouldn't be entirely averse to a return visit.

On 5th October 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

View more reviews of The Well House Tavern (4)
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Latest updates View all updates for The Well House Tavern, Exeter
31st Oct 2016, 15:18
Picture submitted by Helen Iwanczuk approved
31st Oct 2016, 12:34
Picture submitted by Helen Iwanczuk

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 10 April 2014 by Quinno _
  • Beer Festivals : Yes - September - last updated 05 October 2010 by Dave McNally
  • CAMRA Discount : No last updated 10 April 2014 by Quinno _
  • Car Park : No last updated 10 April 2014 by Quinno _
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 10 April 2014 by Quinno _
  • Pinball : No last updated 10 April 2014 by Quinno _
  • Pool Table : No last updated 10 April 2014 by Quinno _
  • Real Ale : Yes - 6 handpumps - last updated 10 April 2014 by Quinno _
  • Real Cider : No last updated 10 April 2014 by Quinno _
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