Top of Taps!
I’m sure most of you would recognise this place…certainly those who live down south would know it like the back of their hand. It’s the stretch of the main south road at Tapley’s Hill, known colloquially as the Top of Taps, and that hotel is the Victoria – and I’m sure plenty of you know that place well!
In the decades that I’ve been living down south, this area, and the volume of traffic on this road has changed dramatically. But we were poking around the other day and came across a photograph of this same location taken exactly 100 years ago. This is the Top of Taps in 1911; you can see it was the horse and cart version of bumper to bumper way back then!
Tapley’s Hill was named after Thomas Tapley who came out in 1838. Besides farming he built the Tapley’s Hotel and had the doors open in 1840. Local records show that the hotel quickly became a popular resting place for those negotiating the treacheries along the South Road, and the hub of activity for the locals. Its name then changed to the Victoria Inn, and finally to the Victoria Hotel when an official license was granted in April 1849.