Close to the quay side in the picturesque Cornish village of Polruan, the Russell Inn has been serving good beer and great food since 1832.
The Russell Inn has been a pub since 1832, when it was given to Jane Slade as a wedding present by her father who owned the boat yard, now C.Toms and Son. They had seen a rise in trade at the boat yard and saw the opportunity for a third pub in the village. The pub was named after Lord John Russell, Prime Minister of the time, famous for steering the Reform Act of 1832, which introduced wide ranging changes to the electoral system and gave many more people the right to vote.
At the time, The Lugger was already trading on the Quay and The Stag Inn was situated at the top of Betty Swoons Steps on West Street. Sadly The Stag Inn ceased trading by the end of the 1800’s but The Russell Inn however went from strength to strength, benefiting greatly from the seafaring trade sent their way from the family boat yard.
Incidentally, the boat yard also built the schooner Jane Slade, named after the Russell Inn's first Landlady of the same name in 1870. Thomas Slade, nephew of the the current yard owner, began his maritime career aboard the Jane Slade at the age of 15 before eventually working his way to becoming Master Mariner of the schooner and plying the Atlantic fruit trade to the Azores and the West Indies. In 1892 he retired from the sea to become the Harbour Master at Fowey.
The schooner Jane Slade was eventually wrecked in Pont Creek off the Fowey Estuary where years later it was spotted by Daphne du Maurier and after researching the history of the Slade family, it inspired her to write her first published novel, The Loving Spirit in 1931. The character of Janet Coombe is based on Daphne’s knowledge of Jane Slade.
The current landlords who took over the pub in 2014 are direct descendents of Jane Slade and are proud to maintain a family tradition of Cornish hospitality spanning nearly 200 years.