After the construction of the Turnpike Road in the middle of the 18th Century, up until the trade was overtaken by the railways, servicing mail and passenger coaches became big business. There were two Coaching Inns in Sherburn in 1834, the Red Bear and the White Swan. Whilst the original White Swan has long been replaced, the arch for the coaches to reach the stables at the rear of the red Bear is still there to be seen today.
Coaches would need to stop every 10 -15 miles so the Inns would provide food, drink and overnight accommodation to passengers as well as providing fresh horses. Stabling, feeding and looking after the large number of horses needed to run these services would would have provided a great deal of employment for local people. With at least 4 horses to change for each service there would have been a need for around 60 horses to be provided every day. Can you imagine the mess!
To give an idea of the scale of the coaching trade in Sherburn these were the passenger services that ran in 1834.
The Royal Mail between London & Edinburgh called at the Red Bear at 9am going South and 4pm going North every day
The Highflier between London & Newcastle also called at the Red Bear at 9am going South and then at 7.30pm going North every day.
The Express between London and York called at the Read Bear going South at 11am and at 6.30pm going North every day.
The Union between Sheffield and Scarborough called at the Red Bear and the White Swan at 2pm going West and 4pm going East every day except Sunday.
The Wellington between Newcastle and London called at the White Swan at 3pm going North and 6pm going South every day.
The True Blue provided a daily service to Selby at 4pm from the White Swan to meet the Steam Packet for the Humber ports.
In addition goods carriers Pettifor and Thomas Dawson offered services from the coaching Inns to London, Pontefract, Selby, Sheffield and York.