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Here is what we think is the only comprehensive record of pubs and beerhouses within the Coventry city boundaries going back as far as available records allow. This is an ongoing project so contributions, corrections or additions to this archive, especially anecdotes, photos and media are most welcome. Feel free to contact us for a pint and a chat anytime.

The Admiral Nelson

photo

Smithford Street 1900. Classic old turn-of-the-century view of Smithford Street looking westwards from the junction with High Street, Hertford Street and Broadgate. The Kings Head Inn is on the left, The City Hotel on the right. Photo courtesy of Rob Orland

NAME ADMIRAL NELSON
ADDRESS 56 SMITHFORD STREET
THIS PREMISES HAS BEEN KNOWN BY DIFFERENT NAMES DURING ITS HISTORY FROM TO KNOWN AS
c1800 1868 LORD NELSON, NELSON
1879 1887 LADY GODIVA
1881 1891 GODIVA VAULTS
1910 1928 EMPIRE VAULTS
1845 1925 GODIVA, GODIVA INN

The premises is thought to date from c1800 and Lord Nelson visited Coventry in 1802 staying at the KINGS HEAD HOTEL.

In 1801 JCM records the name, The ADMIRAL NELSON. By 1822 it was the LORD NELSON, but according to an advertisement in the CH&O in 1846 it was referred to as the NELSON TAVERN and by 1868 the name had changed to the LADY GODIVA. Between 1871 and 1879 it was the GODIVA VAULTS and then from 1881 until 1891 simply the GODIVA.

From 1892 it was leased by Phillips and Marriott for 21 years at £95 per annum, from J. Laxon, 2 Bath Terrace, Holyhead Road, Coventry. In 1903 Phillips and Marriott record that the cellar was taken away and they were allowed £5 per annum off their rent for this.

Finally in 1912, it became the EMPIRE VAULTS. It looks likely that the pub took this name from the Empire Palace of Varieties which was on the opposite side of Smithford Street. In 1928 the license was removed to the MAUDSLEY HOTEL. The ROBIN HOOD, Cox Street, was closed in consideration of this license removal.

Licensees (to be confirmed)
1822 - 1823 J. Stowe
1828 - 1829 William Johnson
1835 - 1841 Samuel Pearson
1845 Mrs Elizabeth Pearson
1850 - 1851 John Lydiatt
1861 William Kirkpatrick
1868 Joseph Barker, Bond Street
1868 - 1871 Abraham Jennings
1879 Charles Alexander, Smithford Street
1881 B. Lazenby (G. Lazenby)
1886 George Small
1890 - 1891 W. Taylor
1893 J. Padgett
1894 H. Bowkett
1896 William J. Jarrard
1896 - 1902 William 'Smiler' Raven
1902 - 1903 Harry Parkes
1903 C. H. Parkes
1904 - 1905 Thomas George Porter
1906 - 1908 James Betts
1908 Thomas Stone
1909 - 1912 Thomas Phipps
1912 - 1922 Alfred Hurst
1922 - 1924 John Leeson
1926 - 1929 W. E. Morley

Owners
1892 - 1913 J. Laxon, 2 Bath Terrace, Holyhead Road, Coventry
1913 Phillips and Marriotts
photo
+ -
Click here to see Research

to 1910 JA Lady Godiva

4.4.1913 P&M PR Purchased by Phillips & Marriott for £ 6000

CS 5 Photo
Slaughterhouse to rear

1928 Police License removed to Maudsley hotel
Robin Hood, Cox Street, closed in consideration of removal of Empire Vaults.

c1930 CWL P11 Photo

LICENSEES
1911/12 Spennell Thomas Phipps
28.8.1912 P&M PR Alfred Hurst
1912/13 Spennell A. Hurst
1919 Spennell Alfred Hurst
18.9.1919 P&M PR Alfred Hurst new agreement
1921/22 Spennell Alfred Hurst
23.5.1922 P&M PR John Leeson manager
1924 P. James J. Leeson
1926/27 P. James W. E. Morley
1929 P. James W. E Morley
1931/32 P. James Licensee not named
No 56 = Cash & Co, boot dealers

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