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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 Lord Rodney

photo of The Admiral Lord Rodney pub in Coventry
NAME ADMIRAL LORD RODNEY
ALTERNATIVE NAMES RODNEY'S HEAD, Later RAINBOWS
ADDRESS SHORT STREET
ALTERNATIVE ADDRESSES 88 MUCH PARK STREET
George Brydges, Lord Rodney (1719-1792), had a distinguished naval career and is remembered especially for the victory over the French at the Battle of the Saintes in 1782, in the West Indies, which lead to better peace terms with the French after the American Revolution . The first mention we have found of the pub dates from 6th August 1781 when it is for sale. so it seems likely that it was established by a former naval person who served with Rodney. In 1983 it was described as 'a gem of a back-street local with waiter service in the lounge'.

Part of the outside rendering fell off at this time, exposing the original timber frame of pre-1550. Therefore, restoration was undertaken and the frame was left visible on the end exterior wall. The licensee of the day also found part of the city walls in the cellar and the Department of the Environment placed a preservation order on the place, making it Grade II listed.

That hasn't stopped the present owners painting it a garish red colour and renaming it, 'Rainbows'.
newspaper clipping
Known Licensees are;
1808 - 1830 John Day
1831 - 1837 John Bromfield
1841 - 1868 Dorothy Nightingale
1874 - 1891 Elizabeth Nightingale ( 1887 Frederick Nightingale )
1893 - 1896 George Bonnick
1897 William James Penn
1902 - 1905 Jesse Wright
1905 - 1919 Harry Freeman
1920 - 1940 George Nightingale
1940 Harry Hobbs
1952 -1962 Beatrice Anne Hobbs ( 1956 B. Gilmore & W. Mumford )
1974 - 1982 Richard Morrisey
1982 J. Bradley
1990 G. Ford & T. Lindsay
Owners
to 1812 William Bromfield, maltster, died 1812
from 1812 Sarah Bromfield, daughter of above
1874 Thomas Tibbits Bloxley of Burton on Trent
1898 Ebenezer Brown of Attleborough, Nuneaton. Let to Mitchells & Butler
1940 James Eadie of Burton-on-Trent
taken over by Bass in 1933
from 1990 G. Ford & T. Lindsay
map

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Dict PN George Brydges, Lord Rodney ( 1719 - 1792 ) had a distinguished career, but is remembered especially for the victory over the French in 1782 at the Battle of the Saintes in the West Indies. This lead to better peace terms with the French after the American Revolution.

News 87 About the name.

6.8.1781 JA16 JCM Admiral Lord Rodney for sale

c1800 COC P41 Mentioned in Napoleonic Poem

1851 Source 49 Board of Health Map

28.8.1878 LJ Vol 1 P32 RODNEY, Much Park Street Alehouse
Owner : Thomas Tibbitts Bloxley, Burton on Trent
Licensee : Elizabeth Nightingale
30.7.1891 TOL to James Lenton
29.10.1891 TOL to George Bonnick
28.10.1897 TOL to Thomas Bailey

1887 COC Cov Times Inn signs ( Lord Rodney )

1891 CBH P157 STOKES, G. & CO ( Bicycles )
86 Much Park Street & 10 Union Street
Alexander Edward Stokes ( b 1873 ) and Sidney George Stokes ( b 1889 ) in 1920 found premises at 86 Much Park Street - the home of their brother Arthur ( b 1876 ) and two doors down from Harry Freeman's pub, the ' Admiral Lord Rodney '.

1977 WRAG1

1979 WRAG2

1982 WRAG3 A gem of a back street local. Waiter service in lounge. Recent restoration work has dated the building to pre-1550 and the original timber frame is visible on the external wall. Probably the oldest inhabited building in Coventry.

1982 Pubscrawl 13 You could drive yourself mad trying to get at the Admiral Lord Rodney in Coventry's Short Street. You can see itas you gopast on the Ring Road. It stands in splendid isolation somewhere between the Headquarters of the Transport and General Workers Union and the Assembly of God. But getting off the Ring Road and pointing your car in the direction of Short Street is an art known only to those with the most intimate knowlege of Coventry's traffic system. I've since descovered that its far easier to park in Much Park Street and walk through the underpass at the bottom of the road.

Approaching from this angle gives you a fine view of the sideof the pub with its exposed old beams dating back to the mid 16th century. They were descovered only when partofthe outside rendering fell off and the brewery was called in to renovate. If Mitchells and Butlers had had their way, the pub would have been demolished long ago. The present landlord, Dick Morrisey, expected to be there for only three months.

That was eight years ago. Next month he finally leaves the pub for good, but he will be replaced. Why, you may ask, was Dick granted such a long extension ? Because, one day, he found apiece of the old town wall in the cellar and the Departmentof the Environment slapped a preservation order on the place.

I'm glad the Rodney has escaped demolition. It may not be everyone's idea of somewhere to take the wife out for a drink, but for those of us who appreciate the occassional old time city boozer among the chrome and plastic palaces, this is a place to favour.

I poked my head round the lounge door and found a spick-and-span little room with flock wallpaper and polished wood and wrought iron tables. Several tropical fish glared at me dolefully from an aquarium built into the far wall.

I could have sat down and pressed one of the bellpushes ranged round the outside of the seats that must be one of the few pubs left in the country with waiter service. It means that domino players trying to work out the chances of who's got the double five can give the matter their full attention, without the need for any concentration- breaking trips to the bar. But the bell pushes don't work any more.The bar is not quite as spick-and-span as the lounge. Well worn carpet and strip lights,fine opaque pub windows and a strangely incongruous neo-Georgian front door that looks as though itmight have come from the Elm Lodge Housing Estate.

1985 CCRAG A Garde II listed building dating from 1550 with the old beams exposed on the outside wall. Two small bars.

LICENSEES

1808 Rodney's Wall Poster John Day ( From victualler's register ) Rodney's Head

1828/29 Pigot Jno Day " "

1830 Rodney's Wall Poster John Day ( From victualler's register )

1831 Rodney's Wall Poster John Bromfield ( From victualler's register )

1835 Pigot William Nightingale Rodneys Head

1837 Rodney's Wall Poster John Bromfield ( From victualler's register )

1841 Pigot Dorothy Nightingale Rodneys Head

1841 Census Dorothy Nightingale 40 yo b Wks & 8 others " "

1845 Kelly Mrs D. Nightingale " "

1850 CS Dorothy Nightingale " "

1851 Census Dorothy Nightingale 53 yo b Bedworth & 2d " "

1861 Census Dorothy Nightingale 60 yo b Coventry & 1d " "

23.11.1868 Lantern Dorothy Nightingale " "

1871 Census Elizabeth Nightingale 38 yo b Coventry unmarried

& 1 niece, 1 sevant " "

1874 C&B Elizabeth Nightingale " "
1878 LJ Vol 1 P32 Elizabeth Nightingale Rodney
1879 Stevens Mrs Elizabeth Nightingale Lord Rodney

1881 C&B E. Nightingale Rodneys Head

1886 C&B Elizabeth Nightingale Admiral Lord Rodney

1887 Rodney's Wall Poster Frederick Nightingale

1890/91 R&G Elizabeth Nightingale Admiral Lord Rodney
1891 LJ Vol 1 P32 Elizabeth Nightingale Rodney
1891 LJ Vol 1 P32 James Lenton Rodney
1891 LJ Vol 1 P32 George Bonnick Rodney
1893 Reporter George Bonnick Lord Rodney

1894 R&G George Bonnick Admiral Lord Rodney

1896 R&G George Bonnick

1897 Rodney's Wall Poster William James Penn tennant
1897 LJ Vol 1 P32 Thomas Bailey Rodney
1898 LJ Vol 1 P32 Thomas Bailey Rodney
1902 Rodney's Wall Poster Jesse Wright "

1903 R&G Jesse Wright

1905 R&G Jesse Wright

1905 Rodney's Wall Poster Harry Freeman tennant

1909 R&G Jesse Wright

1911/12 Spennell Harry Freeman

1919 Spennell H. Freeman

1920 Rodney's Wall Poster George Nightingale tennant

1921/22 Spennell G. Nightingale

1924 P. James G. Nightingale

1926/27 P. James G. Nightingale

1929 P. James G. Nightingale

1931/32 P. James G. Nightingale

1933/34 P. James G. Nightingale

1935/36 P. James G. Nightingale

1937/38 P. James G. Nightingale

1939/40 P. James G. Nightingale

1940 Rodney's Wall Poster Harry Hobbs tennant

1952 Rodney's Wall Poster Beatrice Anne Hobbs tennant

1955/56 Barrett Beatrice Anne Hobbs

1956 Rodney's Wall Poster B. Gilmore & W. Mumford tennant

1960 Barrett B. A. Hobbs

1961 Barrett B. A. Hobbs

1962 Barrett B. A. Hobbs

1974 Rodney's Wall Poster R. Morrisey tennant

1976 Pubscrawl 15 Richard Morrisey

1982 Pubscrawl 15 Richard Morrisey

1982 Rodney's Wall Poster J. Bradley tennant

1990 Rodney's Wall Poster G. Ford & T. Lindsey owners

OWNERS

to 1812 Rodney's Wall Poster William Bromfield, maltster died 14.7.1812 Rodney's Wall Poster Sarah Bromfield, daughter of above

1874 Rodney's Wall Poster Thomas Tibbits Bloxley of Burton on Trent
1878 LJ Vol 1 P32 Thomas Tibbitts Bloxley, Burton on Trent
1898 LJ Vol 1 P32 Thomas Tibbitts Bloxley, Burton on Trent
1898 Rodney's Wall Poster Ebeneezer Brown of Attleborough, Nuneaton. Leased to M&B

1940 Rodney's Wall Poster James Eadie Ltd, Burton on Trent

1990 Rodney's Wall Poster G. Ford & T. Lindsey

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