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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 Boat Inn

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NAME The BOAT INN
ADDRESS 31 SHILTON LANE
ALTERNATIVE ADDRESS 5/6 SHILTON LANE, SOWE, SOWE COMMON, SOWE FIELDS

The name is a refernce to the canal. The main line of the Oxford Canal used to pass by the pub until it was straightened in 18** , when it became a branch serving local coal mines.

There was a brewery at the Boat, which was visible in a little side room in the lounge until recently when it was removed to make more space for drinkers.

George Ebbern realised the value of his canalside location by selling not only beer but pork, eggs and milk. He retired to a comfortable living in Foleshill. In 1896, Jacob Nelson, a native of Lancashire, took over the tenancy and reared cattle, sheep, pigs and horses on the pub's farming land. He was renowned for the lavish meals he held at the annual distribution of beef to his customers. The Boat also held fishing rights to the canal, for which Jacob charged 6d per day. The holder of a day ticket was also entitled to a free pint of ale and a supply of bread and cheese. Jacob's family ran the Boat until at least the 1980's as Pat Woods was his granddaughter. The interior of the pub didn't change much in that time as sawdust was still strewn on the floor of the bar, meat hooks hung from the ceilings and the brewery was still there in the newly extended lounge. To the rear stood the stables used for the horses that once pulled the barges from the local collieries. Note Jacob Nelson's remarkable longevity at the Boat - 44 years

Known licensees
1850 - 1866 George Ebburn and farmer
1874 John Eaglestone
1880 - 1892 John Ivens
1896 - 1942 Jacob Nelson
1942 - 196* Jacob E. Nelson, son (see clipping below)
1982 David and Pat Woods (see clipping below)
newspaper clipping
newspaper clipping

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