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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 Bowling Green

NAME BOWLING GREEN
ADDRESS MOOR STREET, EARLSDON

The Bowling Green is a reference to a very popular pub game, advertising the presence of a bowling green. In the 1830's John Moore, a Coventry farmer and butcher, had a little estate of six fields between Elsdon Lane (now Earlsdon Avenue North) and Whor Lane (now Beechwood Avenue). He built a farmhouse on Elsdon Lane which he called 'Elsdon Cottage'.

John Moore died in 1846 and his estate was sold on 1st May 1847 to William Pickering, a Coventry cow dealer. Five years later he sold it to the Coventry branch of the Freehold Land Society, who laid out the Earlsdon Estate on the area. This comprised Moor Street (note that they had dropped the 'e' from Mr Moore's name!), Earlsdon Terrace (note the modern spelling), Cromwell Street (now Berkeley Road South), Providence Street, Arden Street, Clarendon Street and Warwick Street. Moor Street ran right past the barns at the rear of Elsdon Cottage.

The farmhouse was sold to Mr East, a Coventry publican. This must have been the William East who kept The George in Little Park Street in the 1840's and the Craven Arms, High Street, in the 1850's and 1860's. The house was converted to a pub called the Bowling Green, with brewhouse, bars, tap room, skittle alley and bowling green. The barn was converted into a ballroom and dining room large enough to seat 150 people. A Mr Burberry was installed as licensee - no doubt East was busy with his city centre premises. Thomas Burberry was licensee of the Admiral Codrington from 1868 to 1893 - this is most likely the same person. However, it was said that the pub was not a success and it was sold again in 1854 to Michael Adams, a butcher, and became a private house called 'The Manor House'

However, it cannot have been a private house by then, as in 1857 there is an adverisement offering the Bowling Green Inn, Earlsdon,to let. There is an account of the festival held to celebrate the marriage of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) to the Princess Alexandra of Denmark in March 1863, which says that 'after which the whole party proceeded to the grounds of the Bowling Green, Earlsdon, where there was a sheep roasting'.

The premises remained a private house until the early 1920's when a local wholesaler, Herbert Wakelin, bought it, converted the house into two cottages and used the barn as a warehouse. When he died, his son, Eric, took over and bought the house fronting Moor Street to live in. In 1971 it was purchased by Paul Johnson, who ran a business there called 'Flexwheel' , producing polishing wheels. Both houses were demolished to build a factory and it was while this was going on that a workman, digging a trench for a new drain, suddenly hit a large stone with his pickaxe. When he moved it to one side, he nearly fell down an 80 foot shaft. He had discovered John Moore's well, cut through the solid sandstone. It has now been safely capped, but there is still water at the bottom.

The factory is now occupied by JBC Computers. The remaining part of the original farm, a barn to the rear, was demolished in c2010

Known licensees
1852 - 1854 Mr Burberry
Owners
1852 - 1854 Mr East

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