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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 Bulls Head Inn

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Bishop Street in the 1930's

NAME BULLS HEAD INN
ADDRESS 9 BISHOP STREET
THIS PREMISES WAS KNOWN BY DIFFERENT NAMES DURING ITS HISTORY FROM TO KNOWN AS
1755 1980 BULLS HEAD INN
1980 1995 ZODIAC
An ancient and widespread sign which may have begun by referring to a Papal Bull, the leaden seal attached to the Pope's edicts. There may also be a heraldic reference in these signs. Many bull signs are also a reminder that bull-baitng took place. Some signs merely comment on the significance of this animal in farming terms. In nautical terms, a bull is a small keg and in earlier times another nautical expression was "to buill the cask". It meant to pour water into an empty cask, leave it for a while, then drink it.

Our first record of this pub is in 1754 when a letter was sent to Mrs Lightowler, near the Bulls Head in Bishop Street. In 1756 twelve soldiers were billeted here. In 1804 the Bull and Anchor was the meeting place of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire (Freemasons)

This was a home- brew pub that was bought by the Leamington Brewery (that is, Lucas, Blackwell & Co) in c 1886. The licensee between 1850 and 1861, Richard Morris, was also a malster, malting his own barley as well as brewing with it. In 1973 it became the ZODIAC.
Known Licensees are;
1790 Widow Morris
1822 - 1823 W. Morris
1841 Samuel Dalton
1850 - 1861 Richard Morris (also a maltster)
1868 - 1874 Samuel Morris
1879 - 1881 William Bowler
1886 Lucas, Blackwell & Co
1890 - 1891 G. Hanley
1893 - 1896 T. H. Sanders
1903 - 1905 A. Fennell
1909 - 1919 Albert George Atkins
1921 - 1934 A. A. Cooper
1935 - 1938 W. J. Watts
1939 - 1940 A. Barton
c1952-53 Reg Nott (see Earlsdon Cottage)
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Dict PN An ancient and widespread sign, which may well have begun referring to a Papal Bull, the leaden seal attached to the Pope's edicts. There may also be a heraldic reference in signs. Many bull signs are reminders that bull baiting took place. Signs in market towns merely comment on the significance of this animal in farming terms. Bull has one or two connections with drinking in certain colloquial expressions. In nautical slang a bull is a small keg. In earlier times another nautical expression was to bull the cask or barrel. It meant to pour water into an empty cask, leave it there for a while, then drink it.

Source 58 not to be confused with the BullsHead & Anchor, 37/38 Bishop Street

1754 JA34 Ref 1 Letter addressed to Mrs Margaret Lightowler near the Bulls Head, Bishop Street.

1756 Alderman Hewitt 12 soldiers billeted.

3.2.1777 JA142 P14 JCM Person left a mare at the Bulls Head in Bishop Street

15.3.1779 JA142 P23 JCM To be sold ..... materials ... for particulars apply to Mr Betteridge at the Bulls Head, Coventry.

c1800 COC P42 Mentioned in Napoleonic Poem

1851 Source 49 Board of Health Map

18.3.1855 JA143 CH&O Transfer of license of the Bull, Bishop Street, from John Taylor to Charles Williams.

9.1866 CR 101/12/538 Sale conditions of a shop to be sold at the above pub

21.12.1867 JA141 CS Transfer of license from Eliza Hollick to Samuel Morris

28.8.1878 LJ Vol 1 P30 BULLS HEAD, Bishop Street Alehouse
Owner : Samuel Morris & Arthur James Lewis, Coventry
later Morton Peto Lucas, Blackwell & Arkwright & others
Licensee Samuel Morris
1.5.1879 TOL to William Bowler
10.8.1882 TOL to Arthur James Lucas & William Wells Ridley
6.8.1883 TOL to { Morton Peto Lucas
{ Frederick Murray Lucas
{ Arthur Herbert Blackwell
{ Herbert Robert Arkwright
2.12.1886 TOL to George Manley
14.12.1890 TOL to Robert Beauclere Aldridge
8.1.1891 TOL to Thomas Henry Sanders
11.8.1882 fined 20/- & costs for permitting disorderly conduct

1887 COC P55 Cov Times Inn signs

WB P17 A home brew pub later taken over by the Leamington Brewery

1896 CBH P105 MAXIM CYCLE CO ( Bicycles )

Bulls Head Yard, Bishop Street and Ryley Street
Arthur Bonnick began the Maxim Cycle Company in 1896 at Bulls Head Yard on Bishop Street.

1977 WRAG1

1973 1000 Years Became the ZODIAC

LICENSEES

1779 JA142 P23 JCM Mr Betteridge
1790 BSL Widow Morris
1822/23 Pigot Morris
1828/29 Pigot Samuel Dalton

1841 Pigot Samuel Dalton

1841 Census Samuel Dalton 50 yo b Wks m Phoebe, 50

1845 Kelly S. Dalton

1850 CS Richard Morris

1851 Census Richard Morris 47 yo victualler & maltster b Coventry m Jane, 41 &
1855 JA143 CH&O John Taylor [ 1 mother, 1 neice

1855 JA143 CH&O Charles Williams.

1861 Census Richard Morris 49 yo victualler & maltster b Coventry m Jane, 50 &
1867 JA141 CS Eliza Hollick [ 1 neice, 1 nephew, 1 lodger

1867 JA141 CS Samuel Morris

1868 Buchanan S. Morris

1871 Census Samuel Morris 65 yo m Eliza, 42 & 2s, 1 servant

1874 C&B Samuel Morris
1878 LJ Vol 1 P30 Samuel Morris
1879 LJ Vol 1 P30 Samuel Morris
1879 LJ Vol 1 P30 William Bowler
1879 Stevens William Bowler

1881 C&B William Bowler
1882 LJ Vol 1 P30 William Bowler
1882 LJ Vol 1 P30 Arthur James Lucas & William Wells Ridley
1883 LJ Vol 1 P30 Arthur James Lucas & William Wells Ridley
1883 LJ Vol 1 P30 { Morton Peto Lucas
{ Frederick Murray Lucas
{ Arthur Herbert Blackwell
{ Herbert Robert Arkwright
1886 C&B Lucas, Blackwell & Co
1886 LJ Vol 1 P30 { Morton Peto Lucas
{ Frederick Murray Lucas
{ Arthur Herbert Blackwell
{ Herbert Robert Arkwright
1886 LJ Vol 1 P30 George Manley
1890/91 R&G G. H. Hanley
1890 LJ Vol 1 P30 George Manley
1890 LJ Vol 1 P30 Robert Beauclere Aldridge
1891 LJ Vol 1 P30 Robert Beauclere Aldridge
1891 LJ Vol 1 P30 Thomas Henry Sanders
1893 Reporter T. H. Sanders

1896 R&G T. H. Sanders
1898 LJ Vol 1 P30 Thomas Henry Sanders
1903 R&G A. Fennell

1905 R&G A. Fennell

1909 R&G Albert G. Atkins

1911/12 Spennell Albert George Atkins

1912/13 Spennell Albert George Atkins

1919 Spennell Albert George Atkins

1921/22 Spennell A.A. Cooper

1924 P. James A.A. Cooper

1926/27 P. James A.A. Cooper

1929 P. James A.A. Cooper

1931/32 P. James A.A. Cooper

1933/34 P. James A.A. Cooper

1935/36 P. James W. J. Watts

1937/38 P. James W. J. Watts

1939/40 P. James A. Barton

1966 Barrett

OWNERS

1855 JA143 CH&O John Taylor
1855 JA143 CH&O Charles Williams
1878 LJ Vol 1 P30 Samuel Morris & Arthur James Lewis, Coventry
later LJ Vol 1 P30 Morton Peto Lucas, Blackwell & Arkwright & others
1898 LJ Vol 1 P30 Morton Peto Lucas, Blackwell & Arkwright & others

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