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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 Castle

NAME CASTLE
ADDRESS 24 BOND STREET
THIS PREMISES HAS BEEN KNOWN BY DIFFERENT NAMES DURING ITS HISTORY FROM TO KNOWN AS
1850 1863 CASTLE
1863 FIRE ENGINE
1863 1868 GODIVA
This has been a common pub name for centuries. It is tempting to connect it with the phrase ' an Englishman's home is his castle ', a phrase which has been in use since the seventeenth century, but it is more likely to refer to -
a. Coventry Castle.
b. The castle in the City Coat of Arms.
c. A simple visual sign, easy to illustrate and easy for patrons to recognise.

Bond Street was built in 1845 - 50, yet in 1862 and 1863 the Castle is referred to as an ' old public house '. Was it older than the rest of the street ? Our first record is in 1850. It does not appear to have thrived, as it was to let in 1855, 1856, 1862 and as the FIRE ENGINE was for auction in 1863. The Coventry Standard of 6.2.1863 carried an advertisement for ' all that substantially built property in Bond Street, consisting of the licensed public house lately known as the Castle, and now the Fire Engine, very conveniently arranged ' . To be auctioned.

In 1861 the landlord, George Cooper, was an insolvent debtor and in the same year Mr Dykes was said to be at the Castle. They both appear in the 1861 census at 21 Bond Street, which is divided into four properties. No 2, 21 Bond Street, was occupied by Samuel Dyke, 26, an engine turner, whilst No3, 21 Bond Street, was occupied by George Cooper, 34, a silk weaver. There is no mention of a public house.

In 1863 there is a reference to the Castle, now called the FIRE ENGINE but in May the same year it is the GODIVA. By 1874 the pub had gone.

Known Licensees at the CASTLE are;
1850 Benjamin Sheppard
1855 C. Lockington
1858 Thomas Elton
1861 George Cooper
1861 Mr Dykes

Known Licensees at the GODIVA are;
1866 - 1868 Joseph Baker

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