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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 Inn

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NAME CASTLE INN
ALTERNATIVE NAMES CASTLE HOTEL, CASTLE VAULTS, HOLE IN THE WALL
ADDRESS 8 BROADGATE
ALTERNATIVE ADDRESSES 18/19 MARKET STREET, MARKET PLACE, CROSS CHEAPING
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 either

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.

The origins of this establishment are lost in distant times. The first record I have dates from 1729. In 1756 eight soldiers were billeted here. In 1763 the Castle was robbed by the 'Coventry Gang'. These were four members of a 200-strong London gang: John Duplex (alias Phillips), William Pallister (alias Ogden), Margaret Brown (alias Ogden or Anderson) and an unnamed woman. They gained the name 'The Coventry Gang' because this is where they were apprehended and hanged. On the Day of Coventry Great Fair in 1763 they stabled their horses at the Cranes and went to the Castle. Here, because they were stylishly dressed and had ridden good horses, they were shown to an upstairs room. In this room stood a bureau containing a considerable sum of money. On the landlord, Mr. Bayley, entering the room, one of the men seized him whilst the others made off with a large amount of cash and plate. One of the thieves was apprehended outside the Castle, the other three made good their escape. The pursuit was then taken up by Coventry's Alderman Hewitt, a renown thief catcher. They were pursued to Leicester and taken into custody. All four were hanged and within two years Hewitt was responsible for the destruction of the whole London gang.

At this time the Coventry market was still held in Broadgate. In 1853 a Company was formed for the promotion of a Corn Exchange, which up until this time was held in the open street outside the Castle Inn on Fridays. On December 2nd 1867, the last ever street market was held in Broadgate. From then on the market was held in the newly built Market Hall behind the Castle. According to Poole, a great block of ancient houses bounded by Smithford Street, Broadgate and the Castle Inn was taken down in 1820. This is where the Market Hall was built so why the forty year gap between the demolition and the opening of the Market Hall?

In 1824 the Castle Inn was the meeting place of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire (Freemasons).

In 1858 Charles Dickens was entertained to dinner at the Castle with 70 gentlemen. He was presented with a specially engraved Coventry-made Rotherhams watch, which he used for the rest of his life. So the cult of celebrity was already thriving then. At least celebrities had some claim to abilities then.

Tnis pub closed c 1882 and was replaced by the Castle Vaults, Market Street / Place
Known Licensees are;
1763 Mr. Bayley
1850 - 1868 John Hall
1879 Henry Edmund Florence
Owners;
1729 E. Hyde
1746 T. Birch
1812 William White

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Dict PN 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.

1700 JA Cov/Char/158 First record

1713 JA CCP1/7/1713 Mrs Benion at ye Castle ( Broadgate ) for selling ale and beer not having a license.

27/28.6.1729 CR 101/1/262 E. Hyde conveys the above to N. Brady and J. Forster

10.5.1745 CR 309/56/2 Draft of a building lease bounded on the south side by the Castle, messuage and brewhouse.

22.5.1746 CR 309/105 J. Birch leases the above to Moses Ironmonger for 21 years at £ 75 per annum

1756 Alderman Hewitt 8 soldiers billeted

1763 Great Fair Day COC P46 Ogden, Smith and Brown, with two women, Brown and Ferguson, rob the pub and were hanged.

1763 Poole Two men named Ogden and Phillips, with Margaret Brown and Margaret Ferguson, were hanged for robbing the Castle Inn, and on 21st December the following year, a woman named Smith was executed for being concerned in the same robbery. The robbery of the Castle Inn was efected on Great Fair Day. The parties were stylishly dressed; some of them, both the men and the women, were well mounted on good horses. On going to the inn they were shown to an upstairs room, in which stood a bureau containing a considerable sum of money. This they broke open and took therefrom cash and plate to a large amount. On the landlord
( Bayley ) entering the room to look after his property, one of the men seized and held him, while the other three for the moment escaped. As sonn as he could free himself, the landlord went in search of the thieves, and succeeded in apprehending the one whom he had particularly noticed in his apartment, the others eluding descovery for a short time, but were ultimately traced and taken at Leicester. So severe was the pursuit of them that one horse fell dead from exhaustion.

3.6.1763 SEF P8-17 Castle Hotel robbed by ' Coventry Gang '. Members were John Duplex ( alias Phillips ), William Pallister ( alias Ogden ), Margaret Brown ( alias Ogden or Anderson ) and a fourth un-named woman. Landlord Mr Bayley. The gang stabled their horses at the Cranes Inn.

1763 HOC P196 One of Hewitt's early cases involved the misnamed ' Coventry
Gang '. Four members of a 200-strong London-based gang with a history going back to the previous century robbed the Castle Inn in Broadgate on Coventry Fair Day in 1763. Hewitt had the four hanged and within two years was responsible for the destruction of the whole London gang.

8.1763 CSubs P161 In August 1763 members of a London gang of roaming thieves met here ( Seven Stars, Whitley ) before heading south to London. Four members failed to arrive, having been arrested for robbing the Castle Inn, Broadgate

1790/91 Poole The old Coventry library was at first established, and for many years continued to be held, in premises at the north end of the old Broadgate, fowming an angle and junction with the Castle Inn.

23.2.1793 CR 101/1/290 Mortgage of premises bounded by the Castle Inn

c1800 COC P41 Mentioned in Napoleonic Poem

1802-1916 JA25 CCA/2/3/183 Deeds referring back to 1768 but this reference is dated 1802-1916. Deeds relating to the property at 19-20 Market Street, formerly the Women's Market Place, now the Castle Vaults and formerly the White Rose Inn

26.12.1807 CR 101/1/297 Messuage bounded by the Castle Inn

31.3.1809 CR 101/1/309&310 William White's house

1811-1926 JA28 CCA/2/3/206 Deeds relating to property at 9 Broadgate ( formerly ,the Castle Inn, Cross Cheaping )

9/10.1.1814 CR 101/8/654 Mortgage of property bounded on the north by the Castle

1820 Poole P345 Another great improvementwas made by the taking down of a great square block of ancient houses and other buildings comprising premises on the north side of Smithford Street; the west side of old Broadgate and others forming the angle extending to the gates of the Castle Inn and facing down Cross Cheaping.

1850 JA141 CH&O Transfer of license from G. T. Edwards to John Hall

1851 Source 49 Board of Health Map

1853 Poole A company was formed for the promotion of a Corn Exchange, which up to this time was held in the open street in Broadgate opposite the Castle Inn on Fridays.

1858 CovHG P89 Charles Dickens came again on 4 December 1858 and dined with 70 gentlemen at the Castle Hotel, where he was presented wit a Coventry-made Rotherhams watch.

1858 CovHG P89 He ( Dickens ) returned on 5 December 1858, as a guest of honour at a dinner held at the Castle Hotel in Broadgate, and was presented with a specially engraved Coventry watch, which he used for the rest of his life.

10.3.1863 CIC P48&49 Photo

1863 ACov P11 Photo

1863 CIC P26,27&45 Photo
Next door to City Arms

1867 COCIP P24 Illustration
Broadgate and Cross Cheaping on a busy market day in 1867. Yhe last building on the left, butting out, is the Castle Hotel, a popular 18th century inn.

This drawing however probably represents the last ever market held in Broadgate on December 2nd 1867. From this day, all that were allowed had to trade from the newly built Market Hall behind the Castle Hotel.

1868 Poole P415 The procession was formed at the Castle Inn ( for the laying of the foundation stones of All Saints, Far Gosford Street and St Marks, Stoney Stanton Road )

28.8.1878 LJ Vol 1 P16 CASTLE, Broadgate Alehouse
Owner : Henry William Eaton, 33 Old Broad Street, London
later the executors of Henry Price, Coventry
Licensee : Henry Edward ( Edmund ) Florence
14.8.1880 TOL to Frances Phillips and Walter Henry Marriott
1882 became Castle Vaults 11.8.1881 Edward Benjamin Twycross
17.5.1893 TOL to Walter Farmer
22.6.1899 TOL to Theresa Sarah Morris
26.9.1894 fined 10/- for selling during prohibited hours

c1882 JA73 Castle relocated to Castle Vaults, 18 Market Street/Place

LICENSEES

1713 JA CCP1/7/1713 Mrs Benion

1763 Poole P406 Bayley

1763 SEF P8-17 Bayley
1850 JA141 CH&O G. T. Edwards

1850 JA141 CH&O John Hall

1850 CS John Hall

1851 Census John Hall 32yo hotelkeeper b Coventry alone

1855 Cov AIW John Hall

1861 Census John Hall 41yo hotelkeeper b Coventry m Sarah, 36 & 1s, 1868 Buchanan John Hall [ 1d, 1 boarder, 10 servants
1871 Census John Hall

1874 C&B Licensee not named
1878 LJ Vol 1 P16 Henry Edmund Florence
1879 Stevens Henry Edmund Florence
1880 LJ Vol 1 P16 Henry Edmund Florence
1880 LJ Vol 1 P16 Frances Phillips and Walter Henry Marriott

OWNERS

1729 CR 101/1/263 E. Hyde
1746 CR 309/105 J. Birch
1812 CR 101/1/309&310 William White
1878 LJ Vol 1 P15 Henry William Eaton, 33 Old Broad Street, London
later LJ Vol 1 P15 The executors of Henry Price, Coventry

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