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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 Coventry Cross

29, Cross Cheaping. Coventry. The Coventry Cross. P.H.
NAME COVENTRY CROSS
ADDRESS 29 CROSS CHEAPING
ALTERNATIVE ADDRESSES 20 CROSS CHEAPING, BISHOP STREET, THE BURGES
THIS PREMISES WAS KNOWN BY DIFFERENT NAMES DURING ITS HISTORY FROM TO KNOWN AS
1792 1803 BREWER'S ARMS*/ TWO BREWERS*
1864 1868 VOLUNTEER
1868 present COVENTRY CROSS

This pub gets its name from the famous market cross of Coventry which stood in the market (Cross Cheaping) until falling down. A replica now stands in Trinity Lane/Hay Lane.

The old COVENTRY CROSS in Bushop Street closed c1856 and the new COVENTRY CROSS opened c 1868 in Cross Cheaping, with William Whitehead as licensee. In 1868 he is also listed as the licensee of the VOLUNTEER on Cross Cheaping, so this must have been the same pub. In 1904 it was leased by Phillips & Marriott for 21 years for £150 per anum, including 2 cottages, from James Warden of Walsgrave.

*There is mention of the BREWER'S ARMS (also referred to as theTWO BREWERS) at the bottom of Cross Cheaping in the Coventry Mercury of 20th August 1792. In 1803 it appears to have closed. Whether the BREWER'S ARMS became the VOLUNTEER and then the COVENTRY CROSS has not yet been established.

In 1919 Phillips & Marriott obtained the freehold.

The building has been variously claimed to date from the 16th or 17th century. In 1984 a campaign by regulars prevented it from being turned into a wine bar and instead the owners, Mitchell & Butlers, spent £65,000 on a restoration, including a beer garden offering views of the babbling brook that passes under the pub, the River Sherbourne.

Known Licensees are;
1868 - 1874 William Whitehead
1879 - 1881 Thomas Gregory
1886 - 1893 G. Skidmore
1894 - 1905 Charles J. Wareham
1907 - 1909 Samuel Drakeford Hadden
1910 Thomas Pegg Turman (or Furman)
1911 - 1913 W. J. Buckler
1914 George Alfred Pickard
1918 - 1922 Mrs. Lizzie Pickard
1922 John Alfred Weller
1929 - 1932 H. Johnson
1933 - 1934 T. Pointer
1935 - 1936 W. Towns
1937 - 1940 E. Deakin
1941 - 1945 Cecil Alfred Fleetwood
1945 - 1960 Mrs Lilian Hilda Fleetwood (widow)
Owners;
to 1919 James Warden
from 1919 Phillips & Marriott 

A Coventry Evening Telegraph newspaper article from 19th August 1960

map
Happy Days @ Coventry Cross

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Click here to see Research

Name From the famous market cross of Coventry, which stood in the market ( Cross Cheaping ) until falling down. A replicas now stands in Trintiy Street/ Hay Lane.

1868 JA53 The old Coventry Cross in Bushop Street closed c1856 and the new Coventry Cross opened c1868 with William Whitehead as licensee. In 1868 he is also listed as the licensee of the VOLUNTEER in Cross Cheaping, so this must have been the same pub. What is their relationship to the BREWERS/TWO BREWERS, also in Cross Cheaping ?

1887 COC Cov Times Inn signs

28.8.1878 LJ Vol 1 P 12 COVENTRY CROSS, Burges / Cross Cheaping Alehouse
Owner : William Whitehead, Hill Cross, Coventry
later Mr Whitehead, Stephen Street, Coventry
later Bass & Co, Burton on Trent
Licensee : James Cole
7.11.1878 TOL to Thomas Gregory
6.11.1884 TOL to Jane Gregory
15.1.1885 TOL to George Skidmore
18.4.1893 TOL to Edward Horsfield
20.10.1894 TOL to Charles John Wareham
19.10.1898 fined £ 1 & costs 11/6 selling during prohibited hours

23.12.1904 P&M PR Leased by Phillips & Marriott for 21 years for £ 150 p.a. ( including 2 cottages ) from James Warden, Walsgrave on Sowe.

1914 Cov Review 15.3.1974 On plan

29.9.1919 P&M PR Freehold

10.8.1960 Citypubs 5

1977 WRAG1

1979 WRAG2 Nice beer in basic local

1982 WRAG3 Subdivided bar is advertised as a bar/lounge. Very quiet after the hurley-burley of other city centre pubs. Mainly middle aged clientele. Good beer in very basic surroundings

1982 News 26 A years reprieve from being converted onyo a wine bar.

1984 Pubscrawl 82 One of the few old-fashioned drinking houses in the city centre, surrounded by Hogarthian faces and gut-ripping coughs. Sandwiched between the brightly-lit Plaza Studio and the Kwik Chick take away, the Coventry Cross hides its light under a bushel. Its a drab pub inside and out.

All this is to change in the near future. Mitchells and Butlers are closing down the Cross for several months and carrying out a

£ 60,000 renovation. Thy've been threatening to do this for a long time. Only a spiriterd campaign by the regulars prevented the brewery turning it into a wine bar. Now its going to be a ' real ale ' bar instead. I am intigued to see what M&B make of the conversion - particularly as the plans include a beer garden offering views of that babbling brook otherwise known as the River Sherbourne.

1984 Pubscrawl 99 .....a leather Chesterfield. on a pedestal nearby stood a poyyed aspidestra....and just to complete the atmosphere of pre-war domesticity, at right angles to the aspidestra stood a glass-fronted bookcase, full of well-thumbed tomes like ' The Archers of the Years ' by Hulliday Sutherland or ' This England ' by W. G. Shears. The building itself goes back to the 17th century and it has been a pub since at least 1869. Framed on one of the walls is an invoice dated from that year. In more recent times the pub was kept for many years by a legendary landlady by the name of Lil FDleetwood. In the years after the war, I'm told, her front bar was famous as the earky evening haunt for local businessmen with large cigars and homburg hats. Later she played host to visiting variety stars like Athur Englishm Max Wall and Donald Pears.

Rather like live variety theatre, the Coventry Cross went into a steady decline after the demise of Mrs Fleetwood. Only a spirited campaign by the regulars prevented Mitchells and Butlers from turning it into a wine bar a year ago

Instead the brewery has just spent £ 65,000 on a major refurbishment. They've opened up the building, laid oak and stone floors, exposed old beams and filled the place with traditional good- quality second-hand furniture and old-fashioned bric-a-brac.

The overall effect is quite pleasing and a considerable improvement on the rather drab surroundings that existed when they closed the pace down just after Christmas.

LICENSEES

1868 Buchanan William Whitehead

1871 Census William Whitehead

1874 C&B W. Whitehead
1878 LJ Vol 1 P 12 James Cole
1878 LJ Vol 1 P 12 Thomas Gregory
1879 Stevens Thomas Gregory

1881 C&B T. Gregory
1884 LJ Vol 1 P 12 Thomas Gregory
1884 LJ Vol 1 P 12 Jane Gregory
1885 LJ Vol 1 P 12 Jane Gregory
1885 LJ Vol 1 P 12 George Skidmore
1886 C&B G. Skidmore

1890/91 R&G G. Skidmore

1893 Reporter G. Skidmore
1893 LJ Vol 1 P 12 George Skidmore
1893 LJ Vol 1 P 12 Edward Horsfield
1894 LJ Vol 1 P 12 Edward Horsfield
1894 LJ Vol 1 P 12 Charles John Wareham
1894 R&G Charles Wareham

1896 R&G Charles Wareham

1903 R&G Charles J. Wareham

1905 R&G Charles J. Wareham

18.4.1907 P&M PR Samuel Drakeford Hadden

1909 R&G Samuel D. Hadden

25.8.1910 P&M PR Thomas Pegg Turman ( or Furman )

1911/12 Spennell J. Buckler

1912/13 Spennell W. J. Buckler

28.9.1914 P&M PR George Alfred Pickard

1.10.1918 P&M PR Lizzie Pickard

1919 Spennell Mrs Pickard

1921/22 Spennell Mrs Pickard

26.6.1922 P&M PR John Alfred Weller manager

1929 P. James H. Johnson

1931/32 P. James H. Johnson

1933/34 P. James T. Pointer Inn - Cross Cheaping

1935/36 P. James W. Towns " " "

1937/38 P. James E. Deakin " " "

1939/40 P. James E. Deakin " " "

1941 News 2-11 Cecil Alfred Fleetwood

1945 News 2-11 Cecil Alfred Fleetwood

1945 News 2-11 Mrs Lilian Hilda Fleetwood

1953 LTSD Hotel, Burges

1960 News 2-11 Mrs Lilian Hilda Fleetwood

1966 Barrett

OWNERS

28.8.1878 LJ Vol 1 P 12 William Whitehead, Hill Cross, Coventry
later LJ Vol 1 P 12 Mr Whitehead, Stephen Street, Coventry
later LJ Vol 1 P 12 Bass & Co, Burton on Trent ( were they lessees )
1904 P&M PR James Warden, Walsgrave on Sowe.

1919 P&M PR Phillips & Marriott

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