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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 Formidable

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Top of Bishop Street towards Burges and the spires 1919

NAME FORMIDABLE
ADDRESS BISHOP STREET
THIS PREMISES HAS BEEN KNOWN BY DIFFERENT NAMES DURING ITS HISTORY FROM TO KNOWN AS
1772 TALBOT
1774 DOG
1783 FORMIDABLE
1784 ? BOWLING GREEN
George Brydges, Lord Rodney, (1719 - 1792), had a distinguished career but is remembered especially for the victory over the French in 1782 at the Battle of the Saintes in the West Indies. This lead to better peace terms with the French after the American Revolution. His flagship was H.M.S. Formidable.

In 1774 this was the DOG in Bishop Street. The Dog above Bishop Street is mentioned when a bowling green is laid there.

By 1783 Rodney and H.M.S. Formidable's fame had spread rapidly, as this was only a year after the Battle of the Saintes. In 1783 the last horse races were held in Coventry Park and 'cocking' was held at the Formidable public house between the gentlemen of Warwickshire and Leicestershire (cock fighting, that is, not some strange sexual pursuit!)

By 12th May 1783 subscribers of Coventry Bowling Green held a dinner at the FORMIDABLE. They did the same in 1784 but this is the last known mention of the FORMIDABLE. From that year on it is refered to as the BOWLING GREEN. This pub is not to be confused with the Admiral Lord Rodney pub's restaurant named the Formidable in the 1980's.
Known Licensees are;
1783 John Mather

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