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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 Godiva

1850 1863 CASTLE INN
1863 1868 GODIVA
In 1863 a public house, lately known as the CASTLE INN, and now the FIRE ENGINE, was to be auctioned. This became the GODIVA. This continued to appear in papers until Morris's directory of 1866, when it was described as the ' Godiva Inn and Music Hall, Bond Street. It is last mentioned in the Lantern in 1868.

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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2.1863 JA81 ' A public house, lately known as the CASTLE INN, and now the FIRE ENGINE, to be auctioned.' It became the GODIVA.

8.5.1863 JA41 Transfer of license of Godiva from George Ingram to Thomas Ratliff

13.5.1863 JA137 The GODIVA ( late ENGINE ) transfer of license from George Ingram to T. S. Ratcliffe

1864 TRE P98 At the beginning of 1864, the first of the city's recorded regular public house music halls emerged ..... a notice in the February 12 edition of the Herald, announced that the Godiva ' Concert ' Room, at 21 Bond Street, had been considerably enlarged. Run by Thomas Skeen Ratcliffe, the assembly room had been converted into a snall music hall where, for a few coppers, many emerging entertainers ... could be seen whilst patrons upturned a glass of ale or ate a pork pie. A Godiva Inn has not been identified, in fact John Ashby ( ' The Character of Coventry ' ) lists the Castle Tavern at 21, Bond Street, so it is more likely the Godiva Music Hall was the name given to the assembly room there. A large scale map shows the building to have a frontage of approximately27 feet and a depth of around 37 feet which cannot be described as large. Almost certainly the assembly room was placed on the first floor.

1864 TRE P99 .....meanwhile the Godiva Music Hall, often booking as many as five different performers a night, 1864 was open every evening for business

1864 TRE P100 The Godiva, on the other hand, went from strength to strength.... in order to accommodate the 1864 increasing patronage, a gallery was erecrted in Decenber 1864........ the balcony was designed to be more attractive towards female companions of male habitues, as they would not have to mix with the melee normally associated with an alehouse bar. A proscenium was added, thereby making the hall more like a theatre in appearance

11.1865 JA81 To be let the Godiva. Excellent concert room and tavern

22.12.1865 JA41 Transfer of license of Godiva from Thomas Ratliff to Joseph Baker

1865 TRE P104 Advertising for the Godiva Music Hall completely disappeared from the Herald after the re-openeing 1865 of the Royal. The Castle Inn, where it is assumed the Godiva Muaic Hall operated, had become a butcher's shop by 1874, so any opposition to the Royal would have eased by that date.

1866 JA41 Morris Godiva Inn & Music Hall, Bond Street. Licensee Thomas Ratliff


1863 JA137 George Ingram

1863 JA137 T. S. Ratcliffe

1865 JA41 Thomas Ratliff
1865 JA41 Joseph Baker
1866 JA41 Morris Thomas Ratliff

23.11.1868 Lantern Joseph Baker

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