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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 Green Dragon

These photographs show the original site below, and the new location in Spon Street is seen above. The colour photo was taken a few years ago when it had become a bar aptly-named "1420", although this is an optimistic estimate for its age since the rear is probably circa 1450 and the front likely to be 1500.
Now 20 and 21 SPON STREET
This sign comes from the coat of arms of the Earls of Pembroke although the dragon in the George and Dragon stories is usually green. The rear range of this building dates from c1450 whilst the front was replaced c1500. The rear consisted of the hall of the inn and two upper floors for guests. A wide through-passage linked both parts to a courtyard and rear wing which was demolished about 1900. The heavy frame of the west gable belonged to its earlier and grander neighbour, No124, which was destroyed by bombing in the war.

The Green Dragon is mentioned in 1779 when a house next door was for sale. It seems to have ceased being an inn around 1866 when the license was transferred from Robert mcKellar to John Hargreaves. Phillips and Mariotts Midland Brewery encroached on the Green Dragon over the years. In 1892 they bought 123 Much Park Street and five cottages to the rear, a 21 foot frontage between the brewery and Green Dragon Court. This may have meant they bought half of the Green Dragon premises or perhaps some re-numbering has gone on. They also used the old Green Dragon's well for water.

It is said that the Green Dragon was the inn referred to by George Eliot in 'Middlemarch', which was based on her memories of Coventry.

In 1972 part of the roof and first floor of the old building collapsed. It had been unoccupied since 1965 and was owned by Coventry Corporation. In a moment of pure genius, Mr. Brian Bliss, the Deputy Chief Building Surveyor, attributed the collapse to old age. Councillor Ron Morgan pointed out that, as a listed building, the Corporation was duty bound by law to protect the building. Between 1982 and 1984 the Green Dragon was dismantled and re-erected in Spon Street as part of the Spon Street Townscape Scheme, a ghetto for unwanted ancient buildings. The carriageway arch of 124 Much Park Street was also re-erected as it is the only surviving part of the building that was destroyed in the war.

Mr. F. W. B. Charles, the consultant for the Spon Street Scheme, thought that the Green Dragon should be restored to its proper use by making it an extension of the Old Windmill. What a brilliant idea, so good in fact that it wasn't adopted. Instead, since re-erection the building has become the 1450 bar and since 2011 the Blue Bar.
Known Licensees are;
1822 - 1823 M. Jacox
1835 - 1841 Hannah Jones
to 23.3.1866 Robert McKellar
from 23.3.1866 John Hargreaves


1841 Charles Randall
1850 Joseph Coleman
1851 - 1861 John Ainge

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