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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 Half Moon Tavern

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NAME HALF MOON TAVERN
ADDRESS HALF MOON YARD
ALTERNATIVE ADDRESSES EARL STREET, HIGH STREET
I can only imagine that the half moon was a simple, easily recognised, pictoral sign.

This pub was built in 1728 to replace the medaeval Drapery. It was built opposite St Michael's Church and, having take the place of the drapery, the linnen, flannel and cloth fair was moved to St Mary's Hall. For many years the cloth manufacturers of Yorkshire attended the Coventry fair annually and held sales both in the courtyard of St Mary's Hall and in the large room at the tavern.

In 1756 6 soldiers were billeted here. According with the entertainment of the day, in 1780, the Irish giant, O'Brien, was exhibited at the Half Moon, along with a baboon, that was called the 'Ethiopian Savage', and a cassowary. In a similar vein, the City's freemen also had meetings here.

It seems that the Half Moon stood in its own yard, where a row of tenaments also stood. It was refered to as 'a principal tavern in the City', which would correspond to its use by the freemen for meetings. On the north side of the tavern was a stone bearing the letters MGP and the date 1728 which commemorated the end of the old drapery. In 1771 a post chaise service was set up from the Half Moon.

In c1861 the tavern was taken down to make way for St Mary's Street, which still exists running alongside the present Council House. Erected on the site of the tavern were the dwelling for the Superintendent of Police and the fire engine house.
Known Licensees are;
1822 - 1823 Robert Allen
1835 John Horsfall
1841 John Soden
1850 William Thornback
Owners;
c1861 Coventry Corporation

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