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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 Hawthorn Tree


Photo © Copyright Keith Williams and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

1861 1900 BEERHOUSE, Broad Lane
1924 BEERHOUSE, Tile Hill
The hawthorn tree was a symbol of the house of Tudor, which came about when, in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth, Richard III was defeated and slain. During the battle the royal crown of England was lost or stolen. It was later found under a hawthorn bush by Lord Stanley, who placed it on Henry Tudor's head. Also the Romans considered that a hawthorn bush would act as a protection against scurvy. They placed hawthorn leaves in the cradles of their newly-born babies.

The Hawthorn Tree started as a BEERHOUSE before 1850 as this is the first mention I have found. The first reference to the name the Hawthorn Tree comes in 1870, when it was sold. This pub stood on the opposite corner of Hawthorn Lane and Broad Lane to the later pub, where a more recent house, No 419 Broad Lane, now stands. At that time the only buildings between Banner Lane and Jobs Lane were Kendels Farm, The Elms and The Firs smallholdings and the pub. A pub in this situation would have been a resort for the population of the nearby suburbs of Coventry, particularly on a Sunday.

In 1937 the Hawthorn Tree was demolished and the new pub built on the opposite corner of Hawthorn Lane and Broad Lane. This was the same time as the building of the Standard shadow factory in Banner Lane and the new Unicorn pub, no doubt both pubs were anticipating the developement of housing estates in Tile Hill and Eastern Green. The two rebuilt pubs were of quite different styles, the Unicorn in mock manor house reform style, the Hawthorn Tree in ultra-modern art deco. There were a number of pubs built in Coventry in the 1930's in similar art deco style - the Hawthorn, the Fletch and the Tollgate come to mind. The only one that appears to survive in anything like its original state is the Tollgate on Hollyhead Road. In the 80 years recorded history of the original Hawthorn Tree the pub was run by just four families - the Summers to 1908, the Baileys between 1908 and 1927, the Coulsons from 1927 to 1932 and the Chattaways from 1932 to 1937.

The new Hawthorn Tree was built by Atkinsosn, who were later taken over by Mitchells and Butlers. The new pub had five rooms serving the public in different forms. In 1981 a major renovation took place when all these rooms were replaced by just two - an updated public bar and a plush lounge, although the art deco style was retained. Chris Arnott thought it must have cost Mitchells and Butlers a fair sum to retain the 'Pre-war Odeon (style), with angular lamps and the sort of ceiling that went out of fashion in the Fifties'. At the same time, M&B introduced into Coventry its first Toby Pantry, which according to them was 'an entirely new concept in pub catering'. At lunchtime their trade was to come from the local factories and in the evening from the residential area. All your favouriyes were there - Draught Bass, Brew XI, M&B Mild, Carling, Hemeling Lager and the new Crusader Dark lager!

All M&B's enthusiasm was in vain though. Within another twenty - odd years the pub had degenerated into a 'Sports Bar', the last refuge of unloved pubs, whilst M&B had ceased to exist as a brewing company. The Hawthorn was demolished to be replaced by another housing estate after a life of just 70 years in its final form.

Known Licensees at the HAWTHORN TREE are;
1900 - 1908 Joseph Sumner ( Summers )
1910 - 1913 A Bailey
1921 - 1922 T. E. Andrew

1923 - 1927 Annie Bailey
1928 - 1932 C. S. Coulson
1932 - 1938 A. C. Chattaway
1938 - 1940 W. Southall
1940 William Speed
1947 Geoffrey Stafford Nelson
1949 - 1956 Neville Abel
1959 Frederick Truelove
1975 - 1982 Jim & Linda Crawford

Known Licensees at the BEERHOUSE, Broad Lane are;
1861 - 1900 Joseph Sumner

Known Licensees at the BEERHOUSE, Tile Hill are;
1924 Frank Chattaway


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