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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 Hen and Chicks

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NAME HEN AND CHICKENS
ADDRESS 1 & 2 BUTTS
ALTERNATIVE ADDRESSES HERTFORD TERRACE, SUMMERLAND PLACE, ALBION TERRACE
THIS PREMISES HAS BEEN KNOWN BY DIFFERENT NAMES DURING ITS HISTORY FROM TO KNOWN AS
1835 1994 HEN AND CHICKENS
1994 2001 FOWL AND FIRKIN
2001 present AARDVARK

In slang 'chickens' were small pewter pots mixed with larger pots (known as 'hens') and this looks a tempting source for the pub names. Before the seventeenth century however, a hen and chickens were symbolic in Christian art of God's providence and that is probably the original reason for their use in street signs of various kinds, including taverns. In the seventeenth century the expression was also used to describe the pleiads, the group of stars in the constellation taurus. However, the most likely explanation in this case is from the first licensees occupation as a farmer.

In 1862 we have a record of a meeting taking place at the Hen and Chickens. In 1898 there is the report of the sudden death of W. J. Podbury, the Hen and Chickens landlord and long time harrier after a twenty four hour illness. ' The sudden nature of his decease will come as a shock to the athletes of the Midlands (Times Nov 16th)'.


In 1982 Ansells spent £ 20,000 on renovating the lounge.

In 1994 it became the FOWL AND FIRKIN, one of David Bruce's Firkin chain of pubs and a brewery was installed.

Known Licensees are;
1835 - 1861 Joseph Ward victualler, maltster and farming 50 - 60 acres of land
1868 Mrs Martha Ward
1871 - 1874 George Hollock
1879 - 1891 William Podbury
1893 Walter Podbury
1894 - 1896 Susan Podbury ( 1898 Walter Podbury dies )
1903 - 1906 Mrs M. E. Whittem
1909 Walter Mason
1911 - 1912 Mrs Marsh
1912 - 1913 Mrs Mason
1919 - 1927 Alfred James Tilt
1929 M. W. Blackford
1931 - 1932 W. S. Rose
1933 - 1938 W. H. Powell
1939 - 1940 C. H. Phillips
1960 R. Weston
1982 - 1985 Mick Anthill
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Dict PN In slang ' chickens ' were small pewter pots mixed with larger pots ( known as ' hens ' ) and this looks a tempting source for the pub names.

Before the seventeenth century however, a hen and chickens were symbolic in Christian art of God's providence, and that is probably the original reason for their use on street signs of various kinds, including taverns. In the seventeenth century the expression was used to describe the pleiads, the group of stars in the constellarion Taurus.

BUT most likely from occupation of first licensee

1851 Source 49 Board of Health Map
Corner of Butts Lane & Hertford Place

30.10.1862 CR 101/11/908 Meeting at the Hen & Chickens

JA38

23.12.1865 JA141 CS Transfer of license from Joseph Wood to Martha Ward

28.8.1878 LJ Vol1 P 22 HEN AND CHICKENS, Butts Alehouse
Owner : William Johnson, Coventry
later Johnson & Mason, Coventry
Licensee : Thomas Heap
7.11.1878 TOL to Walter Podbury
17.5.1893 TOL to Susan Podbury
29.10.1896 TOL to Walter John Podbury
8.12.1898 TOL to Mary Elizabeth Podbury
11.1.1878 fined 10/- & costs keeping open

1887 COC P56 Cov Times Inn signs

1898 Source 26 On Saturday night Novenber 12th the sudden death of W. J. Podbury, the Hen and Chickens landlord and long time harrier was announced after a twenty four hour illness. ' The sudden nature of his decease will come as a shock to the athletes of the Midlands ( Times Nov 16th )'.

1911 OS Map

1982 Pubscrawl 40 Ansells invested £ 20,000 on tarting up the loubge. Its very swish in there, with what they call ' modular ' padded seating, green wall lamps, thick carpets and a sunken pool table.

1985 CCRAG A typical Ansells pub with a basic bar and renovated lounge. Close to the Technical College and Mercia Radio

26.2.1994 JA27 CET Became FOWL AND FIRKIN

LICENSEES

1835 Pigot Joseph Ward

1841 Pigot Joseph Ward

1841 Census Joseph Ward 35 yo b Wks & 9 others

1845 Kelly J. Ward Hertford Place

1850 CS Joseph Ward [& 2s, 1d Hertford Place

1851 Census Joseph Ward 49 yo victualler & farmer b Norton m Maria, 46

1861 Census Joseph Ward 59 yo victualler, maltster & farming 50 - 60 acres of
1865 JA141 CS Joseph Wood ( Ward ) [ land b Norton Lindsey - Albion Tavern, The Butts

1865 JA141 CS Martha Ward

1868 Buchanan Mrs Ward

23.11.1868 Lantern Martha Ward

1871 Census George Hollick 32 yo b Allesley m Sarah, 26 & 1s

1874 C&B G. Hollick
1878 LJ Vol1 P 22 Thomas Heap
1878 LJ Vol1 P 22 Walter Podbury
1879 Stevens William Podbury

1886 C&B W. Podbury

1890/91 R&G W. J. Podbury

1893 Reporter Walter Podbury
1893 LJ Vol1 P 22 Walter Podbury
1893 LJ Vol1 P 22 Susan Podbury
1894 R&G Susan Podbury

1896 R&G Susan Podbury
1896 LJ Vol1 P 22 Susan Podbury
1896 LJ Vol1 P 22 Walter John Podbury
( 1898 Source 26 W. J. Podbury dies )
1898 LJ Vol1 P 22 Walter John Podbury
1898 LJ Vol1 P 22 Mary Elizabeth Podbury
1903 R&G Mrs Whittem

1905 R&G Mrs M. E. Whittem

1909 R&G Walter Mason

1911/12 Spennell Mrs Marsh

1912/13 Spennell Mrs Mason

1919 Spennell Alfred James Tilt

1921/22 Spennell Alfred James Tilt

1924 P. James Alfred James Tilt

1926/27 P. James Alfred James Tilt

1929 P. James M. W. Blackford

1931/32 P. James W. S. Rose

1933/34 P. James W. H. Powell

1935/36 P. James W. H. Powell

1937/38 P. James W. H. Powell

1939/40 P. James C. H. Phillips

1955/56 Barrett Not listed in street section

1957 Barrett Not listed in street section

1960 Barrett R. Weston

1961 Barrett Not listed in street section

1962 Barrett Not listed in street section

1966 Barrett

1982 Pubscrawl 40 Mick Anthill

1985 Ansells Mick Anthill

OWNERS

1878 LJ Vol1 P 22 William Johnson, Coventry
later LJ Vol1 P 22 Johnson & Mason, Coventry

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