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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 Hope and Anchor

In this name hope may have been used in the sense of a small bay. In christian symbolism the anchor is the sign of hope. The spare anchor on a ship was often called the 'hope anchor'.

On 27th August 1852 a new license was granted to William Lee for the Hope and Anchor. This is supported by Jimmy Taylor who stated in his 1961s 'City Pubs' article that it was more than a century old. The earliest census it appears in is the 1861 one.

Interestingly, Whitefriars Street was not constructed until 1900. Before that date the Hope and Anchor stood on Whitefriars Lane, which had been the original approach to Whitefriars Monastery, through the gateway that still remains today. As such it stood in what would have been in medaeval times the grounds of the monastery. Whitefriars Street between Jordan Well and Whitefriars Lane, on both sides, was not built up at that time.

On my OS map of 1905 it is still open space on both sides, in fact long gardens attached to properties on Jordan Well and Gosford Street, specifically the Colin Campbell pub and the houses that were eventually replaced by the Gaumont (Odeon) cinema. These gardens had been lain out in the medaeval period. Yet the end of Whitefriars Street, along with Much Park Street, London Road and Gulson Road (Brick Kiln Lane) had all been thoroughly developed by then.

The Hope and Anchor was a busy main street pub until the Ring Road isolated it in the 1960's. Until that time Whitefriars Street was the main route into the the city centre from London Road and I remember the buses going past the Hope and Anchor on one side of the road, with a car showroom opposite, from my childhood. I also remember the traffic jams, which explains why the Ring Road was built. Unfortunately the Ring Road left the Hope and Anchor at the wrong end of a dead end street.

The Hope and Anchor was a home brew pub until 1923. In 1961 Jimmy Taylor said that 'residing next door is Tom Mitchell, who.....was the brewer when the pub brewed its own beer many years ago'. After that it became a tied Ansells pub, which is how I remember it. I have particularly fond memories of the Coventry Blues Club. Before Sharon and I were married we used to go to the Club every week, held in the large music room at the back of the pub. I can't help wondering if that room had anything to do with the old brewery.

The pub closed in November 2009 and was demolished.
Known Licensees are;
1852 - 1881 William Lee
1886 - 1905 Thomas Mitchener
1906 - 1912 William Lord
1912 - 1913 Charles Mitchener
1919 Mary Ann Mitchener
1921 - 1922 Mrs M. A. Kenning
1924 - 1927 Arthur Wareham
1931 - 1940 G. R. Robinson
1961 Leslie William Evans
1984 Ray Matthews
1961 Ansells
1884 William Lee
1884 - 1906 Thomas Mitchener
1906 - 1910 William Lord
1910 - 1921 Charles Mitchener
1921 - 1923 Arthur Wareham
? Tom Mitchell

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