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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 Horseshoe


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See all available records HERE

1630 1756 HORSESHOE
1776 c1800 OLD HORSESHOE
1769 & 1801 1801 SWAN WITH TWO NECKS

This is a simple visual sign, made more significant by the long standing belief that a horse-shoe brings luck. Originally it was said to be a protection against witches.

This pub is referred to in 1630, when the corporation let the property to Richard Parnell for £10 and 1668 when it is sold to Sir Richard Norton. The location is given as being on the north side of Spon End beyond the barr gates. The map above is of Coventry from ‘Historic Towns – Coventry‘ by Joan Lancaster 1974. Click the map to see a larger version. Here the bar gate is shown blocking Spon Street where it meets Barrs Lane (modern day Barras Lane). If the location of the Horseshoe is given in relation to the barr gate we can assume that this is one of the nearest landmarks to the pub, which would put it in the vicinity of the cross roads and Black Swan Terrace. Note that there are six properties shown in this area on the map.

Also note that the map refers to them as the 13th Century bar gates. The town wall was built between c1363 and c1530, whilst the address of the Horseshoe was given in relation to the bar gate in 1630, so bar gate either became used as a place name, or perhaps they still existed in some form to regulate traffic into and out of the suburb of Spon Street.

In 1756 12 soldiers were billeted here. It is possible that this beame the Swan with Two Necks in 1769, but we have references to the Horseshoe in 1770, and 1776, and to the Old Horseshoe in 1771, so we are unsure about this at present.

The Coventry Mercury of 8th February 1801 carried the following advert: ' To let that well accustomed and well established inn, formerly by the name of the Old Horseshoes and now the Swan With Two Necks, situated in Spon End '.

Known Licensees at the HORSESHOE are;
1630 Parnell
1657 Naylor Owners
to 1668 Coventry Corporation
from 1668 Sir Thomas Norton

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