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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 Malt Shovel

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NAME MALT SHOVEL
ADDRESS 93 SPON END
A malt shovel is a utensil used to turn grain in a maltings. It is used as a common representation of brewing.

This pub dates back to at least c1800. According to John Ashby's book "The Character of Coventry" the earliest mention of the pub in official records is from 1808. The old oak beams used in its construction are evidence of its antiquity, at times the building has been claimed to be at least 300 years old and one of the oldest inns in Coventry. As well as brewing its own beer, the Malt Shovel had stables for 50 horses at the back of the pub.

Soldiers were often billeted there from the cavalry barracks in the centre of town. The landlord was paid a fixed sum for each soldier billeted which was very miserly and deeply resented by all the pubs in the city.

In 1852 Spon End was flooded from the Malt Shovel down nearly to St Thomas Church in the Butts.

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The River Sherbourne floods at Spon End bridge

In 1861 the Malt Shovel was advertised for sale. It was decribed as ' All that the old-established and well-accustomed Freehold Inn, known by the sign of the Malt Shovel, in the occupation of Mr Thomas Sargeant. Also the dwelling house adjoining, being No 94....and a substantially-built Malthouse....adjoining the house. The Malt Shovel Inn is very extensive, comprising capital Tap Room, Front and Back Parlour, Bar, Cooking Kitchen, Scullery, Seven Chambers and Club Room, Pantry, Ale and Wine Cellars, Washhouse and Three Servants Rooms, with Coal House, Stabling for 320 Horses, and a large garden and Drying Ground. This sounds a much larger premesis than the Malt Shovel we knew in later years.

Henry Causer was the owner and licensee from 1894 - 1922. The Causer family owned Spon End businesses Causer’s Bakery, Causer And Son Undertakers which was next door, a coal firm, a haulage business and a horse-drawn taxi service. They also owned or ran city pubs – The Globe, Albion Street and the O’Rare Ben Johnson, New Street.

This was a home brew pub until c1920

Until the 1970's the toilets were at the bottom end of the yard. Then the indoor toilet block was built, and the private accommodation downstairs was opened out to become part of the pub. There was a small upstairs room used for folk clubs and functions. In 1985 the owners, Ansells, rebranded it as a Heritage Inn. In that year the local branch of CAMRA said that it was 'an old pub close to the city centre with two seperate drinking areas. Pleasant decorations and superb beer, reckoned by the local branch to be the best in the inner city area'.

Yet by 2011 it was closed and undergoing refurbishment to become an alternative therapy centre.

Known Licensees are;
1822 - 1829 Sarah Garner ( Garnet )
1845 - 1871 Thomas Sergeant
1874 - 1881 T. North
1890 - 1891 Mrs Anne North
1893 Frederick North
1894 - 1922 Henry Causer.
1924 F. Hart
1926 - 1934 E. A. Beecham
1935 - 1936 Mrs D. V. Nicholls
1937 - 1940 T. Warden
1961 Emerald Violet Kington (see above)
1974 - 1985 John & Kath Lee
c1998 - 2011 Nigel Ashby
Owners
1961 - 1985 Ansells
Brewers
1870 - 1877 Thomas North
1877 - 1887 Mrs Jane North
1887 - 1892 Frederick North
1892 - 1920 Henry Causer
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The Malt Shovel, 93, Spon End, Coventry.

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Dict PN A malt shovel is a utensil used to turn grain in a maltings. It is used as a common representation of brewing.

1781 1000 Years Advert ' enquiries should be made to Mr Meigh at the Malt Shovel '.

c1800 COC Mentioned in Napoleonic Poem

1851 Source 49 Board of Health Map

11.11.1852 Poole P413 Various parts of the city were deeply flooded.......from the Malt Shovel public house at Spon End, down nearly to St Thomas Church, in the Butts, was one long deep flood.

28.6.1861 JA131 CH&O Advertised for sale

All that the old-established and well-accustomed Freehold Inn, known by the sign of the Malt Shovel, in the occupationof Mr Thomas Sargeant. Also the dwelling house adjoining, being No 94....and a substantially-built Malthouse....adjoining the house.

The Malt Shovel Inn is very extensive, comprising capital Tap Room, Front and BackParlour, Bar, Cooking Kitchen, Scullery, Seven Chambers and Club Room, Pantry, Ale and Wine Cellars, Washhouse and Three Servants Rooms,with Coal House, Stabling for 320 Horses, and a large garden and Drying Ground.

28.8.1878 LJ Vol 1 P33 MALT SHOVEL, Spon End Alehouse
Owner : Ann North
later Frederick North
Licensee : Ann North
5.3.1891 TOL to Ann Elizabeth North
30.7.1891 TOL to Frederick North
1.3.1894 TOL to Henry Causer

1887 COC P55 Cov Times Inn signs

1894 CBH P12 ALDRIDGE & CO ( Bicycles )

Lockhurst Lane, Foleshill

By 1894 Aldridge found a financial backer in the pub owner Frederick North.

1894 CBH P12 ALDRIDGE & NORTH ( Bicycles )

Lockhurst Lane, Foleshill

Frederick E.North ( b 1845 ) had once owned a string of public houses in and around Coventry, yet by 1894 he decided to join forces with the cycle manufacturer John Aldridge at Foleshill. In 1897 the partnership was dissolved by mutual consent.....but North decided to continue in the trade, teaming up with Walter Garbutt. Seemingly retaining the original premises near New Inn Bridge and Foleshill Train Station

1897 CBH P117 NORTH & GARBUTT ( Bicycles )

Lockhurst Lane, Foleshill

With Jospeh Ashley appointed as foreman, the new cycle company of North & Garbutt made a start in early 1897. After a few months, however, North had taken sole control of the business. By July tragedy had struck when North was discovered in his house with a gunshot wound. Whether an accident or attempted suicide ...... Ashley described him as a man with an excitable temperament ....... North died a few days later as a result of the gunshot wound he had received.

to 1920 Friedrich Home brewery

11.5.1961 Citypubs 77 The Malt Shovel in Spon End is certainly one of the oldest inns niw standing in Coventry. This is reflected when one sees the inside structure of the place. It has old oak beams and other evidences that depict its antiquity. When I was there I was told by several of the old customers that it must be over 300 years old. The pub is now owned by Ansells of Birmingham. The old customers refer tyo it as the

' Yampie house ' but.much as I tried, I could not find out the reason for this strange name.

The inn possesses a smoke room, kitchen, and what is known as ' the passage '. These small rooms denote that the buiulding is very old, as they have been little touched over the years.

1977 WRAG1

1979 WRAG2 Nice atmosphere. Upstairs may be open at weekend

1982 WRAG3 Very friendly local

12.12.1985 News 120 Re-opens as a Heritage Inn

1985 CCRAG An old pub close to the city centre with two seperate drinking areas. Pleasant decorations and superb beer, reckoned by the local branch to be the best in the inner city area.

c2005 WB P18 Photo

2.2011 News 2-62 Closed - currently undergoing refurbishment to become an alternative therapy centre.

Spon P140 No 93 is the Malt Shovel public house. The earliest record I have found is 1808 but I'm sure it is older than that. There are speculations that it was at one time called the Horseshoes and even the Swan With Two Necks. As far as the latter is concerned that was in Jordan Well so until more convincing evidence comes to light I will stay with the earliest date being the eighteenth century. As with many Coventry pubs serious crime has featured in their history and the Malt Shovel is no exception. In 1821 a robbery and murder occured at the pub....,there follows the story of ' Duckfat Bradshaw '. This in fact took place at the Punch Bowl see SEF, John Ashby COC P46 and Poole P410.

LICENSEES


1781 1000 Years Mr Meigh

1822 Pigot Sarah Garnet

1828/29 Pigot Sarah Garner

1845 Kelly T. Sargeant

1850 CS Thomas Sargeant

1851 Census Thomas Sargeant 50 yo b Beere Regis m Susannah, 44 & 1d

1861 Census Thomas Sargeant 60 yo b Beere Regis m Susannah, 55 & 1d,

1861 JA131 CH&O Thomas Sargeant [ 1 servant

1868 Buchanan Thomas Sargeant

1871 Census Thomas Sargeant 70 yo b Beere Regis m Susannah, 65 & 1 servant

1874 C&B T. North
1878 LJ Vol 1 P33 Ann North
1879 Stevens Mrs Anne North

1881 C&B T. North
1891 LJ Vol 1 P33 Ann North
1891 LJ Vol 1 P33 Ann Elizabeth North
1890/91 R&G Anne North
1891 LJ Vol 1 P33 Frederick North
1893 Reporter Frederick North
1894 LJ Vol 1 P33 Frederick North
1894 LJ Vol 1 P33 Henry Causer
1894 R&G H. Causer

1894 R&G H. Causer

1896 R&G H. Causer

1903 R&G H. Causer

1905 R&G H. Causer

1909 R&G H. Causer

1911/12 Spennell Henry Causer

1912/13 Spennell Henry Causer

1919 Spennell Henry Causer

1921/22 Spennell Henry Causer

1924 P. James F. Hart

1926/27 P. James E. A. Beecham

1929 P. James E. A. Beecham

1931/32 P. James E. A. Beecham

1933/34 P. James E. A. Beecham

1935/36 P. James Mrs D. V. Nicholls

1937/38 P. James T. Warden

1939/40 P. James T. Warden

1953 LTSD

1961 Citypubs 77 Emerald Violet Kington

1974 News 121 John & Kath Lee

1985 Ansells J. Lee

BREWERS

1870 WB P20 Thomas North

1877 Friedrich Thomas North

1877 Friedrich Mrs Jane North

1887 Friedrich Frederick North

1892 Friedrich Frederick North

1892 Friedrich Henry Causer

1914 WB P17 Henry Causer

1920 Friedrich Henry Causer

OWNERS


1878 LJ Vol 1 P33 Ann North
later LJ Vol 1 P33 Frederick North
1898 LJ Vol 1 P33 Frederick North
1961 Citypubs 77 Ansells

1985 Ansells Ansells

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