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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 Mermaid Tavern

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Broadgate 1937

NAME MERMAID TAVERN
ADDRESS BROADGATE
ALTERNATIVE ADDRESSES HIGH STREET
Historically the Mermaid Tavern was a famous pub in Cheapside in London. It was frequented by Raleigh, Beaumont, Fletcher, Donne, Ben Johnson and Shakespeare. But why such a nautical name in Coventry?

In 1690 the pub appears in a record of the bounds of St Michaels Parish, spelt 'The Maremaid Taverne'. In 1696 there was a dispute between the mayor, Mr Palmer, and a Mr. Brownel over the ownership of part of the Mermaid. Then in 1729 it is said to have stained glass windows and lead pipes and gutters. I suppose these were status symbols at the time. In 1772 the 'Queens Ass', in fact a zebra, was exhibited at the Mermaid Tavern.

In 1755, following Coventry Races, ordinaries were held at the Mermaid: that is a set meal at the same price for all-comers. In 1756 ten soldiers were billeted.

By 1870 the premises were a paper warehouse and newspaper office.

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