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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 Old Baths Hotel

photo

Situated at 35 Smithford Street, the ‘Old Baths Hotel’, which is known to have existed at least 75 years before this picture was taken, finally closed when Smithford Street was redeveloped. Mr. H. Hewitt is seen here proudly standing in front of his premises; the sign above advertising his noted home brewed ales, at 3d, 4d, 5d & 6d per quart. These premises were used by carriers conveying passengers to and from Allesley and Meriden. Good stabling was also offered, the entrance to the yard at the rear of the premises being seen to the left.

NAME OLD BATHS HOTEL
ADDRESS 35 SMITHFORD STREET
THIS PREMISES WAS KNOWN BY DIFFERENT NAMES DURING ITS HISTORY FROM TO KNOWN AS
1829 BATH HOTEL, 35 Smithford Street
1835 COVENTRY WINE & SPIRIT VAULTS
1841 1861 WINE AND SPIRITS MERCHANTS
1865 VAULTS, 35 Smithford Street, PUBLIC HOUSE
1861 1871 BEERHOUSE 35 Smithford Street
1867 1868 BOARD, 35 Smithford Street
1868 BEERHOUSE, Broadgate
1868 1871 SPIRIT VAULTS, 35 Smithford Street
1871 LIQUOR VAULTS, 35 Smithford Street
1881 WHOLESALE WINE AND SPIRIT MERCHANT
1883 1951 OLD BATHS HOTEL

This name is a reference to the original Coventry public baths. These were opened in 1852 at the end of Hales Street. They were replaced by new baths in Priory Street in 1894 but the old baths stood until being demolished for the fire station in 1902. There must have been baths in the area before 1852, however, as in 1829 a new license was granted to the Bath Hotel, Smithford Street. In the 1835 directory the name is also just ' Bath ', although also in 1835 we have COVENTRY WINE & SPIRIT VAULTS late the BATH HOTEL. In 1865 a new license was issued to re-open a pub at 35 Smithford Street.

Then the premises becomes more associalted with Wine and Spirit Merchants. In an 1866 directory No 35 Smithford Street is occupied by John Dell, dealer in Wines and Spirits. In 1867 and 1868 it is called the BOARD. From 1868 to 1874 it is the SPIRIT VAULTS or LIQUOR VAULTS and in 1881 it is occupiued by Charles Reynolds Mattocks, a Wholesale Wine & Spirit Merchant. In 1883 it is the OLD BATHS WINE & SPIRIT VAULTS before becoming simply the OLD BATHS HOTEL

In 1911 the licensee, Henry Hewitt, went into partnership with Frederick Kerby to manufacture motorcycles. The Roulette Cycle Company had premises at 84 Gosford Street and motorcycle manufacture ended with the Great War in 1914 when the company concentrated on bicycles until closing in 1919. In 1931 and 1932 the hotel advertised 'prime ales; choice wines and spirits'. It closed on 31st May 1951 to make way for the Precinct. The license was transferred to the Silver Sword.

Licensees
1829 John Jordan
1835 Edward Cherry

this is the period when it had any number of different names

1861 - 1867 John Dell Wine merchant
1865 George Addison
1867 Henry Bailey Maltster, Wine & Spirit Merchant
1867 - 1868 Joseph & Henry Suffolk Wine & spirit merchants

1871 Mary Suffolk
1883 Thomas Bells
1886 T. Smallwood
1890 - 1891 H. Warner
1893 - 1903 A. Warner
1905 T. Walters
1909 - 1913 Harry Hewitt
1919 William James Boxall
1924 - 1929 H. J. Temberton
1931 - 1936 G. McCutchion
1937 - 1938 H.Payne
1939 - 1940 E. E. Aves

map

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11.9.1829 JA34 CH&O New public houses -

John Jordan, Bath Hotel, Smithford Street

SEE JOHN DELL

4.12.1835 JA135 CH&O COVENTRY WINE & SPIRIT VAULTS, late the BATH HOTEL, Ram Bridge. Mr John Dell.

6.12.1835 JA CH&O WINE & SPIRIT VAULTS ( late Bath Hotel )

1841 Census Louisa & John Dell, Spirit Retailer ( no number )

1851 Census Louisa & John Dell, Wine & Spirit Merchant ( no number )

1861 Census No 35 John Dell, Wine Merchant

1.9.1865 JA141 License granted to George Addison.

1865 JA92 New license granted to George Addison to re-open a public house at 35 Smithford St

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THE GAP BETWEEN 1865 AND 1886 MAY BE EXPLAINED BY -

1866 Morris No 35 Smithford Street, John Dell, Dealer in Wines & Spirits

27.9.1867 JA92 CS Transfer of license of BOARD, Rams Bridge from John Dell to Henry Bailey.

20.12.1867 JA92 CS Transfer of license of BOARD from Henry Bailey to Joseph Sufolk

1868 Buchanan & Lantern BOARD

1868 - 1874 JA92 SPIRIT VAULTS, Henry & Joseph Suffolk

1871 Census No 35 LIQUOR VAULTS, Gary Suffolk & 2 sons, Wine & Spirit Merchants

28.8.1878 LJ Vol 1 P41 BOARD, Smithford Street Alehouse - 6 days, later 7
About this time became the OLD BATHS
Owner : Edward Mattocks, Bishop Street, later of 4 White Street
later Arthur Warner
Licensee Henry Suffolk and Joseph Suffolk
28.6.1880 TOL to Charles Reynolds Mattocks
18.1.1883 TOL to Thomas Ball
3.12.1885 TOL to Thomas Smallwood
11.11.1886 TOL to William Denbigh
12.1.1888 TOL to Jane Hitchins
5.3.1891 TOL to Arthur Warner
------------------------full license granted 23.9.1885 ( 7 days )

1881 C&B No 35 Charles Reynolds Mattocks, Wholesale Wine & Spirit Merchant

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23.11.1883 JA135 CH&O Thomas Ball......has taken to the Old Established Licensed premises known as the Old Baths Wine and Spirit Vaults, 35 Smithford Street. For many years conducted by Mr John Dell and recently by Mr Charles Reynolds Mattocks. Wholesale and Retail Wine and Spirit Merchants

1884 Kelly OLD BATHS

1894 HOC P81 Photo
Opening of Priory Street Baths 1894

1907 COOPP Photo 7 ' Old Bath Vaults '

c1908 CWL P11 Photo

c1911 CMH P96 Roulette Motorcycles

After gaining experience Frederick Kerby began to manufacture cycles of his own in partnership with publican Henry Hewitt

1931/32 P. James Prime ales, choice wines and spirits

1951 JA11 Demolished in 1951 to make way for precinct. License transferred to Silver Sword

31.5.1951 Closed

LICENSEES

1829 JA34 CH&O John Jordan

1835 Pigot Edward Cherry Bath
1835 JA135 CH&O John Dell ( Coventry Wine & Spirit Vaults, late the Bath Hotel )
1865 JA141 George Addison

1865 JA92 George Addison
1878 LJ Vol 1 P41 Henry Suffolk and Joseph Suffolk
1880 LJ Vol 1 P41 Charles Reynolds Mattocks
1883 LJ Vol 1 P41 Thomas Ball
1885 LJ Vol 1 P41 Thomas Smallwood
1886 C&B T. Smallwood

1886 LJ Vol 1 P41 William Denbigh
1888 LJ Vol 1 P41 Jane Hitchins
1891 LJ Vol 1 P41 Arthur Warner
1890/91 R&G H. Warner

1893 Reporter A. Warner

1894 R&G A. Warner

1896 R&G A. Warner

1903 R&G A. Warner

1905 R&G T. Walters

1909 R&G H. Hewitt

1911/12 Spennell Harry Hewitt

1912/13 Spennell Harry Hewitt

1919 Spennell William James Boxall Hotel

1921/22 Spennell Licensee not named "

1924 P. James H. J. Temberton "

1926/27 P. James H. J. Temberton "

1929 P. James H. J. Temberton "

1931/32 P. James G. McCutchion

1933/34 P. James G. McCutchion

1935/36 P. James G. McCutchion

1937/38 P. James H. Payne

1939/40 P. James E. E. Aves

OWNERS

1878 LJ Vol 1 P41 Edward Mattocks, Bishop Street, later of 4 White Street
later LJ Vol 1 P41 Arthur Warner
1898 LJ Vol 1 P41 Arthur Warner

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