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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 Tower Tavern

photo

Ye Old Tower Tavern adjacent to Cook Street Gate in 1910

NAME OLD TOWER TAVERN
ALTERNATIVE NAMES YE OLD TOWER TAVERN, OLD TOWER INN,
ADDRESS 21 COOK STREET

This pub got its name from the fact that it stood next door to Cook Street Gate in the city wall. In 1835 it was the BEERHOUSE, Tower Street.

The building is said to have been erected in the 16th century. It appears in Phipps Estates ledger so it must have been leased by them at one time. There is also a photograph of the pub advertising Cheshire's Windmill Ales and Stouts.

The pub closed in 1915. It was later presented by Mitchells and Butler to the city council as a building of historic interest. As may be imagined, the council showed their usual interest in the built environment by demolishing the property in 1963. You can see why many of us maintain that the city council did far more damage to Coventry than the Luftwaffe ever did.

Known Licensees are;
1850 - 1861 Thomas Pickard
1868 Robert Arnold, maltster & publican
1879 - 1881 Richard benson
1886 Alice Clarke
1890 - 1891 E. Clarke
1893 - 1896 Jame Wigston
1903 - 1905 Edward Lamb
1909 J. A. Kendrick
1911 - 1913 James H. Pratt
photo
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Name Because it stood next door to Cook Street gate in the city wall

1851 Source 49 Board of Health Map

c1860's ACov P133 Photo
The Elizabethan building through the archway was the Old Tower Inn, which was presented to the city by the brewery as a building of historic interest. Despite this it was demolished in July 1963.

28.8.1878 LJ Vol1 P8 Owner : Charles Irving Graham, Cook Street
later Phipps & Co
Licensee : Richard Benson
23.4.1885 TOL to Jane Wigston
28.5.1885 TOL to Alice Clarke
1.11.1886 TOL to Elizabeth Clarke
3.3.1892 TOL to Jane Wigston
28.9.1898 TOL to Henry Pendleton
18.5.1899 TOL to Alice Knibbs
22.6.1899 TOL to Lucy Emma Stafford
21.2.1880 fined 5/-& costs or 14 days for selling without license

CIC P30 Photo

pre 1905 Cov AIW Photo 46

HIOH P60 That's probably true of the Old Tower Inn, which stood for more than 300 years. The pub closed in 1915 and Mitchells & Butlers presented it to the city council as a building of historic interest. That didn't prevent its demolition in 1964 to be replaced by a building startling only in its modernity.

HIOH P59 Photo
' Cheshire's Windmill Ales and Stouts.'

c1910 CWL Photo
Closed 1915, then becoming a pair of cottages.

1910 ACov P134A Photo

1914 COC P74 Photo
Cook Street gate from Cook Street in 1914. On the left stands the Old Tower Inn ( earlier the Old Tower Tavern ) which was built in the 16th century and presented to the city by the brewery as a building of historic interest. Despite this it was demolished in 1963.

Source 17 Phipps Estate ledger P229

23.7.1915 JA Closed

c1925 COC P84 Photo

A family snap taken outside Cook Street gate around 1925. Through the arch can be seen the Old Tower Inn and cottages beyond.

1963 Demolished. see above

LICENSEES

1850 CS Thomas Pickard

1851 Census Thomas Pickard 46 yo b Exhall m A., 43 & 1 brother

1861 Census Thomas Pickard 60 yo b Coventry m Isabella, 61 & 1d

1868 Buchanan R. Arnold

23.11.1868 Lantern Robert Arnold

1871 Census William Swain 38 yo maltster & publican b Coventry m Sarah, 37

1874 C&B W. Swain [ & 2d, 3s
1878 LJ Vol1 P8 Richard Benson
1879 Stevens Richard Benson

1881 C&B R. Benson
1885 LJ Vol1 P8 Richard Benson
1885 LJ Vol1 P8 Jane Wigston
1885 LJ Vol1 P8 Alice Clarke
1886 C&B Alice Clarke
1886 LJ Vol1 P8 Alice Clarke

1886 LJ Vol1 P8 Elizabeth Clarke

1890/91 R&G E. Clarke
1892 LJ Vol1 P8 Elizabeth Clarke
1892 LJ Vol1 P8 Jane Wigston

1893 Reporter Jane Wigston

1894 R&G J. Wigston

1896 R&G J. Wigston
1898 LJ Vol1 P8 Jane Wigston
1898 LJ Vol1 P8 Henry Pendleton
1899 LJ Vol1 P8 Henry Pendleton

1899 LJ Vol1 P8 Alice Knibbs
1899 LJ Vol1 P8 Lucy Emma Stafford

1903 R&G Edward Lamb

1905 R&G Edward Lamb

1909 R&G J. A. Kendrick

1911/12 Spennell James H. Pratt

1912/13 Spennell James H. Pratt

OWNERS

1878 LJ Vol1 P8 Charles Irving Graham, Cook Street
later LJ Vol1 P8 Phipps & Co

Name Because it stood next door to Cook Street gate in the city wall

1851 Source 49 Board of Health Map

c1860's ACov P133 Photo
The Elizabethan building through the archway was the Old Tower Inn, which was presented to the city by the brewery as a building of historic interest. Despite this it was demolished in July 1963.

28.8.1878 LJ Vol1 P8 Owner : Charles Irving Graham, Cook Street
later Phipps & Co
Licensee : Richard Benson
23.4.1885 TOL to Jane Wigston
28.5.1885 TOL to Alice Clarke
1.11.1886 TOL to Elizabeth Clarke
3.3.1892 TOL to Jane Wigston
28.9.1898 TOL to Henry Pendleton
18.5.1899 TOL to Alice Knibbs
22.6.1899 TOL to Lucy Emma Stafford
21.2.1880 fined 5/-& costs or 14 days for selling without license

CIC P30 Photo

pre 1905 Cov AIW Photo 46

HIOH P60 That's probably true of the Old Tower Inn, which stood for more than 300 years. The pub closed in 1915 and Mitchells & Butlers presented it to the city council as a building of historic interest. That didn't prevent its demolition in 1964 to be replaced by a building startling only in its modernity.

HIOH P59 Photo
' Cheshire's Windmill Ales and Stouts.'

c1910 CWL Photo
Closed 1915, then becoming a pair of cottages.

1910 ACov P134A Photo

1914 COC P74 Photo
Cook Street gate from Cook Street in 1914. On the left stands the Old Tower Inn ( earlier the Old Tower Tavern ) which was built in the 16th century and presented to the city by the brewery as a building of historic interest. Despite this it was demolished in 1963.

Source 17 Phipps Estate ledger P229

23.7.1915 JA Closed

c1925 COC P84 Photo

A family snap taken outside Cook Street gate around 1925. Through the arch can be seen the Old Tower Inn and cottages beyond.

1963 Demolished. see above

LICENSEES

1850 CS Thomas Pickard

1851 Census Thomas Pickard 46 yo b Exhall m A., 43 & 1 brother

1861 Census Thomas Pickard 60 yo b Coventry m Isabella, 61 & 1d

1868 Buchanan R. Arnold

23.11.1868 Lantern Robert Arnold

1871 Census William Swain 38 yo maltster & publican b Coventry m Sarah, 37

1874 C&B W. Swain [ & 2d, 3s
1878 LJ Vol1 P8 Richard Benson
1879 Stevens Richard Benson

1881 C&B R. Benson
1885 LJ Vol1 P8 Richard Benson
1885 LJ Vol1 P8 Jane Wigston
1885 LJ Vol1 P8 Alice Clarke
1886 C&B Alice Clarke
1886 LJ Vol1 P8 Alice Clarke

1886 LJ Vol1 P8 Elizabeth Clarke

1890/91 R&G E. Clarke
1892 LJ Vol1 P8 Elizabeth Clarke
1892 LJ Vol1 P8 Jane Wigston

1893 Reporter Jane Wigston

1894 R&G J. Wigston

1896 R&G J. Wigston
1898 LJ Vol1 P8 Jane Wigston
1898 LJ Vol1 P8 Henry Pendleton
1899 LJ Vol1 P8 Henry Pendleton

1899 LJ Vol1 P8 Alice Knibbs
1899 LJ Vol1 P8 Lucy Emma Stafford

1903 R&G Edward Lamb

1905 R&G Edward Lamb

1909 R&G J. A. Kendrick

1911/12 Spennell James H. Pratt

1912/13 Spennell James H. Pratt

OWNERS

1878 LJ Vol1 P8 Charles Irving Graham, Cook Street
later LJ Vol1 P8 Phipps & Co

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