title artwork
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 Pilgrims Rest

photo

The Pilgrim's Rest pub on the corner of Palmer Lane and Ironmonger Row

NAME PILGRIMS REST
ALTERNATIVE NAMES PILGRIM INN
ADDRESS 6 IRONMONGER ROW
ALTERNATIVE ADDRESS BULL RING, PALMER LANE

Pilgrims journeyed to various places throughout Britain. The hospices where they stayed overnight would originally have been religious houses. There was also a Pilgrims Rest in Lockhurst Lane. They came to pray to the many relicts contained in Coiventry Priory.

A hostel was erected in Palmer Lane for the lodging of pilgrims by the Benedicitne Priory of Coventry, bearing in mind that the first floor rooms over the west range of the Priory would have been used for the guest accommodation for the better class of pilgrims. Survivng drawings show a large timbered building with oversailing upper floors. The building was heavily decorated on both outside and in with carved images, not only of religious subjects, but also of hunting deer and other animals. Coventry's bishops had their own hunting park at Whitmore and no doubt this was a favourite pastime. It stood within the shadow of the Priory, but no reference has ever been found to it in the buildings owned by the Priory, although the Trinity Guild did maintain a ' common lodging house of thirteen beds ' to receive poor travellers on pilgrimage or other pious business.

At this time the facade of the Pilgrims Rest on Ironmonger Row overlooked the triangular area where Coventry's market was held. This area was later filled in by extensions to Butcher Row, Cross Cheaping, Ironmonger Row and Little Butcher Row. The original Pilgrims Rest was demolished in 1820 and replaced by a new brick public house together with two dwelling houses. On the corner house a tablet was fixed saying....

PALMER LANE
Upon this site stood the Western part of a large and very Ancient Edifice called THE PILGRIMS REST. It was supposed to have been the Hostel or Inn for The Maintenance and Entertainment of the Palmers And other Visitors to the Priory of Benedictine Monks which stood near to the Eastward. It became ruinous and was taken down AD MDCCCXX when this house was erected
.....and you can just make it out in the photo above.

In 1837 the building was left by Edward ( II ) Phillips to his son William ( II ) Phillips. These were members of the Phillips brewing family. At that time it was stated that the new pub had been built on the site of a malthouse called the Pilgrims Rest. This suggests that after the dissolution the old guest house had more mundane commercial uses.

In c1907 Mary Dormer Harris says that ' Hard by the Priory Gate in the Bull Ring somewhat removed from the monk's own dwellings, stood the guest house or hostelry in Ironmonger Row, on the site now partially covered by the inn ' Palmer's Rest '. Used as a smithy and permitted to become ruinous, this fine timber house with its jutting storeys, pointed windows and copious memories was suffered in 1820 to be demolished. The traditional name - Palmers Rest - keeps alive one of the primary intentions of monastic hostelries, the entertainment of pilgrims. ' Its a pity she got the name wrong ! She goes on to say
' Remains of fine window carving, says Fretton, can be seen embodied in the modern ' Palmer's Rest ' Inn; the flotsam and jetsam Time has left of the Priory Guest-house ). The carving displays hunting scenes, but has been so strangely disfigured by recent coats of paint of a sorrowful and dreary brown that it is impossible to take pleasure in it.

In 1906 the police objected to the renewal of the license for the Pilgrims Rest, but it stayed on. Then in 1907 the police claimed that the pub has been closed and compensation paid. This appears to have been a little premature as the pub remained open until 1936.

The second Pilgrims Rest was demolished in 1936 to make way for Trinity Street. Upon demolition it was found to contain parts of the original building such as timber, wattle and daub and stone tracery. This suggests that it had a number of stages of construction in different materials and it has been said that these remains may have dated back to monastic times.

Licensees
1822 - 1823 J. Chitton
1828 - 1829 William Lowe
1841 - 1851 Edward Hollick & shoemaker & 35 acres of land
1861 - 1871 Elijah Dalton
1874 J. Hastings
1879 James Wilson
1881 J. Pollard
1886 A. Thompson
1890 - 1891 G. Pitt
1893 T. J. Elkington
1894 - 1896 F. Buckingham
1903 John Hambridge
1905 Thomas Reader
1911 - 1913 Mrs Hyde
1919 - 1927 Ellen Smith
1931 - 1932 J. Royal
Owners
? William ( I ) Phillips
to c1837 Edward ( II ) Phillips
from c 1837 William ( II ) Phillips 
photo

Ironmonger Row from Cross Cheaping 1935


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Dict PN Pilgrims journeyed to various sacred places such as Canterbury, where the tomb of Thomas a Becket was much visited. The hospices where they stayed overnight would originally have been religious houses. Coventry's pilgrims came to pray at the many relicts contained in the Priory.

St Mary P51 In Benedictine houses the first floor rooms over the west range are often used for the Prior's lodging and guest accommodation

c1060 JA34 Masterman/13 Originally a guest house attached to the Benedictine priory

c1200 JA34 JBS Guest house became an inn by the sign of the Pilgrim

1820 CIC P25 Priory guest house demolished and pub built

1820 CWL P32 Built in 1820 on the site of the guest house of the monastery which once stood on the spot near Priory Row

1820 Poole P32 The ' guest house ' or what is sometimes called ' The Pilgrim's Rest ' stood at a short distance. It was a large and curiously-timbered house, which existed there up to a comparatively recent priod. The old timbered house was taken down in the year 1820, and a public house, now called ' The Pilgrim ', standing at the corner of Palmer Lane, together with two dwelling houses on the east side of the same, were built on the site.

At the same time a tablet, of which the following is a copy, was fixed to the corner house.

PALMER LANE

Upon this site stood the Western part of a

large and very Ancient Edifice called

THE PILGRIMS REST

It was supposed to have been the Hostel or Inn for

The Maintenance and Entertainment of the Palmers

And other Visitors to the Priory of Benedictine

Monks which stood near to the Eastward

It became ruinous and was taken down

AD MDCCCXX

When this house was erected

1837 CR 101/8/731 Left to William ( II ) Phillips by his father Edward ( II ) Phillips. Built on the site of a malthouse called ' The Pilgrims Rest ' Inherited from William ( I ) and supposedly medaeval.

1851 Source 49 Board of Health Map
Pilgrim

1852 Poole P413 A lot of miscellaneous things were picked out of the bed of the River Sherbourne, in the course of cleansing it, near the site of the Pilgrims Rest.

1860 ACOV P87A This inn, built in 1820, occupoied the site of an early monastic guest house which was frequented by medaeval pilgrims who came to pray to the saintly relicts held within the nearby priory. The building was demolished in 1936 to make way for the construction of Trinity Street. During the demolition part of the rear of the inn was found to belong to the original monastic house.

1860's COCIP P22 Engraving.

An 1860's impression of how the Pilgrims Rest in Palmer Lane looked in the 18th century. The Pilgrims Rest was in fact the guest house of the priory and provided accommodation for visiting pilgrims to the Cathedral who prayed to the many relicts stored there. The building was almost entirely demolished in 1820 and replaced by a brick structure. When the second Pilgrims Reast was being demolished in 1936, it was found to still contain parts of the original building consisting of timber, wattle and daub and strone tracery. This represented different stages of the earlier buildings suggesting that at its height the Pilgrims Reast was built of stone. During its earlier stage the narrowest section of the building in Ironmonger Row overlooked a triangular area where the town's market was held. This area was later filled by the west side of Butcher Row; the east side of Cross Cheaping; the south side of Ironmonger Row and Little Butcher Row.

1868 CIC P25 Photo

1876 JA34 Kelly 1876 Name extended to Pilgrims Rest

28.8.1878 LJ Vol 1 P48 PILGRIM, Ironmonger Row Alehouse
Owner : Mary Willford, Smithford Street
later Marston & Son Ltd, Burton on Trent
Licensee : James Wilson
19.8.1880 TOL to James Pollard
16.3.1882 TOL to Henry Willford & Thomas Henry Greasley
17.1.1884 Alfred Bailey
13.3.1884 TOL to Henry Willford & Thomas Henry Greasley
28.5.1885 TOL to Alfred Thompson
2.12.1886 TOL to George Pitt
28.7.1892 TOL to Thomas James Elkington
25.10.1894 TOL to Frederick Buckingham
26.10.1896 TOL to Alfred Harry Liquorish
20.4.1885 fined 10/- & costs opening during prohibited hours
16.10.1890 fined 10/- & costs for opening during prohibited hours

1906 Police License opposed, but stayed open

1907 Police Closed and compensated ( missing from 1909 R&G Directory, but must have had a reprieve ! )

c1907 Source 34 P 3& 4 PLATES II & III
Concerning the situation of one portion of the monastic buildings it is possible to speak with more precision. Hard by the Priory Gate in the Bull Ring somewhat removed from the monk's own dwellings, stood the guest house or hostelry in Ironmonger Row, on the site now partially covered by the inn ' Palmer's Rest '. Used as a smithy and permitted to become ruinous, this fine timber house with its jutting storeys, pointed windows and copious memories was suffered in 1820 to be demolished.

The traditional name - Palmers Rest - keeps alive one of the primary intentions of monastic hostelries, the entertainment of pilgrims.

P66 Remains of fine window carving, says Fretton, can be seen embodied in the modern ' Palmers Rest ' Inn; the flotsam and jetsam time has left of the Priory Guest - house ( Plates II, III). The carving displays hunting scenes, but has been so strongly disfigured by recent coats of paint of a sorrowful and dreary brown that it is impossible to take pleasure in it.

1908 JA34 Closed. Became a lodging house by c1927. Demolished 1935.

c1935 CWL P32 Demolished in the mid thirties to enable Trinity Street to be built.

1938 COCH P118 Photo

A photograph taken from the tower of St Michaels in 1938 looking down on Trinity Street.

......at the top of this building, which stands in Ironmonger Row can be seen the entrance to Palmer Lane. On this corner originally stood the Pilgrims Rest, a guest house for pilgrims vicitinge the nearby priory.

15.3.1974 Coventry Review Photo

COVHG P18 A hostel was set up by the Benedictines in Palmer Lane, and the priory' guest-house, a large timbered building, became known as the Pilgrim's Rest. here the pilgrim ( or palmer ) could be well watered and fed, as these houses were some of the finest inns of the period. The Pilgrims Rest was demolished in 1820, and replaced with a brick building, itself demolished in 1936 when Trinity Street was being constructed.

HOC P41/43 In Palmer Lane the Priory had a guesthouse for visitng pilgrims, among the best ' inns ' in the land. It stood on the corner of Ironmonger Row and Palmer Lane ( Marchels Lane before 1410 ), and throughout its various guises was known as the Pilgrims Reast. The original inn may have been stone or stone and timber. The surviving drawings show a large timbered building, with jutting upper floors. The building was originally heavily decorated on the outside and inside with carved oak images of religious subjects, such as saints, and of the hunting world, such as deer and other animals.

Drawing

HOC P123 .....despicts a huntsman and his dog, and various animals including deer and hawk, which reflects the bishop's favourite pastime, Coventry's bishops having their own hunting park at Whitmore. The Pilgrims Rest, the Priory guest house, was also decorated with hunting scenes and religious themes.

HOC P124 Another survivor up until the early 19th centuryt was a decorated timbered building in Palmer Lane ( originally Marshalls Lane ), known as the Pilgrims Rest and traditionally identified as the Priory guest house. It stood within the shadow of the Priory but no reference to it has ever been identified amongst the buildings owned by the Priory, although the Trinity Guild maintained a ' common lodging house of thirteen beds ' to receive poor travellers on pilgimage or other pious business.

LICENSEES

1822/23 Pigot J. Chitton

1828/29 Pigot Wm Lowe

1841 Pigot Edward Hollick

1841 Census Edward Hollick 25 yo shoemaker & publican NOT b Wks m Emma, 25

1845 Kelly E. Hollick [ & 2 kids & Thomas, 30

1850 COS Edward Hollick [ & 2d, 2s

1851 Census Edward Hollick 35 yo victualler & 36 acres land b Allesley m Eliza, 23

1861 Census Elijah Dalton 47 yo b Foleshill widower & 4d, 3s PILGRIM INN

1868 Buchanan E. Dalton

23.11.1868 Buchanan Edward Dalton

CIC P25 Dalton

1871 Census Elijah Dalton 57 yo innkeeper b Foleshill m Hannah, 51 & 2d, 1s

1874 C&B J. Hastings [ BULL RING
1878 LJ Vol 1 P48 James Wilson
1879 Stevens James Wilson
1880 LJ Vol 1 P48 James Wilson
1880 LJ Vol 1 P48 James Pollard
1881 C&B J. Pollard
1882 LJ Vol 1 P48 James Pollard
1882 LJ Vol 1 P48 Henry Willford & Thomas Henry Greasley
1884 LJ Vol 1 P48 Henry Willford & Thomas Henry Greasley
1884 LJ Vol 1 P48 Alfred Bailey
1884 LJ Vol 1 P48 Henry Willford & Thomas Henry Greasley
1885 LJ Vol 1 P48 Henry Willford & Thomas Henry Greasley
1885 LJ Vol 1 P48 Alfred Thompson
1886 C&B A. Thompson
1886 LJ Vol 1 P48 Alfred Thompson
1886 LJ Vol 1 P48 George Pitt
1890/91 R&G G. Pitt
1892 LJ Vol 1 P48 George Pitt
1892 LJ Vol 1 P48 Thomas James Elkington
1893 Reporter T. J. Elkington
1894 LJ Vol 1 P48 Thomas James Elkington
1894 LJ Vol 1 P48 Frederick Buckingham
1894 R&G F. Buckingham

1896 R&G F. Buckingham
1896 LJ Vol 1 P48 Alfred Harry Liquorish
1898 LJ Vol 1 P48 Alfred Harry Liquorish
1903 R&G John Hambridge

1905 R&G Thomas Reader

1911/12 Spennell Mrs Hyde

1912/13 Spennell Mrs Hyde

1919 Spennell Ellen Smith

1921/22 Spennell Ellen Smith

1924 Spennell Ellen Smith

1926/27 Spennell Ellen Smith

1931/32 Spennell J. Royal

OWNERS

? CR101/8/731 William ( I ) Phillips

to c1837 CR101/8/731 Edward ( II ) Phillips

from c1837 CR101/8/731 William ( II ) Phillips
1878 LJ Vol 1 P48 Mary Willford, Smithford Street
later LJ Vol 1 P48 Marston & Son Ltd, Burton on Trent
1898 LJ Vol 1 P48 Marston & Son Ltd, Burton on Trent

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