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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 Plough

photo

The decorative building on the far left is No.9, the Plough Hotel on the corner of Queen Victoria Road. The gap on the right between 12 and 13 Spon Street was once known as "Ashton's Yard".

NAME PLOUGH
ALTERNATIVE NAMES OLD PLOUGH
ADDRESS 9 SPON STREET

This is one of the commonest pub names in Britain, having been in use since at least the sixteenth century. Apart from the farm implement signs often show the group of seven stars in the Ursa Major constellation called ' the plough '.

The pub is thought to date to the early years on the nineteenth century. The land that it occupied would once have included a spacious garden that ran down to the River Sherbourne. By this time garens were all being built on. As well as the pub itself there was a brewhouse, carpenters shop and cellarge that could accommodate 2500 gallons of ale. this sounds a substatial business premisis to me. Also in the grounds was another large dwelling containing a bew house, a large garden suitable for further development and five tennaments at the end of the garden. Bear in mind that a brew house was simply a place where water was boiled; it does not necessarily imply that beer was brewed there. The pub was advertised for sale in 1840.

The usual inquests were held at the Plough and in 1859 a Foleshill man committed suicide at the pub by shooting himself through the body.

In November 1940 the Plough was completely destroyed when it suffered a direct hit by enemy bombing. Six people were killed incliuding the proprietor, Lilly Potter. On the site today stands a timber-framed building originally standing in Much Park Street and reconstructed in Spon Street in 1972.

Licensees
1840 George Kent
1841 Eli Hartwell
1850 F. J. Wood
1850 Thomas Hughes
1859 Mr Feltham
1861 James W. Thompson licensed victualler & stone mason
1868 - 1871 Mrs Sarah Ann Warwick dressmaker & licensed victualler
1874 J. Malin
1879 Mrs Mary Ellen Malin
1881 - 1886 Charles Jones
1890 - 1896 J. Horobin
1903 - 1912 William H. Jackson (see also at The Old Dyers Arms 1919 to 1922)
1912 - 1919 James Thomas Stringer
1921 - 1922 A. C. Maiden
1924 - 1929 F. Garner
1931 - 1940 E. C. Potter
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Dict PN This remains one of the commonest pub names in Britain, having been in regular use since at least the sixteenth century. Apart from the farm implement itself, signs often show the groupof seven stars in the Ursa Major constellatiuon which have the shapeof a primitive plough.

1840 Spon For sale. Licensee George Kent

22.2.1850 JA141 CH&O Transfer of license from Daniel Cotton to Thomas Hughes

6.9.1850 JA16 CS K. J. Wood moved from the Plough, Spon Street, to the Mechanics Arms.

1851 Source 49 Board of Health Map

1.1859 FDSDC P87 The next witness in this sad affair was the father of Miss Feltham, landlord of the Plough Inn in Spon Street. He told the inquest : ' He had not been at my house many times since I lived at the Plough '.

1874 Spon P8 There was an inquest at the Plough concerning the suicideofa member of the Goddard family. One August evening fifty-one year old Henry Goddard went upstairs where he was later discovered by his wife - he had cut his throat with a razor and was bleeding profusely.

28.8.1878 LJ Vol 1 P30 PLOUGH, Spon Street Alehouse
Owner : Oswin Robinson, Coventry
later James Eadie, Burton on Trent
Licensee : Mary Hannah Male
19.3.1880 TOL to Thomas Cockrell & William Bramwell
1.5.1880 TOL to Charles Jones
10.3.1887 TOL to George Chapman
6.12.1888 TOL to John Horobin
1.3.1883 fined 10/- & costs for opening house at unlawful hours
27.4.1885 fined 20/- & costs for opening house at unlawful hours
24.5.1888 fined 10/- & costs for opening house at unlawful hours

1887 COC Cov Times Inn signs

1906 OS Map

14.11.1940 Spon P7 Completely destroyed by enemy bombing

? Citizen 13.10.1983 Photo - Flowers

1993 SSTS Site is now occupied by No 9 Spon Street, a reconstructed building from Much Park Street. ' Old Plough '.

Spon P 5 - 6 After the construction of Queen Victoria Road the next building in Spon Street was No 9 the Plough Inn, later Hotel. The earliest reference I have found is a sale notice that appeared in the Coventry Standard in 1840. The Plough featured in the every-day lives of many Coventrians as well as being a commercial hotel catering for guests. It was used as a meeting place by several socieities and as was common practise in those days many inquests were held on the premises.

Built probably in the early years of the nineteenth century the Plough and its adjacent land covered some 1520 square yards,were typical examples of the overall developments taking place throughout the surrounding area. By 1840 the once spacious gardens that ran down to the River Sherbourne had been built on as shown in the sale notice. The Plough was a substantial and well erected puiblic house. Beside the usualpub rooms and accommodation area there was a brewhouse, carpenter's shop and a cellerage that could accommodate 2500 gallons of ale. Also in the grounds there was another large dwelling containing a brewhouse, a large garden ( suitable for further development ) and five tenaments positioned at the end of the garden.

On 14th January, 1859, the Coventry Standard reported a desperate attempt at suicide. The previous night on the premises of the Plough a twenty-two year old Foleshill man by the name of James Knight ' shot himself through the body, intending no doubt to perforate the heart '. No hopes were entertained for his recovery from what appeared to be an act promptedby a failed love affair.

During the last war the Plough was one of only a small number of Spon Street buildings to be directly hit by enemy bombing. On 14th November, 1940, six people were killed including the proprietor, Lilly Potter - The Plough was completely destroyed. On the site today stands a timber-framed building originally erected in Much Park Street and reconstructed in Spon Street in 1972. It is interesting that one of the side doors has been designated Court 1. Originally Court 2 Plough Yard stoodapproximately on the site

P7 Photo of No 9 Spon Street. The Plough stood on this site.

LICENSEES

1840 Spon George Kent

1841 Pigot Eli Hartwell

1845 Kelly D. Cotton
1850 JA141 CH&O Daniel Cotton

1850 JA141 CH&O Thomas Hughes

1850 CS Thomas Hughes

1850 JA16 CS K. J. Wood

1859 FDSDC P87 Mr Feltham

1861 Census James W. Thompson 30 yo licensed victualler & stonemason
1868 Buchanan Mrs Warwick [ b Peterborough widower

23.11.1868 Lantern S. A. Warwick

1871 Census Sarah Ann Warwick 23 yo dressmaker & licensed victualler

1874 C&B J.Malin [ b Shuckburgh unmarried & father ( surname Malin ) &
1878 LJ Vol 1 P30 Mary Hannah Malin [ 6 lodgers
1879 Stevens Mrs Mary Ellen Malin

1880 LJ Vol 1 P30 Mary Hannah Malin
1880 LJ Vol 1 P30 Thomas Cockrell & William Bramwell
1880 LJ Vol 1 P30 Charles Jones
1881 C&B Charles Jones

1886 C&B Charles Jones
1887 LJ Vol 1 P30 Charles Jones
1887 LJ Vol 1 P30 George Chapman
1888 LJ Vol 1 P30 George Chapman
1888 LJ Vol 1 P30 John Horobin
1890/91 R&G J. Horobin

1893 Reporter J. Horobin

1894 R&G J. Horobin

1896 R&G J. Horobin
1898 LJ Vol 1 P30 John Horobin
1903 R&G W. H. Jackson

1905 R&G W. H. Jackson

1909 R&G W. H. Jackson

1911/12 Spennell William H. Jackson

1912/13 Spennell James Thomas Stringer

1919 Spennell James Thomas Stringer

1921/22 Spennell A. C. Maiden

1924 P. James F. Garner

1926/27 P. James F. Garner

1929 P. James F. Garner

1931/32 P. James E. C. Potter

1933/34 P. James E. C. Potter

1935/36 P. James E. C. Potter

1937/38 P. James E. C. Potter

1939/40 P. James E. C. Potter

OWNERS

1878 LJ Vol 1 P30 Oswin Robinson, Coventry
later LJ Vol 1 P30 James Eadie, Burton on Trent
1898 LJ Vol 1 P30 James Eadie, Burton on Trent

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