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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 Ram

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NAME RAM
ADDRESS SMITHFORD STREET
ALTERNATIVE ADDRESS FLEET STREET
THIS PREMISES WAS KNOWN BY DIFFERENT NAMES DURING ITS HISTORY FROM TO KNOWN AS
1574 1851 RAM INN, 38 Fleet Street, RAMME, RAM HOUSE INN
1841 1841 BEERHOUSE, Smithford Street ( Absolom Dalton )
1851 1866 ROYAL EXCHANGE, Fleet Street
1866 1866 WINE & SPIRIT VAULTS, Smithford Street
1868 1892 BRITANNIA VAULTS, 38 Fleet Street
1868 1868 BRITANNIA MUSIC HALL
1874 BRITANNIA THEATRE OF VARIETIES
1874 VICTORIA THEATRE
1879 1879 BRITANNIA WINE & SPIRITS VAULTS

The ram is the male sheep, which appears in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers and other livery companies connected with the wool trade. The sign has been in use since the fourteenth century.

There are references to this pub in 1574 and 1630 as the RAM in recrords held by the Coventry Records Office. It is leased in 1610, 1618 and 1634 by Coventry Corporation, who owned it at the time. In 1770 and 1800 the pub is still there but by 1808 and 1834 the Ram Society, a Friendly Society, was meeting in other pubs.

On the 1851 Health Map it is shown as the ROYAL EXCHANGE, which appears to have been a Music Hall as well as a pub !

In 1841 see the BEERHOUSE, Smithford Street, Dalton

In 1851 the Coventry Standard notes the change of name fron the RAM to the ROYAL EXCHANGE and later in the year the same paper says that Mr Miller opened a Music Hall at the inn and changed the name.

In 1866 the ROYAL EXCHANGE, previously the RAM, was demolished and re-opened as the WINE AND SPIRIT VAULTS. By 1874 this had become the Britannia Theatre of Varieties whilst the licensed premises became known as the BRITANNIA VAULTS

Known Licensees are;
1610 - 1618 William Gibbons
1634 Thomas Stiffe
1800 Mr Cheslin
1822 - 1823 John Bradshaw
1828 - 1829 James Eaves
1841 - 1850 Absolom Dalton
1851 Mr Miller
1861 Richard Miller
1868 - 1879 James Eaves
1881 William Bennett
1886 R. E. McIntosh
1890 - 1891 J. Dunnicliff
1892 H. H. Askee

Owners
1610 - 1634 Coventry Corporation

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