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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 Red Lion

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The Red Lion, Ansty Road

NAME RED LION INN
ALTERNATIVE NAMES RED LION HOTEL
ADDRESS ANSTY ROAD, WALSGRAVE ON SOWE CV2 2EY
ALTERNATIVE ADDRESSES HINCKLEY ROAD, SOWE

The most common of all pub names. Its early use was due to John of Gaunt, the most powerful man in England for much of the fourteenth century. A red lion is also a heraldic reference to Scotland. When James I (also James VI of Scotland) came to the throne, he ordered that a red lion should be displayed in public places.

In 1794 and again in 1842 this pub was used for auctions.

In 1864 this pub was owned by Joseph Barnett, who left it and his farm to his wife, Hannah Barnett. In 1896 it was leased by Phillips and Marriott for six years for £19 plus £5 for the orchard and £33/6/4d for the land, per annum, from J. A. Ison of Nab Scar in Leamington. After 1901 it was leased from W. Wakefield of Hurley near Atherstone (later Walsgrave Hill, Coventry). In 1902 the lease was renewed for seven years. in 1909 the lease lapsed and the pub was taken over by Fred Smith Ltd. of Aston

In the early years of the twentieth century, the local football team used to change in the stables attached to the pub. Sowe Wakes was held in the pub's orchard on the first Sunday after the 19th September. It is where the first gas lamp was installed in Walsgrave. Joseph Flavell left the off-license in the village in 1914 to take over the Red Lion. He paid £20 for the business. Later pigs were kept in the stables and let run in the orchard.

There was a bagatelle room. In the 1880's there was a gate from the churchyard to the pub. The parson, Revd. Fisher, would rush to the Red Lion through this gate as soon as the service was over and then go home for dinner.

The original pub was aligned at right angles to the present one; in other words, it faced towards Clifford Bridge Road, with its side to Hinckley Road. The new pub was built in 1929. In 1982 it was 'a popular pub with the younger drinkers and consequently noisy'.

Known Licensees are;
1801 - 1818 William Hewitt
1842 - 1864 Joseph Barnett, maltster and farmer
1866 - 1874 Mrs. Hannah Barnett
1879 - 1880 William Orme Orton
1888 - 1892 Mrs. Hannah Orton
1898 - 1900 Thomas Smith
1902 - 1908 John Robert Rimmer
1914 - 1924 Joseph Henry Flavell
1926 - 1940 Arthur R. Hubbard 
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