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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 Seven Stars

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Folly Lane Old Boys' Social Club is all that remains of the Seven Stars Inn

NAME SEVEN STARS INN
ALTERNATIVE NAMES SEVEN STARS HOUSE, WHITLEY LODGE
ADDRESS WHITLEY
ALTERNATIVE ADDRESSES ST. MICHAEL'S PARISH

The Seven Stars is a common pub name referring to the group of seven stars in the Ursa Major constellation which are usually called 'The Plough'. The earliest record I have found to this pub is in 1676 when it was leased by R. Hopkins to J. Washington. In 1760 it is mentioned in an advertisement in Jobson's Coventry Mercury.

During the eighteenth century the Seven Stars was a stopping place on the turnpike road to London near Willenhall Bridge. At that time the main London Road followed the route of the present Abbey Road. In 1763 it was briefly involved in the affair of the 'Coventry Gang'. During the 18th century large gangs of lawless criminals roamed the country. One such gang, although based in a quiet backwater near London, arrived in Coventry on Great Fair Day, June 3, 1763, intent on picking pockets and robbery. They robbed the Caste Inn on Broadgate of £200 and some silver items. One robber was apprehended close to the Castle whilst another three escaped towards Leicester and were caught by their pursuers. Yet most of the gang slipped out of Coventry undetected and met at the Seven Stars Inn on the London Road before departing for their headquarters near London.

However, four gang members lay in prison in Coventry and it did not take long for Alderman Hewitt, three times mayor and renown thief-taker, to track down the hide-out and arrest more of the gang. Interestingly the gang members were charged not only with the robbery of the Castle, but also of premises in London, Lichfield, Worcester, Manchester, Derbyshire and Cheshire. Although their base was near London, they were always referred to as the 'Coventry Gang', as they were apprehended, tried and hanged there.

The Seven Stars appears on the O.S. map of 1834. The inn is a block with two projecting arms whilst the outbuildings are an L-shaped structure. The decline of coach travel with the expansion of the railways had sealed the fate of the Seven Stars as an inn by the middle of the 19th century. By the 1860's the licensee, Richard Kimberley, was also listed as a farmer. In 1905 the Seven Stars was demolished, although an Edwardian replacement, called Seven Stars House, was built on the same site and continued to hold a license until 1927.

It is now No. 401 London Road. The only remains of the Seven Stars Inn-cum-farm today are its outbuildings which are now the Folly Lane Old Boys' Social Club. In recent decades an industrial estate has been built just off Humber Road (Folly Lane) and named the 'Seven Stars Industrial Estate' even though it is some distance from the site of the Seven Stars Inn. In 1841 the premises were recorded as Whitley Lodge!

Licensees
1835 - 1850 Mrs. Sarah Hanson
1863 - 1868 Richard kimberley & farmer
1919 - 1927 James J. C. Graham

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