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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 Town Wall Tavern

1841 BEERHOUSE, Town Wall
1871 1874 BREWERS ARMS, 26 Bond Street
1874 present TOWN WALL TAVERN

This little pub stands on Bond Street, right in the heart of the city. However, two centuries ago, whilst housing had developed along Hill Street and Well Street, it had left the valley of the Radford Brook inbetween untouched. These two streets were connected by a narrow foorpath following the foundations of the City Wall. the footpath was bounded on the city side by gardens and on the country side by an orchard and peppermint plantation. The footpath was actually called 'The Town Wall'. It later became Bond Street and the first buildings, including the Town Wall tavern, were erected in 1825.

The first licensee that I have found is Silvester Penn in 1850. The Town Wall overloks the site of another pub on the opposite side of the road called the Buck and Crown, which closed in 1914. the Town wall appers to have been a home-brew pub until c1914.

The list of licensees shows that the pub was kept for 24 years from 1881 to 1905 by the Hewins family and by Francis Albert Murphy for 20 years from 1919 to 1939. More recent notable licensees have been Terry Jones in the mid 1970's, who went on to the Old Windmill (Ma Brown's), Ray Hoare from 1977 to 1983 and Martin McKeown in the early 1990's. martin now runs the Gatehouse, just up Hill Street.

The Town Wall has had a somewhat fraught existence since the last war. It had a compulsory purchase order seved way back in 1957 and subsequently there were five successive redevelopment schemes. In 1964, the cottages alongside the pub were demolished to make way for the car park. However, the Town Wall had always been well supported by the journalists of the Cventry Evening Telegraph and the acting profession from the Belgrad Theatre, so it has had vociferous and influential defenders. In 1975 M&B's policy of removing handpumps and replacing them with eletric pumps reached the Town Wall. The licensee at the time, Terry Jones, and the customers refused the M&B engineers access and so they retired hurt, never to attempt the exercise again.

In 1976 the city council unveiled their plans to have a hotel built where the Town Wall stands. In order to appease the regulars, the hotel was actually going to incorporate the pub! Fat chance of that happening! Again the customers organised a petition and sought publicity, reaching the national press with the Guardian on 19th September 1980. As may be imagined from the time between these two dates, the hotel project was not exactly speeding ahead. In fact, by the time the Guardian article appeared, the council had already declared that, due to the recession, the developers had pulled out and the hotel scheme was abandoned. The compulsory purchase order remained though. It was not until 1982 that it was rescinded, 25 years after originally being imposed. And so the Town Wall sails imperturbably on.

See BEERHOUSE, Town Wall, Shilton

Known Licensees are;
1850 - 1861 Silvester Penn
1868 J. Parsons
1871 - 1874 Henry Barton
1879 Alfred Evans
1881 Joseph Hewins
1886 - 1891 Mrs F. Hewins
1893 - 1905 William Hewins
1909 - 1913 Samuel Windridge
1919 - 1938 Francis Albert Murphy
1939 - 1940 W. G. Nobles
1961 Mr & Mrs John Hendry (see clipping above
1966 Mr Alan Major
1966 Mr Jose Rivero Cabrera ( Pepe )
1970 Geoff & Ann Ratcliffe
1975 Terry Jones
1977 Colin & Nola Wilkes
1977 - 1983 Ray Hoare
1990's Martin McKeown
2010 Lesley Jackson
1914 George Taylor

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Click here to see Research

Name on route of the old city wall. Part of the wall is reputed to form the cellar wall.



Source 14 P80 ' and thence the line of Bond Street, which was formerly a narrow foot road only and called ' The Town Wall ', to Hill Street Gate.

1823 P897 Bond Street. This street superseded a narrow foot way from Well Street to Hill Street, and was previously called ' The Town Wall ', from the circumstance of its being on the old foundation of that wall. There were gardens on one side, and an orchard and peppermint plantation on the other. The first houses in Bond Street were erected in 1823.

1851 Source 49 Board of Health Map

28.8.1878 LJ Vol 1 P15 TOWN WALL TAVERN, Bond Street Alehouse Owner : Mary Shelton, Bond Street, Coventry
later Atkinsons Limited, Cox Street
Licensee : Alfred Evans
6.11.1879 TOL to Joseph Hewins
5.7.1884 TOL to Fanny Hewins
4.11.1886 TOL to Joseph Hewins
19.5.1892 TOL to William Hewins jnr

1906 OS MAP

DYKC P35 Q9 Photo - Atkinsons

29.9.1961 Citypubs 60 For nearly 200 years the Town Wall Tavern has stood in Bond Street, Coventry. It overlooks a spot where, for perhaps a longer period, was another hostelry, the Buck and Crown, which was demolished many years ago.

The Town Wall Tavern, an Atkinsons house, is aptly named, as at the gable end of the building are remnants of the wall which used to surround the city of Coventry. Licensees Mr & Mrs John Hendry.

The cottage alongside are due for demolition to make a car park.

12.6.1964 News 2-37 Cottages on that side of the road all demolished

31.5.1966 News 2-45 Licensee Jose ' Pepe ' Rivero Cabrera is a native of Tenerife in the Canary Islands

1967 News 43 Placed under a compulsory purchase order

14.1.1975 News 2-40 } Opposition to the replacement of handpumps with electric pumps. 15.1.1975 News 2-41 } Terry Jones licensee. This is the only Coventry pub in the Campaign 16.1.1975 News 2-42 } for Real Ale's Good Beer Guide

8.9.1976 News 2-39 The Council's Planning Committee plan to build the new hotel on the site of the present Belgrade car park

The plan also envisages the possibility of retaining the Town Wall Tavern, which lies within the area for development

1977 News 2-4 Ray Hoare arrives

1977 WRAG1 A small city centre pub at the rear of the Belgrade Theatre. popular with actors and journalists.

1979 WRAG2 Small unpretentious. Excellent beer, also recommended for lunchtime snacks. Superb collection of toby jugs.

17.6.1980 News 2-36 Encouraging major hotels - for example behind the Belgrade Theatre

4.7.1980 News 2-35 Proposals to build a hotel in the area off Corporation Street, the pubs regulars have been mobilising against possible demolition.

19.9.1980 News 41 From the Guardian

Two previous redevelopment plans have been beaten off. The pub is worth fighting for. It dates back to the late eighteenth, early nineteenth century, stands on the site of the old town wall, and is said to be built out of stone from the wall.

5.9.1980 News 42 Recession saves the pub

The Town Wall Tavern has been saved by Britain's economic recession, a city spokesman disclosed yesterday.

The hotel which had threatened the pub in Bond Street ' seemed to have run into financial problems '

He had been told by the prospective developer, John Pearce Holdings of Solihull that they had failed to find funding for the scheme.

A compulsory purchase order has, however, been hanging over the pub for 15 years, and there were no plans to remove it, he said.

1982 News 43 For 25 years the pub.....has survived threats of being bulldozed away for new developments.

City Planning Councillors agreed yesterday to liftthe compulsory purchase order their predeccessors placed on it in 1957.

About five sperate development schemes have each threatened to mark the end of the pub, which was built in 1823.

1982 News 44 Garden wins award

1982 WRAG3 A typical community pub but very good for a city centre pub. Justifiably popular thanks to the efforts of a popular landlord. Recently saved from demolition but still under compulsory purchase order. The pub stands on the route of the old city wall and its foundation could be part of it.

1983 News 2-4 Ray Hoare leaves. Jim Holton takes over temporarily ( 3 weeks )

1984 Pubscrawl 96 The best bet in the city centre. No longer the startling profusion of climbing plants and hardy perennials that made it something of an oasis in a concrete jungle. But it's stillan attractive spot for weary shoppers and office workers seeking a lunchtime sun trap. Colourful umbrellas on the tables, and a new gate in the wall means you no longer have to drag the kids through the pub to get to the garden.

1985 CCRAG A Grade II listed building which has the atmosphere of a cosy village pub rather than a city centre one. The area around is now being rebuilt. The windows are fine momentos of the now defunct Atkinsons brewery

c2005 WB P22 Photo


1845 Kelly J. Shilton

1850 COS Silvester Penn

1851 COS Silvester Penn 34 yo b Claverley, Sal m Elizabeth, 27

1861 Census Silvester Penn 45 yo b Bridgenorth m Elizabeth, 36 & 1s, 1d, 1 visitor

23.11.1868 Lantern J. Parsons

1871 Census Henry Barton 65 yo b Kettering m Jane, 63

1874 C&B Henry Barton
1878 LJ Vol 1 P15 Alfred Evans
1879 Stevens Alfred Evans
1879 LJ Vol 1 P15 Alfred Evans
1879 LJ Vol 1 P15 Joseph Hewins
1881 C&B Joseph Hewins
1884 LJ Vol 1 P15 Joseph Hewins
1884 LJ Vol 1 P15 Fanny Hewins
1886 C&B Mrs F. Hewins
1884 LJ Vol 1 P15 Fanny Hewins
1886 LJ Vol 1 P15 Joseph Hewins
1890/91 R&G Mrs Hewins ( wife of Joseph ? )
1892 LJ Vol 1 P15 Joseph Hewins
1892 LJ Vol 1 P15 William Hewins jnr
1893 Reporter W. Hewins

1894 R&G William Hewins

1896 R&G William Hewins, junior

1903 R&G William Hewins

1905 R&G William Hewins

1909 R&G S. Windridge

1911/12 Spennell Samuel Windridge

1912/13 Spennell Samuel Windridge

1919/20 Spennell Francis Albert Murphy Town Hall

1921/22 Spennell Francis Albert Murphy " "

1924 P. James Francis Albert Murphy " "

1926/27 P. James Francis Albert Murphy " "

1929 P. James Francis Albert Murphy " "

1931/32 P. James F. A. Murphy " "

1933/34 P. James F. A. Murphy " "

1935/36 P. James F. A. Murphy " "

1937/38 P. James F. A. Murphy " "

1939/40 P. James W. G. Nobles

1961 Citypubs 60 Mrs & Mrs John Hendry

14.6.1966 News 2-44 Mr Alan Major

14.6.1966 News 2-44 Mr Jose ( Pepe ) Rivero Cabrera

8.6.1970 News 2-43 Geoff & Ann Ratcliffe

1975 News 2-40 Terry Jones

1977 News 2-38 Colin & Nola Wilkes

1977 News 2-4 Ray Hoare

5.9.1982 News 42 Ray Hoare

10.3.1983 News 2-4 Ray Hoare

2010 News 2-61 Lesley Jackson


1914 WB P20 George Taylor ( previously at White Horse, High Street and Lamp, Market Street ?)


1878 LJ Vol 1 P15 Mary Shelton, Bond Street, Coventry
later LJ Vol 1 P15 Atkinsons Limited, Cox Street, Coventry
1898 LJ Vol 1 P15 Atkinsons Limited, Cox Street, Coventry

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