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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 White Lion Hotel

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NAME WHITE LION HOTEL
ADDRESS 7 GOSFORD TERRACE Later 13 WALSGRAVE ROAD.
ALTERNATIVE ADDRESSES GOSFORD GREEN, FAR GOSFORD STREET
THIS PREMISES WAS KNOWN BY DIFFERENT NAMES DURING ITS HISTORY FROM TO KNOWN AS
c1713 1841 WHITE LION, 7 Gosford Terrace
1841 ? BEERHOUSE, Gosford Terrace
1926 1987 WHITE LION HOTEL, 13 Walsgrave Road
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Gosford Green and Binley Road

This is a heraldic reference to Edward IV, or the Earls of March or Duke of Norfolk.

In 1713 the CCP shows that a fine was given for 'Non repair of ye Causey lying between ye White Lyon and Stoak Lane.'

Included in an abstract relating to the title of John Johnson dated 1731 there is a reference to'...(a) a cottage used as the WHITE LION inn at the eastern end of Gosford St, near Gosford Green.'

White Lion Hotel was a prominent three-storey building facing Gosford Green, which was the site of the challenge between the Duke of Norfolk and the Duke of Hereford (later Henry IV) for which both were banished. Apparently, the stretch of Walsgrave Road North of Gosford Green was called Gosford Terrace in 1851.

From 1841 this was the BEERHOUSE, Gosford Terrace under David Harris

This was the first ever ‘home' of Singers who later became Coventry City Football Club. The club was formed in August 1883 at the LORD AYLESFORD INN in Hillfields, by a group of workmates from the Singer cycle factory.. The White Lion Hotel, in 7 Gosford Terrace was a short walk from the club’s first pitch in Dowell’s Field, where Gosford Park Primary School now stands. Licensee Henry French gave the players a backroom to use as a dressing room, and a water pump and a tin bath to wash in. To reach the pitch players had to cross Gosford Green and Binley Road and walk along a public footpath. The first match was a 9-0 defeat against Coventry Association FC. Gate receipts were obtained by “going round with a hat” with revenue varying from two shillings (10p) to five shillings (25p).

In 1887 Singers moved to a new pitch between Paynes Lane and Swan Lane, called the Stoke Road ground and relocated to the BINLEY OAK HOTEL on Paynes Lane.

In 1912 this was the meeting place of the 'Society of Yorkshiremen'. [Where are they now, Lee?] The original White Lion Hotel was demolished in 1926 for a pub bearing the same name.

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The 'new' White Lion Hotel. © Donald Gregory on the Memories of Coventry Facebook Page

In 1985 it was 'a large pub threatened with demolition to make way for a new road scheme'. People were urged to take the chance to visit it whilst they still could. It closed in 1987 and was demolished; the site is now under Sky Blue Way.
Known Licensees are;
1850 - 1851 David Harris
1868 Levi Chapman
1871 - 1881 James Whitehead & bricklayer
1886 H. French
1890 - 1896 Samuel Dunlop Adams
1903 - 1910 Arthur G. sage
1912 - 1913 Arthur Hands
1919 Joseph Morris
1921 - 1922 E. Talbot
1929 - 1932 S. Rayment
1933 - 1936 G. F. Rigby
1937 - 1940 W. H. Keen
1955 - 1957 Frank G. Standen
1960 - 1962 J. T. Parker
1983 - 1986 Pat O' Flynn

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Dict PN A heraldic reference to Edward IV, or the Earls of March or Duke of Norfolk

8.6.1713 JA34 CCP Coventry Constables repairof ye Causey lying between ye White Lyon and Stoak Lane ( Gosford Green )

9.7.1731 JA34 Cottage was used as the White Lion at eastern end of Gosford Street near Gosford Green.

1819 JA PA56/138/1 Abstract ( 1819 ) of the title of John Johnson to the Crab Tree Close, Gosford Green.

' a cottage used as the White Lion at the eastern end of Gosford Street '

1844 JA Tithe Stoak Lane & Church Lane

1851 Source 49 Board of Health Map
Gosford Terrace

18.5.1863 JA137 Transfer of license from Charles Mann to James Whitehead

10.11.1866 JA141 CS Transfer of license from R. Dalton to ? Garratt

21.12.1867 JA141 CS Transfger of license from Joseph Topper to Levi Chapman

JA24 One of the first meeting places for Singer FC - later Coventry City FC

28.8.1878 LJ Vol 1 P49 WHITE LION, Gosford Green Alehouse
Owner : James Whitehead
later Ind Coope & Co, brewers, Burton upon Trent
Licensee : James Whitehead
3.11.1881 TOL to Henry Finch
1.8.1889 TOL to Samuel Dunlop Adams
23.6.1898 TOL to Agnes Adams
22.7.1899 TOL to Arthur George Sage

1906 OS Map

1912 TEOC P74 Meeting place of the ' Society of Yorkshiremen '

1977 WRAG1

1979 WRAG2 Pleasant local

1982 WRAG3 A large popular pub, in danger of demolition to make way for a new road. Gosford Green was the site of the challenge between the Duke of Norfolk and Duke of Hereford ( later Henry IV ) for which both were banished.

1985 CCRAG A large pub threatened with demolition during 1986 to make way for a new road scheme. Take the chance to visit this excellent pub while you can

27.11.1986 News 2-12 Closure for Sky Blue Way

2.11.1987 JA16 Closed

22.11.2010 Source 26 Was demolished and the site is under Sky Blue Way

LICENSEES

1850 COS Davis Harris

1851 Census Davis Harris 77 yo b Coventry m Elizabeth, 60

1861 Census James Whitehead

1863 JA137 Charles Mann

1863 JA137 James Whitehead

1866 JA141 CS R. Dalton

1866 JA141 CS ? Garratt

1867 JA141 CS Joseph Topper

1867 JA141 CS Levi Chapman

23.11.1868 Lantern Levi Chapman

1871 Census James Whitehead 48 yo bricklayer b Coventry m M. Ann, 47 & 1s, 1d

1874 JA114 White William Whitehead 7 Gosford Green

1874 C&B J. Whitehead

1878 LJ Vol 1 P49 James Whitehead
1879 Stevens James Whitehead
1880 Source 54 James Whitehead

1881 C&B J. Whitehead

1881 Source 54 ( Census ) James Whitehead, licensed victualler, 55 yo m Mary A., 54 & 1s
1881 LJ Vol 1 P49 James Whitehead
1881 LJ Vol 1 P49 Henry Finch
1886 C&B H. French
1889 LJ Vol 1 P49 Henry Finch
1889 LJ Vol 1 P49 Samuel Dunlop Adams
1890/91 R&G S. T. Adams

1893 Reporter S. D. Adams

1894 R&G S. D. Adams

1896 R&G S. D. Adams

1896 Source 54 Samuel Dunlop Adams
1898 LJ Vol 1 P49 Samuel Dunlop Adams
1898 LJ Vol 1 P49 Agnes Adams
1899 LJ Vol 1 P49 Agnes Adams
1899 LJ Vol 1 P49 Arthur George Sage
1903 R&G Arthur Sage

1905 R&G Arthur G. Sage

1909 R&G Arthur G. Sage

1910 LVOA A. G. Sage

1912/13 Spennell Arthur Hands

1919 Spennell Joseph Morris White Lion Hotel, 13 Walsgrave Road

1921/22 Spennell E. Talbot " " " Gosford Green, Stoke

1924 P. James Licensee not named

1926/27 P. James Licensee not named

1929 P. James S. Rayment

1931/32 P. James S. Rayment

1933/34 P. James G. F. Rigby

1935/36 P. James G. F. Rigby

1937/38 P. James W. H. Keen

1939/40 P. James W. H. Keen

1955/56 Barrett Frank G. Standen

1957 Barrett Frank G. Standen

1960 Barrett J. T. Parker

1961 Barrett J. T. Parker

1962 Barrett J. T. Parker

1966 Barrett

1983 Ansells Mr P. O'Flynn

27.11.1986 News 2-12 Pat O'Flynn last licensee

OWNERS

1878 LJ Vol 1 P49 James Whitehead
later LJ Vol 1 P49 Ind Coope & Co, brewers, Burton upon Trent
1898 LJ Vol 1 P49 Ind Coope & Co, brewers, Burton upon Trent

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