Intro A B C D E F G H I-J-K L M N-O P-Q R S T U-Z Credits

Abington Park Hotel(Wellingborough Road)

Also: The A.P.H.

Also: The Abington

Also: The Abington Park Brewery

Abington Park Hotel This pub was built in 1898. It is a Grade II listed building in the French Renaissance style designed by the architect Matthew Holding. His work is well represented in Northampton. The most well known examples are the western third of the Guildhall and St. Matthew's Church on the Kettering Road. For a time Matthew Holding's portrait graced the sign outside this pub.

After Abington Manor House and twenty acres of land were offered to the town by Lord and Lady Wantage the Corporation purchased more land in 1895 and 1903 to make what is now Abington Park. The Park was opened in 1897, one year before the construction of the A.P.H. At this time the town was expanding rapidly in this direction and apart from the Park with its bands, other attractions grew up nearby. These were a skating-rink, which burnt down in 1914; a Wild West Rodeo in which spectators could join in and a Palais-de-Danse where the garage now stands. According to Mr. Hanson, Chronicle & Echo 30/9/95, in 1904 Mr. W. J. Bassett-Lowke formed the Miniature Railway of Great Britain Company. They were refused permission to run the track on the park, so it was sited on land adjoining, facing Manfield shoe factory. It opened on April 20th 1905, the fare being 2d; it closed sometime about 1914-5. All these attractions must have added to the trade at the hotel, it having a fine view of the bands in the park as well as having its own concert room for 80 persons, a fine billiard-room and extensive stabling.

Since its earliest days the A.P.H. has had strong sporting connections. William Rogers, ex-chief inspector of police and landlord (1908-25) had the Abington Park Bowling Club headquarters here and George Quennell (1925-39) after eight years at Franklin's Gardens succeeded him. Quennell was a player for the Star Cricket Club during their championship years and the pub has always retained connections with the County Cricket Ground nearby. The exterior of this pub is largely intact, but the interior has gone through some pretty dramatic changes in the past. In the mid-1970s the Inn-Keepers' Associates transformed the interior almost out of recognition. They changed a Victorian interior into what they thought a Victorian interior looked like - totally destroying any atmosphere the pub may have had. False shop fronts were constructed, bird cages and trees installed - one felt embarrassed to be seen in there!

In 1984 Northampton's first microbrewery was installed here; a step in the right direction and much of the pseudo-Victorian rubbish had by now been removed. In 1988 the pub shut down completely for three months whilst it went through a complete refurbishment by the owners, Clifton Inns. An extensive revamp took place nine years later and the microbrewery was taken out.

The Adam and Eve(Location unknown)

According to John Taylor, Relations of Remarkable Fires in Northamptonshire 1866, this is one of the inns that we lost in the Great Fire of Northampton in 1675. Adam & Eve is a popular name for an inn and the arms of the Fruiterers' Company. Perhaps ours was once the premises of a fruiterer?

It is possible that the Adam & Eve was re-built after the Great Fire, or that the name was reused. I have seen documents at the Record Office that are post-Fire and refer to the Adam & Eve. From a Conveyance of 1679:

Knowne by the Name of Adam and Eve abutting upon the south side of a certain Churche there called or known by the name of All Saints a streete lying between and leading from one other streete there called the Gold streete to a certain place or house called the Sessions House.

The streete lying between must be George's Row and it seems that the inn is on the north side up against the church. This is possible and it would have been demolished several years later when the churchyard was tided up and railed. Certainly it had ceased to be an inn by 1718 as a second document has:

A Messuage or Tenament situate in the Parish of All Saints in the Town of Northon formerly known by the name or sign of Adam & Eve....

The Admiral Nelson(3 The Green[1858], 5 The Green[1906], 50 The Green[1910)

Admiral Nelson I don't think there is any problem with this sign, Viscount Horatio Nelson (1758 - 1805). The earliest record I have of this pub is a W. Edwards (1824). With regard to the pub's name I think it unlikely that it pre-dates the Battle of Trafalgar in October 1805. From 1887 - 1904 this pub was in the hands of Mr. George Pickering, who appears to have run a tight ship. He rarely, if ever, served a drink, leaving this task to his wife, daughters and barman. He was to be found in an armchair smoking a clay-pipe and discoursing on matters political. Mr. Pickering was a Bradlaugh supporter and no doubt spoke with a freethinker's forthrightness. His predecessor, George Craddock was also a supporter of Charles Bradlaugh:

Mr. Craddock of the Lord Nelson we regret to hear has met with a serious accident by which his leg has been fractured. Mr. Craddock, with rare pluck, says, he does not so much regret the accident as his inability to work, as he did at the last election for Mr. Bradlaugh. This is the stuff Mr. Bradlaugh's supporters are made of.
The Northampton Radical 03/10/1874

Charles Bradlaugh was a remarkable man; he chose this town to stand for Parliament because of our radical shoemakers. Northampton people were well known in the past for their revolutionary attitudes towards religion and politics. Bradlaugh advocated, amongst other things, compulsory education, wealth taxes, and birth control. He was elected to Parliament by the people of Northampton in 1880. He refused to take the oath, (so help me God) as he was an atheist, and asked to Affirm instead, this was refused and he was thrown out. Another election was held in 1881, we returned Bradlaugh with an increased majority and once more he was thrown out. This process was repeated in 1882, 1884 and 1885 - finally, in January 1886 the Speaker gave in and Bradlaugh took his seat in the House of Commons six years after being elected to it. No one told Northamptonians what to do in those days! In the first draft of this entry (one of the first I wrote) I put:

I have often wondered why, apart from a statue in Abington Square, no places have been dedicated to this man, we have no Bradlaugh Road, Street or Square - no Bradlaugh Memorial Hall and no Bradlaugh Arms. Breweries these days seem fond of changing pub names, or opening new ones, so come on - here's a good name, let's at least have a pub named after the great man!

Of course since then things have changed, we now have a Charles Bradlaugh pub on the Mounts; thanks to the Richardson Group and the Bradlaugh Fields along the Kettering Road. Bradlaugh might have been offended, he being against drinking and having a pub named after him, but I believe his objection to alcohol had a lot to do with trucking, paying off workers in the bosses own pub, thereby clawing back some of their pay.

To return to Mr. George Pickering and his tight ship. There is an account of a farmer who had come to Northampton Market. He visited the Admiral Nelson and on taking out a well-stuffed bag of sovereigns to pay for his drink, dropped them all over the floor. George Pickering removed his pipe and shouted, Stand up! - everyone complied and stood like soldiers while the farmer retrieved his coins, Pickering then shouted, Sit down! which everyone did and continued drinking.

As a child one of our past mayors, Alderman W. A. Pickering used to stand on the skittle board and read the main news items of the day out to those that either could not afford a paper, or read one. Sometime before the Pickerings the Troup family held this pub as a free house, one of their descendants becoming the well-known local solicitor. It was also held in later years by Mr. William Hayes, referee and brother of Bob Hayes, the boxer. The Admiral Nelson finally closed its doors in 1953 with the transfer of its full licence to the Harbour Lights in Gas Street.

The Admiral Rodney(48 The Drapery & 4 Market Square)

Admiral Rodney The earliest mention of this name that I have found is from a Vestry Book of St. Peter's Church:

1781 Mar. 4 - Paide the Ringers for Adl. Rodney
taken St Eustatia.    0..5..0.

However, this does not refer to the pub, but to the man. It was customary in the past for the bells of churches to be rung for events of national importance and in February 1781 Admiral Rodney captured St. Eustatia and other West Indian islands from the Dutch. He was not only a hero, but had local connections, being the son-in-law of the Earl of Northampton, who supported him during the Spendthrift Election of 1768 when he was elected to the House of Commons as Member for Northampton. He was the hero of the naval battles of St. Vincent and Cadiz in 1780 and by these two victories Gibraltar was re-victualled when the garrison, starving, were on the point of surrendering to the Spanish. He was created Baron Rodney of Stoke Rodney. In later years he retired from public life and died suddenly on 23rd May 1792.

I have no earliest date for this pub but it could easily have started during his lifetime. Considering his close local connections it is possible that this is an example of a pub being opened by a veteran who served under him during his naval career. It is also possible that it had an earlier name which has not come down to us and was renamed in his honour because of one of his military or political achievements or at his death.

Mr. W. G. BRITTEN ADMIRAL RODNEY, DRAPERY, Will hold A SMOKING CONCERT In his NEW ROOM Every THURSDAY EVENING. At 8.0pm. When he will be pleased to see his old Friends.
Chronicle October 17th 1891

Admiral Rodney Notice In the 1950s the Admiral Rodney hosted the Muse Lounge Club. Started by Mr. Edwin Hargrave in 1955 it devoted itself to all aspects of art; music, painting (exhibited on the walls) and poetry. A founder member was the local artist Peter Berrisford.

In my school days I attended Ketts Kollege for Kool Kats otherwise known as Kettering Road School and later as John Clare Secondary Modern. My first art teacher at this august establishment was the above Edwin Barney Hargrave, who eventually moved to a barge in Little Venice, London. Barney was replaced by Peter Berrisford who caused a local sensation by organising Northampton's first exhibition of Modern Paintings at the Central Museum. Little did we suspect in those days of what our teachers were up to at night in the town's pubs!

The Rodney closed its doors in 1964, too early for me to really know the place. It stood empty for three years before an article in the Chronicle & Echo mooted the possibility of a bank opening on the premises.

The Admiral Vernon's Head(Location unknown)

STOLEN or Stray'd, on Saturday the 3d of this instant December. A Large Black and White DOG. of the Danish Breed, with a long Tail, and his Ears cut very close. Whoever gives Notice of him to John Bolton, at Admiral Vernon's Head in Northampton, shall have five Shillings Reward, and no Questions asked:
N.B. He has very large black Spots.
Northampton Mercury 19th December 1743

The Albion(Corner of Regent St and Regent Sq)

The Albion My memories of this pub are of the Albion Club, a building I saw as a child when visiting the doctor's and in later years as a sad, boarded-up structure. Albion is a poetic name for England. Albion was also the mythical son of Neptune and Amphitrite who discovered England and ruled here for about fifty years - or he was a Roman and the first Christian martyr in Britain. However, HMS Albion, a ninety-gun warship was launched at Plymouth in 1842 and I think this is the most likely candidate for the pub's name, even though we are about as far from the sea as you can get.

The Albion Club was an old people's club. In 1955 P. Phipps & Co. Ltd. gave five years free rent towards this project. The pub itself, I understand closed shortly after the war. The deeds for this building went back to 1750 and it had been rebuilt since. In 1871 Ratcliffe & Jeffery purchased it and converted it from a private house into a pub. This is about thirty years after the launch of the warship and the vessel could have been in the news at this time. Around 1908 it was taken over by P. Phipps & Co. Ltd. who ran it until it closed, its last appearance in a directory is in 1940. The building stood empty then, except for a flat upstairs. Downstairs there was still a bar and smoke-room. The Albion was destroyed along with many other buildings when the roads were widened through Regent Square in the 1970s.

ALHAMBRA (and Music Hall)

Refer to the entry for:  The Crow and Horseshoe

The Allies(Inkerman Terrace, St. James' End)

Inkerman Terrace, according to the Directory of Northampton 1878-9 was: Inkerman ter, St. James' end, is next Alma St. and Roberts 1884 (one of the first to have street lists) has: INKERMAN TERR, opposite CAFÉ as a heading. The junction of Harlestone, Weedon and St. James' Roads, often erroneously called St. James' Square is in fact, Café Square, after a café that was here in the past. The bank on the corner of Althorpe Road was the café in question, so presumably Inkerman Terrace was the row of houses on the south side, fronting St. James' Road at this point.

The earliest record I have got is from Taylor 1858 with William Webb as the proprietor, the only other entry in a directory using the name Allies is again Taylor 1864 and Joseph Ambidge is the proprietor. However under Beer-Retailers I have found other entries. It seems the William Webb by 1861 had moved to the Woolpack in Bridge Street and Joseph Ambidge is recorded as Beer Retailer and Butcher in Inkerman Terrace. The addresses are often ambiguous, e.g. Duston, St. James' End etc. Joseph Ambidge is recorded as being in the area until circa 1871, when he disappears. A Joseph Ambidge is recorded as a butcher at 63 Primrose Hill in 1876, so it looks like he gave up the sale of beer and settled to a life of a butcher.

As none of the directories have street lists before 1884 I cannot establish a link to a successor's name and without a full address I cannot pick the property up again in 1884. I conclude that it was a short-lived beer-house of the mid 19th century.

The Allies(71 Melbourne Street)

A corner beer-shop. The first directory reference, in 1864 gives the proprietor as John Pratt and in 1878 Mrs. A. Pratt, probably his wife or widow. Benjamin Bryan was there in 1884 and a R. W. Wright occupied it from 1900 until at least 1929. One other entry, unnamed - 1932.

The Alma Inn(7 Upper Priory Street)

This is one of the names that commemorate a battle, in this case the Crimean war. The Alma was a river that the British and French crossed when they won a victory over the Russians. Pubs with this type of name are called such to honour the victory, because they were run by a veteran of the battle, or there is some family connection with the battle and/or a regiment that fought in it. As the battle took place in 1854 and the earliest date I have is from Taylor 1864, any of the above could be correct. However, there is a local connection. It seems that Captain Lindsay of Abington Manor was awarded the Victoria Cross for his part in the campaign and the pub could very well have been named in his honour

Wright 1884 has, Batson George, Alma, Upper Priory Street listed under Beerhouse Keepers and this must be, G. Beetson in Lea 1906 where the property is described as a, A. House (Ale House). It seems that James Beetson had it in 1864 and George Batson in 1884. I have also found references to both James and George Beeston in 1862 and 1878 respectively - however, George is a Beer-Retailer in Arundell Street. Stevens 1893 lists Smith, Thomas as a Beer-Retailer at 7 Upper Priory Street. So it seems James Beetson (or Batson) had the Alma in 1862 and 1864. Thomas Smith had it at least as early as 1893 and was still there in 1900. Sometime after this, but not later than 1906 George Beetson took it over for a time, but not later than 1907.

In the light of the fact that this pub stood on the northeast corner of Upper Priory Street and Arundell Street one wonders where George Beetson's beer-shop was in 1878 - perhaps it was an off-licence, or it could be the same premises with an alternative address. The O/S 2500 plans 1901, 1938 and 1964 all show a larger than usual building on the corner as number 7.

The Althorp Arms(5 Sawpit Lane[1864] - 3 or 5 St Andrew's St)

This pub stood on the corner of St. Andrew's Street and Althorp Street so the name is easily explained. Not much is known about this pub except that it was a beer-shop and Wright 1884 gives BHS. It seems to have been in possession of Bullock for most of its time. It disappears from the directories in 1933.

The Ambush(St James' End)

Only Taylor 1864 lists this as the Ambush, proprietor Charles Frampton. My first thought was that this must have been in Ambush Street, but on the O/S 2500 plan 1901 this street is called Richmond Road - thirty-seven years later. Is it possible that the road was renamed after the pub? Perhaps there is a local significance in renaming the road that Charles Frampton recognised years before? However, Northampton Alphabetical Postal and Street Guide 1876, the Directory of Northampton 1878-9 and Roberts 1884 all list this street as Ambush Street, so were the Ordnance Survey out of step with the locals?

Charles Frampton appears as a beer-retailer in St. James in various directories from 1861 to 1876. In 1889 a Charles George Frampton is running the Golden Horse in Bridge Street. Roberts 1884 has in the street lists, Ambush st. 14 Wm. Allum. Beer-retailer there is no proof that this is the Ambush pub. Because street lists do not start until 1884 there is no way of linking the earlier references to this one.

The American Banner(Bridge Street?)

If this pub existed it was probably one of those small beer-shops that didn't survive for very long, for there is only one mention of it, in Bennetts 1901-2.

Bennett produced four directories; 1901-2, 1904-5, 1906-7 and 1910-11 and this is the only one to mention an American Banner in Bridge Street - but the other three refer to an American Banner in Grafton Street; as does Wright 1884 and Lea 1900-1, 1906 and 1907. Unfortunately Bennett did not always list landlord's names; if he had it might have shown this entry to be an error. I have checked other directories to no avail, but I suspect that rather than this being yet another pub to add to the Bridge Street list it is an error on the part of Bennett.

The American Banner(46 Grafton Street)

American Flag I have found little on the above pub and next to nothing about this one! The earliest directory entry is Wright 1884 BHS, but according to a quote in the Northampton Independent Nov 1979 from CAMRA there was an American Banner in Grafton Street from 1865 to 1910.

The name of these two (?) pubs intrigued me and I suspected that they might have something to do with the American Civil war. The CAMRA start date of 1865 seems to confirm this for the war ended in 1865. In the same year President Lincoln was assassinated and on Dec. 18th Article XIII of the Constitution of the U.S.A. entitled, Slavery was adopted. The end of the civil war and the end of slavery (but not the assassination) would seem to be good reasons to commemorate with a pub sign in a liberal town like Northampton.

(Picture shows the American Flag as it was in 1865)

The Angel(25 Bridge Street)

The Angel This inn is, or was, very old and considering its position on a main north-south route through medieval England, probably started off as a religious house for pilgrims. The sign is, of course, religious.

The sign could have originally been an angel probably the Archangel Michael or Saint Michael - patron saint of the military, such as the Knights Templar. Such signs were placed over inns to show that they were under God's protection. Some Angels started life as the Salutation - meaning the salutation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At the time of the Reformation a sign showing the Archangel Gabriel visiting Mary would not have been popular and it is thought that many of these houses simply retained the angel and painted out the Virgin.

The Angel was one of those thirteen inns listed as Ancient Inns in the Assembly Order 1585. Sadly, it is also the last surviving. It is closed at the time of writing and if it ever opens again I fear it will have some daft, meaningless name. [Written in 1998, it does have a daft name!]

The building itself is Listed, although it is a 19th century rebuild of a much older structure. This establishment was in the past both a coaching inn and a post house, as the large doors leading through to the inner yard at this moment attest. I am unaware as to whether these will survive the present work being carried out. [They did]. When the railway more or less wiped out the coach trade the Angel ran its own horse busses to the railway station to maintain its business.

The Northampton Mercury 1753 ran a most curious advertisement concerning this inn. It seemed that there was exhibited at the inn a wondrous dog.

For he actually reads, writes and casts accounts, answers various questions on Ovid's metamorphoses, geography, the Roman, English and sacred history, knows the Greek alphabet, reckons the numbers of persons present, sets down any capital or surname, solves questions in the four rules of arithmitick, tells by looking on any watch of the company what is the hour and minute, knows foreign as well as English coins, shows the impenetrable secret (?), or tells any person's thoughts in company, and distinguishes all sorts of colours.

In 1927 a Vat of the Ancient Order of Frothblowers was started at the inn by the proprietor, P. C. Willams. This worthy Order organised dinners, smoking concerts, whist drives and dances to raise money for local charities. Mr. Williams went on to become a councillor, mayor and magistrate. There was some trouble in 1947 when the Lord Chancellor debarred him from the Bench because he was the licensee of the Angel. This caused trouble because of his local popularity and the fact that his trade did not debar him from the Bench, only the licensing proceedings.

One of the little known claims to fame for Northampton is that James Sharpe, assistant manager of the gas-works, invented the gas-cooker here in 1826. For four years he tested it in his own kitchen, publicly announcing it in 1830. The first commercially made ones were brought by a hotel in Leamington Spa and the Angel, where a special dinner was cooked for 100 people.

In February 1995 the Angel closed, initially for a revamp and conversion to a fun pub. In fact it had been closed due to falling trade, it seemed that young people didn't use it and there were too many hotels now on the town's outskirts taking guests. It was boarded up to protect it from vandals and plans were put forward to convert it into 23 flats and a bar. Plans began to go ahead but unfortunately the developers could not agree with the Council about noise protection.

The developers, Harmony Leisure finally gave up, and one year later in Feb. 1996 put the Angel on the market. By the end of the year it had been bought by Orchard Holdings and Elliott Charles Developments, they proposed a similar scheme to Harmony's. Similar problems concerning noise were encountered and the plan now seemed to be; a bar and restaurant on the ground floor with the upper two floors being offices. At this time of writing (2008) the upper floors are empty and derelict.

The Angel and Star(Drapery)

This looks like a case of an alehouse becoming a coffee house, the reverse of the Black Lion, Giles' Street.

To Be Lett,
And Enter'd upon at Michaelmas next, A Good and Well-accustomed PUBLICK-HOUSE, the sign of the ANGEL and STAR, known by the Name of the COFFEE-HOUSE, opposite the Womens Market, with a Thoroughfare to the Corn-Hill in the Drapery in Northampton. Enquiries James Maitland, Maltster, in Sheep-street, Northampton.
Northampton Mercury, 26th September 1748

To be SOLD by AUCTION
By JASPER HAWORTH QUENRY
At his Room at the Angel and Star in the Drapery, Northampton, On Saturday the 3rd of February next, A Great Variety of Furniture of Beds, Bedsteads & Curtains, Tables, Chairs, Glasses, Chest-of-Drawers, Buroes, etc. Likewise a Quantity of superfine Black Broad Cloth.
N. B. The Sale will continue every Market-Day at the above-mentioned Place.
Northampton Mercury, 29th June 1759

The Army and Navy

Refer to the entry for:  The Bakers Arms

The Artichoke(Angel Street)

There is only one reference to this establishment, in Burgess 1845 Carter - - Artichoke - - Angel-street. This was Burgess's one and only attempt at compiling a directory to the town of Northampton and the Artichoke is listed under Beer-Sellers.

It appears that Burgess, like Wright 1884, was being thorough and listed nearly everyone (we all miss a few!). This could account for they're being only one entry for this pub. If it was a small place, and beer-only places often were, it may not have attracted the attention of other compilers - or survived for very long.

There is a building on the corner of Guildhall Road and Angel Street (no. 28 Guildhall Road) that looks like it should have been a pub, so perhaps this is it [I'm told it was a pub, but not its name]. If not, could it be the Garibaldi Hotel that is only mentioned once, in the Town & County Directory 1905-6? However, Kelly 1906 has 28 Valentine, Mrs. Mary. Dng. Rms. So, it may have been the Artichoke in 1845, but if it was, by the time of the Garibaldi it had become Dng. Rms. It is also shown on the Fire Insurance Plan 1899 as a Rest.

The Artizan Inn(51 Artizan Road)

The Artizan A purpose-built pub and named after the road it stands in. Developers in the past were often more sensitive to the needs of their residents, making shops, pubs and even chapels an integral part of their development. Often today new estates have no amenities, sometimes not even pavements (for hasn’t everyone got a car?). However, those Victorian developers didn’t do it out of a sense of altruism; it was speculation on possible profits. An early photograph of this pub shows it standing alone on the Artizan Road side and about three houses in Talbot Road.

This pub is still with us and based on a visit in late 1998 seems to be the place to go if you like playing crib. In 1878 a beer-house called the Prince Arthur, Leicester Road was closed and its licence transferred to this new pub.

The Artizan Labourers(Lady's Lane)

This pub only appeared twice, in 1928 and 1932. The proprietor’s name (A. Tustin) appears only once and is untraceable through the Pub or Beer-Retailer lists, with no street number I cannot pursue this one any further.