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

The Cambridge Arms(Barrack Road)

Refer to the entry for: The Duke of Cambridge

The Carpenters Arms(25 Adelaide Street)

The name is a good example of a tradesman's arms. Although this pub has records up the 1963 there is little information on it. All that is now left of Adelaide Street now is the Duke of Edinburgh pub which in days gone by was on the corner and ten doors away from the Carpenters Arms. The earliest record of it is Wright 1884 who records it as a BHS - a beer-shop as also does he for the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Case is Altered(25 Chapel Place)

The earliest record of this pub is from the Northampton Directory 1878-9 where a William Bannister is given as a beer-retailer. Wright 1884 gives. J.H.Gibbs bhs - so it was, and probably remained, a simple beer-shop throughout its existence. There are only two other entries in directories, and that seems to bear out the idea, they are; 1907, J. H. Gibbs and 1929, Mrs. Ada Gibbs, probably J. H. Gibbs’ widow.

This sign has probably generated more explanations of its meaning than any other sign in England. They range from banal to the ingenious and I believe that I have, after many years of collecting such material, finally found the original source of the name. I emphasise the word original because I believe that many landlords call their pubs with names they, or their wives, liked. Perhaps they had seen the name elsewhere and just liked it, or maybe it was the name of some famous or fashionable establishment that they wished to be identified with. I think they often had no idea of the original meaning of the sign, nor did the proprietor of the one they were copying!

These are a few of the theories I have come across. The name is a corruption of Casey's Altar. It seems that a Catholic priest during the Reformation had a secret altar and said Mass in the back room of a pub. There are several that work on the idea of soldiers or navvies decamping leaving huge bar bills, causing a drastic alteration in the landlord’s fortunes, so he alters his sign.

Probably the most complicated and convoluted ones are the ones dealing with the law. It seems one sign of the 19th century showed a lawyer sitting at a desk, in front of him was a farmer and through a window could be seen a bull in a field. The tale goes thus;

A farmer visits the lawyer and informs him that the farmer's bull has fatally gored one of the lawyer’s cows. "Then you must pay me the value of the cow" declares the lawyer. "Hah! No, I made a mistake" replies the farmer. "I got it the wrong way round - it was your bull that killed my cow – you must pay me". To which the lawyer replied, "The case is altered".

An interesting comment on the general idea of the honesty and fairness of lawyers, but proved to be closer to the truth than it at first seems.

For a long time I believed the one that was probably correct is the one that is based on the corruption of foreign words and phrases. One that is much quoted is the example of the Infanta of Castille becoming the Elephant and Castle - I now know this to be wrong, just a clever invention (refer to the entry for: The Elephant and Castle). The favoured ones in this case are also Spanish in origin and are supposed to have come from soldiers returning from the Peninsular War (1808-14). The idea being that old soldiers who became publicans would put up such a sign, probably to attract other old soldiers to their pub. They are, Casa de Saltar ⇒ Dancing House and La Casa Alta ⇒ House on the Hill or The High House.

This, to me, seemed a reasonable explanation at the time, but then I discovered examples of this sign dating from before the Peninsular War. The final straw came when I found out that Ben Johnson (1573?-1637) had written a play with this title. Research revealed that it was an extinct proverb or saying linked to a 16th century lawyer, Edmund Plowden.

Plowden was defending a man charged with hearing Mass. During the hearing Plowden discovered that the service had been performed by a layman, pretending to be a priest, who intended to inform on those attending. The astute Plowden is credited with stating, The case is altered no priest, no Mass and thereby succeeded in getting an acquittal for his client. So it seems, this is a pub name based on a proverb or popular saying. It is interesting that tenuous links exist between the Catholic Casey's Altar and the trial of an illegal Mass; the lawyer, farmer and the bull and the astute Plowden.

The Old Castle(5 Phoenix Street)

Also: The Northampton Castle

We have had two of these and they both referred to Northampton Castle. This pub no doubt acquired the Old appellation to distinguish it from the new one just over the river. This pub stood on Castle Hill, sharing it with the Golden Lion, which is still with us. It probably stood where the yard of the Golden Lion is now.

The Castle(1 St James Park Road)

The Castle
This pub is a typical street corner Victorian pub, still sitting close to the river, just across from where the actual castle stood. Because of its proximity to the river it has been flooded out on several occasions. An early photograph shows a boat crossing the flooded Foot Meadow to the pub - they were keen on their drink in those days!

The Cat (Le Catte)(Malt Row [east side Market Square])

There is only one reference to this inn and that is from a sale document of the eighth of February 1456. It concerns the sale of the Pecok (Peacock) and says that the property is to the north of Le Pecok belonged to St. John’s Hospital and was once called Le Catte. As this was once an inn before 1456 I think this must be the oldest record I have found of any pubs in the town.

The Catherine Wheel(Abington Street)

This seems to have been a well-established inn. The earliest reference I have to it is from the Northampton Mercury August 1753:

A Very Good New-Milched Ass, and a Foal just five weeks old. Enquire at Mr. Whitticar’s, at the Katherine-Wheel in Abington-Street, Northampton.

An announcement, also in the Mercury June 1766 has:

On Thursday Morning last the Wife of Mr. Collins, at the Catherine-Wheel in Abington-Street in this Town, died suddenly as she sat in a Chair in the Kitchen.

Another advertisement of 1757 also mentions Mr. Whitticar. The inn stood on the north side of Abington Street almost opposite the end of Fish Street. It is shown on Laws map 1847 and I calculate that if was still there it would be next door to Marks & Spencer.

St. Giles' Churchwardens accounts of 1810 refer to the Catherine Wheel and a Briggs the Fiddler was paid 1/- (5p), it appears churchwardens had a pretty good time of it. In 1841 the license was transferred to the Little Bell in Augustine Street, however, I have found three references in directories after this date. Burgess 1845 has, unoccupied - which tallies, but both Kelly and Hickman 1847 give Richard Branston. Whatever the truth, part of it was pulled down in 1878.

Catherine Wheel I've found two Catherine (or Katherine) Wheels in Northampton, one in Abington Street and the other in Gold Street. The device is the badge of the Worshipful Company of Turners, but it is also the badge of the Order of the Knights of St. Catherine of Mount Sinai. In medieval times the Abington Street site was part of the Greyfriars land and I wonder if there is any connection between them and this Order?

The Catherine Wheel(Gold Street)

The Katherene Wheele is one of the Auncient Innes listed in the Assembly Order 1585 so it was of a good age and to have been included in the Order it must have been a well-established and substantial enterprise. The only other reference I have is from an advertisement in the Northampton Mercury December 1773 : - All Parcels going to or coming from London, are to be left at the Catherine-Wheel in Gold-Street, Northampton. I have no date for when it ceased to exist.

The Cattle Market Restaurant(Cattle Market, Victoria Promenade)

The new Cattle Market opened on the 17th of July 1873 and the earliest mention we have of the establishment is in the Northampton Directory 1878, under Hotels, Inns and Taverns: - Fleece, Bridge st., C. Konow; also refreshment rooms in Cattle Market.

There is also a full-page advertisement for the Fleece with a footnote; C. Konow is also the Proprietor of the Refreshment Saloons, Cattle Market. According to the directories available Charles Konow was the proprietor of the Cross Keys from at least 1870 to 1876 so he moved to the Fleece in that year as he is shown as there in the 1876 directory. Within two years of arrival at the Fleece and five years after the Cattle Market opening Charles was running a refreshment saloon in the Market, presumably from his pub, which was nearby. It was probably quite easy to do this as I assume the saloon would only have been open on market days. A link between the Restaurant and the Fleece continued as Walter Francis East is shown as the proprietor of the Fleece in 1906 and 1910. There are no modern entries of this pub.

I cannot be sure that the establishment above was the same one as I used to visit in my youth. The one we used was on the western side of the market, near the auction shed. In the days of draconian drinking hours the pubs shut on Saturdays at two o'clock, but not on the Market. If you wished to continue drinking this was the place to go. One novelty, which is now no longer a novelty, was the serving of proper food, i.e. cooked. There was a kitchen at the back of the bar and every so often names would be called and plates of steaming food would be passed over to be eaten on the tables amongst the ashtrays and beer-glasses. More than once I availed myself of this, then, strange facility - the food was always good, plain fare and plenty of it – the sort farmers would appreciate. I suppose I was witnessing the last vestiges of the Market-Day Ordinaries of yesteryear.

The Cattle Market Tavern(149 or 153 Bridge Street)

Also: The Stars and Stripes

George Ambridge was a beer-retailer at 153 Bridge Street in 1877. There are various similar entries for this man up to 1903 when he is described as a butcher and beer-retailer at 151 and 153. However, in 1884 he appears under the pub's name, this is eleven years after the Cattle Market opened.

The pub was at the north corner of the junction of Bridge Street and Navigation Row and Navigation Row led straight into the west entrance of the Market. I imagine that George, sometime between the opening of the Market in 1873 and 1884 seized the opportunity of attracting the market crowds by giving the beer-retailing side of his business a suitable name.

There are no entries between 1910 and 1928 and in 1928 the address had changed from Bridge Street to Cattle Market Road. In 1912 the license was shifted from number 153, to a House and Premises to be erected and built on a Site adjoining the said Licensed Premises and being at the North-East corner of Navigation Row and Cattle Market Road. The address then became 46 Cattle Market Road

A precursor of this beer-house could have been the Horse & Jockey, which only appears twice, in 1858 and 1864 at numbers 153 and 155 respectively; there is no evidence of continuous occupation. The Cattle Market Tavern closed on March 17th 1959. The building opened as a restaurant called Turrets and this was succeeded by the Stars & Stripes - which itself became the Pelican Cove Rock Café in March 1994.

The Central Tavern(16 Newland)

This was a small beer-shop one door up from the corner of Princess Street; it also seems to have had a back entrance through a jitty that ran off Princess Street. It was one of those small retail outlets that were flattened by the Grosvenor Centre development. I can remember the place, just. I understand that at one time it was used as the headquarters of the Plumbing and Heating Trade Union.

The Chequers

Chequers Sign There is more than one explanation for this name. In the past the Great Earl Warenne was given the power to grant licenses and his Arms were: Checky, Or and Azure (chequered pattern of alternate gold, or yellow, and blue squares), his arms becoming the sign. Another is that the sign indicated that draughts or chess were played on the premises - it appears that this is the commonest sign to be found in the ruins of Herculaneum where it is believed to indicate just this. In medieval times it was the sign of a moneychanger - common in seaports. We are far from the sea, but Northampton has been an important market town for most of its past, so money-changers or moneyiers would have been in evidence, especially near the Market Square. Speeds Map 1610 calls the Market the Checker.

The original Greek or Roman Abacus wasn't the bead-frame we think of, but a flat table marked out with lines on which small counters could be moved to make calculations. The Romans used little chalk hemispheres; the Latin for chalk is chalx from which we get such words as calculate and calculus. In medieval times the kingdom’s finances were kept track of on a huge abacus in the Tower of London. The table had lines running both ways showing different aspects of the finances and resembled the board used for the game of chequers, so this department of government became called the Exchequer.

One of the four Chequers I have unearthed, the oldest, was on the Market Square. Was the pub named for its location, or the other way about? There is a possible connection with the Market being called the Chequer with the idea that the Mint was sited nearby, but I would have thought the King would have put such an important facility in the Castle. An idea that I have heard is that the Market was at one time paved with square stone slabs and resembled a chequer-board.

The Old Chequers(54 Bath Street)

This is a good example of the old not being the oldest. The pub stood on the opposite corner of Lower Cross Street and Bath Street from the Sportsman's Arms. Although it was a beer-shop (1884 bhs) it boasted a Quoits Ground and in an old photograph I have had sight of on the side wall can be seen Founded.. In very faded paintwork, I think I can make out 184? and this could be right. I can trace the address as a beer-retailer back to 1845 and the name first appears in 1864.

The Chequers(33 Upper Priory Street)

This pub was located on the northwest corner of Upper Priory Street and St. Patrick Street. A small beer-shop, the earliest I have for it is 1864.

The Chequers(56 Wellington Street)

This one, like the two previous ones, was a beer-shop built to serve the new factory workers in the 19th century. The earliest date I have is 1884 and the last 1910.

The Chequers(Market Square)

I feel that this inn must have either been named because its location, or because it was used as a bank for the Market in past times. It is definitely old and there are records going back at least as far as 1680. In the past inns were essential to a market town, not only for overnight accommodation, but to conduct business in and display and sell goods. Once agricultural seed was traded on the Market Square, at the Hind, turnip seed and at the Chequers, grass. The Chequers had ‘corn chambers’; these were for farmers to sell their corn. I have an undated reference from a second party, which must have come from an advertisement, probably the Northampton Mercury, Camels and Dromeday, which had much attention from the nobility. In the spring and summer exhibitions were held at this inn, no doubt in the yard and perhaps in the corn chambers. From evidence from people wishing to register for the Great Election of 1768 we have:

Said Voter lived in only one Room belonging to the Chequer Inn... That it was a place where they used to shew wild Beasts.

It seems that the Three Tuns pub was originally part of this inn, confirming its size, however, the compilers of the RBN 1898 claim to have seen 16-17th century leases for both the Chequer and the Three Tuns. I have been unable to find anything for the Three Tuns of this date, but there was a Three Tuns in the Drapery up to 1750 according to NN&Q 1889. The author here also claims the Three Tuns, Market Square to be a portion of the Chequers. Possibly the Three Tuns, Drapery moved to the Market Square at some time. I have no end-date for the Chequer, but the earliest I have for the Three Tuns is 1824. We do however have an announcement from the Mercury 1731:

The Late Widow HOLLOWAY (now SMITH) who kept the Chequer Inn on the Market-Hill in Northampton, is removed to the Black Boy Inn on the Wood-Hill in the said Town: where all Gentlemen, etc. will meet with good Entertainment.

The Cherry Tree(39 Bouverie Street)

There is one reference to a Cherry Tree at 39 Bearward Street (Marks 1928) - this is almost certainly an error. The earliest I have for this one is 1858 and the latest 1929.

We have two pubs with this charming name, but I have no idea as to its meaning. I do remember as a child seeing the Cherry Tree sign on the Wellingborough Road which I think was etched on the glass in the door and wondering what it meant. The only theory I can come up with is that it comes from the same context as cherry picking - taking the very best - the sign suggesting that the establishment that bore it was the very best.

The Cherry Tree(89 Wellingborough Road)

This establishment was on the southwest corner of the Exeter and Wellingborough Roads. The earliest date I have is 1884 (bhs) and it was lost during the widening of the Wellingborough Road in the 1960s.

The Chinese Tavern (2 Green Street)

This pub was situated on the corner of Green Street and Narrow Toe Lane. The meaning of the name is a mystery to me, but the name could have come from the sign. There is, or was, a pub in Yeovil called the Goose which had a sign of a Chinese or Swan goose and the Goose became the Chinese Goose and later just the Chinese - finally developing into the Chinese Tavern. It’' an idea, but I don’t think I believe it! There are directory entries for this pub from 1858 to 1929, but the Magistrates Records show that it was Compensated for in 1927.

The City Tavern(15 The Riding)

I thought I had solved the mystery of this pub name as the large office block on the corner with Fish Street is called City Buildings. However, City Buildings was built sometime around the turn of the 19th century and I have references to the City Tavern back as far as 1862. So, was the offices named after the pub? I think not as the pub, which survived to at least 1918, was halfway up the Riding on the north side and would be under the west corner of the Co-op Arcade. It was very small and first appears in Slaters 1862 under Retailers of Beer - Hasler, John, Riding. Wright 1884 has bhs i.e. beerhousekeeper.

The Clarendon

Refer to the entry for: The Two Brewers

The Cleveland Arms(78 Kettering Road)

This pub stood on the north-west corner of Cleveland Road. This whole area was cleared in the 1970s and redeveloped. The earliest reference for this address that I can trace is from the Northampton Directory 1878-9, which has under Beer-Retailers, Corby, Thos. Thomas seems to have had a beershop in Brier Lane the first part of the Wellingborough Road from just past the Volunteer pub to near Wilberforce Street. This beer shop is listed in 1845, 1847 & 1852. Thomas then seems to have moved to the Kettering Road and occupied the (new?) Cleveland Arms, although he doesn’t seem to have named it such. The first entry under the name is in Wright 1884 - Mrs. A. V. Corby presumably, his widow.

The Clicker Inn(Silverdale Road)

This pub opened on April 7th 1955 as a purpose-built estate pub. Described in the Northampton Independent of that date as, a new model inn for Weston Favell. It is still going strong. It was built too late to have any of its proprietors listed in the directories. A visit in September 1999 showed that there had been much internal alteration and an extension, which includes an area for pool tables.

The Clickers Arms(29 Upper Mounts)

Also: The Globe

There is no problem with the meaning of this name in a boot and shoe town like Northampton. The Clicker was the elite of the boot and shoe factory workers. Their job was to cut out the pieces of leather for the upper parts of the shoe. This leather was expensive and considerable skill was needed to get the maximum number of pieces from one skin or hide. Their name comes from the clicking sound their knives made as they cut out the pieces.

Using the O/S 1964 2500 Plan this pub must have been between the end of Earl Street and the property line of the Mounts Baths. Therefore the Globe and later the Clicker were on the site presently occupied by the Charles Bradlaugh, probably where the garden is now. The dates for the two names are; Globe, 1845-1864 and the Clicker, 1884-1910.

The Clinton Arms(1 Clinton Road, Far Cotton)

The Northampton Daily Record Thursday 7th October 1897 carried the following advertisement:

A Meeting will be held at the White House, Clinton Road. Towcester Road, Far Cotton, for the Formation of a Working Mens' Club On Monday, October 11th 1897 at 8.0, where Rules & Regulations for same will be made. All persons desiring to become members are invited to attend.

The White House later became the Clinton Arms and the result of this meeting was the formation of Far Cotton W.M.C. it seems that the Clinton Arms, when first built was, for a time, used by the Club. A photograph shows a temporary sign over the door with the words New Clinton Arms obscuring the central part of another sign beneath. The words Fa.. and Club can be seen. An article about the Boot, College Street in the Chronicle & Echo 26th May 1952:

Mr. Pryor took over the tenancy of the Boot in 1905 from a Mr. Farey who emigrated to Canada. The Boot closed on April 11th 1907, its licence and three others were surrendered to obtain a licence for the Clinton Arms, Far Cotton. And Mr. Pryor opened the Clinton Arms on April 18th 1907.

I visited this pub for the last drink on the night of its closing in January 1985. It was yet another victim of the Great God Car. The pub, Alton Street Garage and twenty-five other properties, all of which I believe were homes, were flattened to construct the Southern Approach Road. I use the word homes advisedly, not houses.

The Coach and Horses(3 George Row)

It is usually said that an inn of this name was a coaching inn, but this one could have derived its name from the substantial coaching inn one door away - the George. It is interesting to note that Kelly 1847 lists Daniel Sellars jnr. as proprietor of the Coach & Horses and a Daniel Sellers for the White Hart (Shipman's) Drum Lane. They could have been father and son.

This inn stood about the same site as one of the Ancient Inns (1585) known as the Bull, next door but one to the famous George Hotel. This may be why there is so little information about the pub - overshadowed by its neighbour. I have listed the Bull and the Coach and Horses separately as they don’t occupy exactly the same site and I have no evidence that there was continuous occupation of the site as a pub. The earliest date I have is 1824 and the last 1924. Hudson Bros. a polterer and butcher built a shop here during the General Strike of 1926 and opened it two years later.

The Cobblers

Refer to the entry for: The Lamb and Flag

The Cock

Cock Sign Northampton has had two Cocks in the past, one, in Kingsthorpe, is still with us. We also have had a Bantam Cock and a Cock Ale Inn.

There are several reasons why a pub should be thus named. Heraldic (the Bantam Cock is probably one) a pun on a name, or because of image a cock gives. It is colourful, loud and proud, cock-a-hoop and cock of the walk spring to mind - as well as its obvious masculine implications! It can stand for France (not likely, I feel), as a symbol for St. Peter, or most likely, that Cock-Fighting took place on the premises. I am surprised Northampton hasn’t more.

The Cock(Abington Street)

This inn stood on the east corner of Wood Street and Abington Street, where the Abington Street entrance to the Grosvenor Centre is. It seems to have ceased as an inn when the premises became Dryden’s Freeschool, better known as the Orange Coat School, founded in 1707. In 1854 this school amalgamated with the Blue Coat School in Bridge Street. This school, the Corporation Charity Schools building, still stands at the bottom of Bridge Street and has, on the first floor two effigies of pupils in niches, one dressed in orange and the other blue.

The assessment records of St. Giles' Parish mention the Cock in 1658, 1688 and 1706 and Cock Lane is mentioned in the records of the Commissioners for the rebuilding of Northampton after the Great Fire.

Wood Street has been called at times both St. Michael's Lane and Cock Lane - presumably after a church and the inn respectively. None of the early maps of the town show it as St. Michael's Lane as this name died out with the Fire. Nobel & Butlin 1747 and Roper & Cole 1807 both show it as Cock Lane, but Law 1847 has Wood Street. This name change is thought by some to be because of the notoriety gained through the Cock Lane Ghost - but it could be for the same reason of propriety that resulted in Ditchers lane becoming Dychurch lane and Pissford to change to Pitsford. A deed of January 13th 1826 describes tenements as, situate in White Friars lane, alias St. Michael's lane, alias Cock lane. There is an account of the Cock Lane Ghost in NN&Q 1891. The story runs thus:

A saddler's apprentice was starved and ill-treated, as apprentices frequently were in those days. In this case the ill-treatment was more wanton and cruel than usual; and in the end the poor lad succumbed to his master's tyranny. The master got rid of the body, but the ghost remained to tell the tale. The ghost became known far and wide. At this time there were many sawpits in the vicinity of the lane. The land adjoining it was used for the deposit and sale of timber, and there, too, it was seen. The ghost story made it desirable to alter the name of the thoroughfare, and as the lane blossomed into a street, no one objected to Wood Street. Notwithstanding, the evil reputation long remained, and in the memory of persons still living he would have been a very courageous lad indeed who at night dared to go by the old houses opposite the present Princes' street.

One version of this story has it that the victim was a tap-boy who haunted the cellars of the Cock itself. As a young man I was told of a ghost in Cleavers shop, which at the time occupied the site of the inn. It seems the story and the ghost lives on.

The Cock Hotel(Harborough Road, Kingsthorpe)

Also: The Hop House (Brewery)

The Cock Hotel Except for a short while (1995-96) this establishment has always been called the Cock. I understand this inn dates from 1622 when it was built as a coaching inn. It was a good site for this kind of establishment being on the junction of several roads, facing the Green and close to a tollgate. The present building was erected in 1894. Built of Northampton Sandstone, it was designed by the architect George Stevenson of Duston and is a Grade II listed building.

This inn can claim the dubious distinction of being the first theme pub in Northampton, being converted in 1970 to a Schooner Inn by Watneys. Later Berni Inns acquired it and it was reopened in June 1986. In late 1995 John Labutt Retail, a Canadian company bought it and spent half-a-million pounds on a face-lift - installing a micro-brewery and a no smoking area (this, alas, was the eating area, not the bar). They also proposed a change of name to the Hop House Brewery. By November a campaign had been launched and 300 people signed a petition to retain the old name, but to no avail as on the 4th of December the opening and renaming had been announced for the 12th. On the 8th the Council moved to rename the road junction outside the pub the Cock Hotel Junction. The pub renaming took place as scheduled - and so did the junction, new road signs were erected outside the pub on the 12th January 1996.

By May the pub had been sold to Enterprise Inns who, although they were pleaded with, kept the unpopular name and by November it was once more on the market. McManus Taverns bought it and through the Chronicle & Echo invited opinions on the name. The response was overwhelmingly in favour of returning to the original name. McManus Taverns decided to call it the Cock rather than the old (but not so old) name Cock Hotel. As Gary McManus explained, We don't want punters from out of town calling and finding there are no rooms available. The renaming party took place on the 27th of April 1997.

The Cock Ale House(Location unknown)

I’m not too sure if this was the Cock - Alehouse, or the Cock ale - House. The reference is from a document dated 1780 and could refer to one of the Cocks already written about, probably the one in Abington Street. However, there was, or is a cock ale. In Elizabethan times one would take an old rooster (presumably dead) and bash it until every bone in its body was broken. This cock (now definitely dead!) was put into a cloth bag with a quantity of raisins and boiled in ale - hence cock ale. I have drunk Cock Ale, but I was assured that it had been produced at the Cock Hotel microbrewery, Harborough Road, and not to the above recipe!

The Compass Inn(Bedford Road)

Refer to the entry for: The Britannia Inn

The Compton Arms(40 Compton Street)

Named after the street, Compton Street still exists, but it now runs east-west when it used to run north-south. The street is shown on the O/S 1901, 1938 and 1964 Plans although on the 1964 Plan the southern half is obliterated by a large building marked depot and all the houses have gone. The two earlier Plans show small terraced dwellings throughout its length with some rebuilding to the northern end on the 1938 Plan. Because there are no house plots on the 1964 Plan I have no way of knowing where this pub actually was, or which side of the road it was on. At the southern end there were two pubs, one on each corner, the Prince of Wales and the Boot & Slipper in all entries their addresses are given as in Spring Lane and therefore are of no help. Counting the plots on the 1910 Plan from every corner gives no clues in the form of a building that could be a pub (slightly wider, side entrance etc). All I can say is that in a street of 63 houses it was two-thirds of the way along one side or the other, from one end or the other! Wright 1884 (the earliest reference) gives bhs so it was, a beer-house. The last entry is 1910.

The Cooks Arms(Market Square)

Between Mercers Row and the south side of the Market Square lies a double row of buildings. On the Mercers Row side, mainly shops, on the Market side, mainly estate agents, solicitors and a bank. Running between these two rows is a narrow jitty called The Gutts. This runs from behind a wooden door next to the Rifle Drum pub through to Conduit Lane at the eastern end. It once carried on right through. This block, east of Conduit lane in 1831 had six properties on it - three of which were pubs! On part of this site stood the Conduit or pump and water tank - so this small area of town was well supplied with drinking facilities. Two of these pubs faced onto Mercers Row, the Ship and the Duke of Clarence, whilst on the east corner of the Market frontage was the Cooks Arms.

The Cooks Arms The illustration clearly shows the name of the proprietor as Wm. George and this is the only name I’ve been able to find. The pub was lost during the erection of Waterloo House in 1833. It appears that the old buildings extended further into the Market Square and were put into line with the rest of the south side of the Square at this time. When Waterloo House was demolished I gained access to the site. It seemed to me at the time that Waterloo House had been built inside a larger cellar and to the north I discovered two fine 18th century sandstone, vaulted cellars running side-by-side out north under the Market Square. These were huge and I immediately thought that they would have made a fine jazz club (it was the 60s!). It is these sort of vaulted cellars which to the untrained eye look so like sealed up tunnels and give rise to tales of Monk's Passages. According to the article in NN&Q: - the old vaulted cellars of the Cooks Arms, which extend some thirty feet under the Market Hill, still remain. To my knowledge they still do.

The Coopers Arms(53 Horsemarket)

This pub stood on the north corner of Castle Street and Horsemarket. I have been unable to find much about this establishment even though I have entries from 1845 until 1938 in the directories. I am yet to see a photograph of it. The O/S Plans show a property of some size but it still only rated a bhs in Wright 1884.

The Cottage Tavern(171 Bridge Street)

Yet another small beer-house, the address doesn't link up with any other pub in this street for which I have a number. Only one reference from the Northampton Mercury May 1877:

Free Beer-House known as The Cottage Tavern to be sold by Auction. Front Bar and Smoke Room, with Plate glass window: Sitting-room, pantry, and wash-house conveniently arranged behind the same: Large drawing-room, and w.c. over, with garden and appertances at the rear.

The County Hotel(222 Abington Avenue)

The County Hotel, now called the Tavern, is owned by the trustees of the Northampton Cricket Club. In its early days it served as the cricket pavilion before the present one was built. The first reference in a directory is 1898 and the last 1970

The Crane(South Bridge)

This is one of the ones the compilers of the RBN 1898 found in the 16th and 17th century leases and other records of the town. Like several others this is one that has not survived in any archives that I had examined.

The Cream of the Valley(31 Crispin Street)

This pub was on the west side of Crispin Street about three-quarters of the way up from Scarletwell Street. The name is rather unusual and I can only guess at its meaning. It may be an extinct expression for the very best, but valley makes me think of Wales. There is, or was, a pub in Churt in Surrey called the Pride of the Valley, its sign being a portrait of David Lloyd George (1863-1945). It seems he lived his last years at Churt, so it could be another pub honouring his memory - BUT to be so it would have had to named after him when, according to my earliest reference he was only 21! So this one is still a mystery.

The Cricketers(Broad Lane [now Street])

The name, Cricketers is rather bald and suggests a full name something like Cricketers Arms - or even Rest. One entry, Burgess 1845, gives the name Plumb. A Thomas Plumb is in Kelly 1847 at the Dun Cow in Bearward Street.

The Cricketers Arms(16 Bearward Street)

Again only one entry, Taylor 1864, Thomas Plumb sen. so it looks as if there was a move from the above and the sen. explains why Melville 1861 has a Thomas Plumb at the Dun Cow and another one at the Racehorse. There is only one more reference to 16 Bearward Street in Royal 1866, Plumb, T. Bearward street., Beer-retailer. Sometime after this I assume T. Plumb senior retired, although there is a T. Plumb vict. at the Halfway House in 1876 and again at the Bear in 1885 and 1889.

The Cricketers Arms(43-7 Hervey Street)

This is a typical purpose-built Victorian artisans' pub. The earliest reference is Wright 1884 who lists the proprietor as bhs. No doubt its name is a reference to the nearby Racecourse with similar reasons to the Bat & Wickets. In 1986 the pub went through some considerable changes, as well as celebrating the 21st year of a highly successful football team (what else would you expect from a pub called the Cricketers' Arms?). The pub's team were one of the founders of the Sunday League. The pub was once again in the news in 1998 when locals protested at the proposed changes in the gents' toilets. This pub still had the old-fashioned wall and gutter and it was intended to install modern urinals. Public opinion prevailed and the toilets are still with us.

The Cricketers Rest(46 Deal Street)

This pub seems to have been on the north corner of the junction between Deal Street and Maple Street. References are 1884 to 1910.

The Crispin Arms(Bridge Street)

This establishment is only mentioned twice, Burgess 1845 has Baldwin, and Slater 1850 has John Roddis. Burgess was the first compiler to really list all the pubs, beer-shops etc that he could find, so this place could have been about for quite a time before 1845 and just not got mentioned. A George Baldwin held the Magpie in Bridge Street and I have him dated from both sources from 1847 to 1877. A John Roddis was at the Crispin Arms Scarletwell Street in 1830 and seems to have returned there about 1852. There could be more than one as I have no record of him in Scarletwell Street after 1858, but I do have him at the Old Black Lion from 1861 to 1867. In 1876 there was a John Roddis at 10 Derngate as a confectioner and baker, which is his alternative trade given elsewhere. 10 Derngate could have been at the time the number for the Swan.

There hasn't been a House of Crispin to possess Arms so this in one of those non-armorial signs referring to a trade. The term Crispin is an allusion to Crispinus or St. Crispin, the patron saint of shoemakers. Crispin Arms is another way of saying the Shoemakers Arms.

Considering our connection with the boot and shoe trade it is surprising that we do not seem to ever have had a church dedicated to this saint. However, we have had at least three pubs - two Crispin Arms and a Jolly Crispin as well as a Mental Hospital and we did have a street fair in October.

The Crispin Arms(53 Scarletwell Street)

This Crispin Arms seems to be connected with the one in Bridge Street, although John Roddis may have been two different people. Taylor 1864 has two John Roddis, one as the proprietor of the Black Lion, Black Lion Hill and one for the White lion, Kingsthorpe Road. Roddis is the earliest name for a proprietor of the White Lion, so if he opened it did he call it thus as a sort of reflection of his Black Lion - or, was this a relative of the same name?

The Crispin Arms first appears in 1830 with John Roddis as the proprietor, so perhaps he may have originally been a shoemaker. The last entry I have is for 1952 so it must have closed around then.

A unique custom used to be carried out in this pub in the past, the Election of the Mayor of Scarletwell. In medieval times the Town Hall stood at the end of Scarletwell Street on the Mayorhold probably on the site of the Old Jolly Smokers. In about 1300 it moved to the north-east corner of Wood Hill (where Burtons, the tailors recently stood) and remained here, surviving the Great Fire of 1675, until the Victorians built our present one around the corner in St. Giles' Square. In the distant past the Mayorhold area was the smart part of town and one theory as to the origins of the Mayor of Scarletwell is that when the centre of local government moved from what is essentially the ancient Anglo-Danish part of town to the Norman New Borough the locals resented this and just went on electing their own Mayor.

This idea may not be as far-fetched as it first seems. The Mayorhold was at the North Portgate of the pre-Norman burgh and as well as being a market place could well have been the administrative centre of the earlier town. It seems reasonable to assume that once all the shouting was over the Normans would have let things run very much as they had done before they took over.

The Mayorhold area is still called (at least by my generation!) the Boroughs and has been since time out of mind. There are doubts as to both the origins and correct spellings of both Mayorhold and Boroughs. Is the Mayorhold where Mayors held office - or, where Mares were sold at the end of Horsemarket? Does the word Boroughs refer to the Borough, as in Town or, Burrows as in rabbits after the tunnels and cellars (I’ve been down some) that are reputed to honeycomb this area? We don’t know.

We had surviving in this town until quite recently two ancient offices that had long disappeared from almost all other ancient boroughs, to whit: Thirdboroughs and Dozeners. Thirdborough is a corruption of an Anglo-Saxon official one called a Frith-Born or frank pledge. He was a sort of headman of a small community bound to see the rest kept the peace - a sort of Community Watch-Man, perhaps? Dozener is likewise a corruption, of Decimer. Edward the Confessor (1042-1066) brought out a law based on an enactment of Canute (1016-1035) ordering that households combine into associations of ten. Each of these had a Thirdborough over it and originally over ten of these was a Decinarius or Dozener. In Northampton the Thirdborough was dropped from the Assembly Orders in 1667 and the Dozener finally ceased in 1835.

Northampton, along with a handful of other towns seems to have kept many of its ancient Anglo-Saxon customs and terms well into modern times. True Northamptonians for example know what a Jitty is, the word may be Anglo-Norman, but you need a Saxo-Danish earthwork to have one! Why shouldn't the descendants of the Anglo-Saxon town fathers carry on electing their own Mayor? And if it assisted, like the offices of Thirdborough and Dozeners, in the smooth running of the town why shouldn’t the Normans allow it? The Mayor of Scarletwell could well have been part of an unbroken line of Anglo-Saxon Mayors going back something like a thousand years! Below is a verbatim copy of a report from the Chronicle November 14th 1899:

The election of the Mayor of Scarletwell took place at the Town Hall, Scarletwell, on Saturday evening, Nov. 11, nearly all the members of the Council being present.- The minutes of the last meeting were read and confirmed.- The Mayor then said that the next business was the election of the Mayor for the ensuing year.- Councillor Williams, on rising, was met with great applause. He said he had a gentleman to propose that had filled the office for 14 years, and he had carried out the duties honestly and faithfully. Although he had heard that there would be some opposition to the present Mayor, he had great pleasure in proposing Sir Thomas Mawby, Knight of the Bristle, as Mayor for the coming year. (Applause) - Councillor Mallard briefly seconded. - Councillor Tarry said he had another gentleman to propose, and he felt sure that the gentleman would be elected, as he had lived amongst them for many years. He was a through good business man, and would be able to devote his time to the office of Mayor. He had great pleasure in proposing Alderman Blundell. (Applause.) - Councillor Page seconded.- After the voting had taken place, it was found that Sir Thomas Mawby, K.B., had a majority of one over Alderman Blundell,- The Mayor, on rising to reply, was greeted with great cheering. He thanked them very much for the honour they had conferred on him for the fifteenth year in succession. He had been over the course for 14 years, and he hardly expected the young one they brought against him would stay the distance, although he pressed him very close. He had won by a short head. (Applause.)- A smoking concert was held afterwards, when some excellent songs were sung.

The Town Hall referred to is the Crispin Arms. Sir, Thomas Mawby, K.B. appears to have been the Mayor of Scarletwell for about 24 years. On April 17th 1909 the Northampton Independent carried his Obituary, Death of the Mayor of Scarletwell. I believe the Office ceased with his death.

It is interesting to speculate that this mock Mayor, an office I understand that was used to raise money for worthy causes and for the relief of the poverty-stricken inhabitants of the Boroughs may really be ancient - or perhaps it was created only a century or so ago. It is an area I shall continue to research into and any information my readers have would be very welcome. I would like the office to be resurrected, it is part of our local heritage and, sadly there still is a need to raise money for worthy causes.

The Criterion(College Street / King Street [post 1938)

Also: The Newt and Cucumber (1992 - ?) now The Boston Clipper

Also: The Sultan (c1874 - 1876)

Also: The Fountain (1824 - c1870)

Also: Briggs Punch House (1783 - c1805

Address pre 1938 was Bradshaw Street / Silver Street. In my younger days this pub along with the one over the road, the Mitre and one around the corner, the Cross-Keys, shared a notorious reputation. It is interesting that this is the one whose name is not obviously religious, but does have two religious connections. The earliest reference to this establishment is an advertisement in the Northampton Mercury 22nd December 1783 which informs us that James Briggs begs leave to aquaint readers that he intends to open his WINE and PUNCH HOUSE at the corner of Silver-Street Northampton on Thursday the first of January next. Brigg's Punch-House appears again in the Mercury 1805 when it seems to be run by James' widow - or perhaps his daughter.

Wines, Brandies, Rums, Gins, and rich Cordials, of the finest flavour: Felix Calvert's Brown Stout and mild London Porter, rich Hereford Cyder, in any Quantity, barrelled or bottled. M. BRIGGS begs leave to inform her Friends and the Public in general, that she has laid in a large Quantity of the above Articles, of the first Quality, which she is determined to sell on the most moderate Terms. M.B. returns her sincere Acknowledgements to her numerous Friends for their very liberal Support, and hopes, from an unremitting Attention, to merit a Continuation of the same.
Silver-Street, Northampton, April 27, 1805.

By October 1815 William Dunkley is advertising in the Mercury that he has entered into the above INN that is the FOUNTAIN INN (Formerly known by the Name of the Punch House). He probably changed the name to the Fountain. A London sign bore the rhyme.

Say what you will, when all is done or said,
The best of drinking's at the Fountain Head.

Fountain Inn This inn is shown on Law 1847 as a substantial building with a fair sized yard to the rear at the north east corner of the junction of the four streets - this was its original position. An advertisement of the same year in Hickmans lists: - Chops and Steaks - Wines and spirits of the best Quality-Well-aired Beds-Good Stabling and Lock-up Coach Houses, etc. It also pointed out that Omnibuses pass the house from the Railway Station and an Ordinary was held on Market days.

It seems from other advertisements that the pub had a large room upstairs that was used for smoking concerts etc. In 1827 twelve members of the congregation of Castle Hill Church withdrew and formed themselves into a, Society Professing Unitarian Principals - this was the beginning of the Unitarian Church in Northampton. For the first few months until they acquired their own premises they met in the room above the pub and I understand often ate Sunday lunch there. What a sensible arrangement! Unitarians are still alive and well in Northampton.

In the early 1870s it changed its name to the Sultan, only in the late 1870s to change it once more to the Criterion. This is a rather high sounding name for a pub, meaning a standard by which others can be judged – perhaps it was the name of a famous coach or racehorse?

The Criterion As can be seen from the heading this pub had two addresses. In 1938 it along with several other buildings were demolished to make way for the new Municipal Fish and Meat Market. However, a new pub had been constructed on the diagonally opposite corner, where it still stands. I understand that the old Criterion closed one night and the new opened for business the next day.

Unitarian meetings, but what of the second religious connection? In the past College Street was part of Silver Street. In medieval towns two streets adjoining called Gold and Silver Streets indicate the location of the Jewry and it seems possible that the Synagogue was located on, or close to, the old Criterion site. A will of William Raynsford 1630 has: - all that messuage or tenement wherein she (his daughter) now dwells, sometymes now called the Synagogue of the Jews.. in a certaine streete there called Silverstreete. I wonder if any of the Synagogue survived in the structure of the old pub? In 1992 the Criterion was acquired by a pub chain that changed its name to the ridiculous Newt & Cucumber - later it became the Boston Clipper, now just The Clipper.

The Cromwell Arms(38 Marefair)

This pub stood more or less opposite Hazlerigg House - or as it is sometimes known, Cromwell House. Cromwell is reputed to have stayed at Hazlerigg House prior to the Battle of Nasby.

The earliest mention of 38 Marefair as a drinking place is in the Northampton Directory 1878-9, when Willson, Wm. was quoted as a beer-retailer. Stevens 1889 has Sanders, Charles also a beer-retailer. By 1893 Stevens has changed Sanders to Saunders. The last entry, in 1932, has no name with it.

The Cross Keys(25 Sheep Street)

According to the RBN 1898 there are, or were 16th and 17th century documents relating to this inn. I have located some from the 18th and 19th centuries, but not any earlier. A James York announced his transfer from the Cross Keys to the Hind in the Northampton Mercury July 1749

Because of the religious connections of the sign - the Cross Keys are the symbol of St. Peter and the Pope, and its location on the main north-south route through the medieval town of Northampton I feel that this inn could have very well started its life as a monastic hostelry. It could date back to the 13th century.

Thomas Bentley was the proprietor in the late 1870s and early 1880s. The Northampton Directory 1878-9 has an advertisement for, Bentley's Cross Keys Commercial Hotel – A Home from Home. And a handbill of about the same date calls it a Palace of Amusement with dancing every Monday evening and a concert every Saturday night at eight p.m. There was stabling for sixty horses and 15 lofty bedrooms.

Cross Keys I can not only remember visiting the bars of this pub in the 1960s, but also supplying a light-show for a disco held upstairs and I have recollections of several smallish rooms off from the relatively large room we held the disco in. These rooms were probably the lofty rooms referred to and no doubt the disco was held in the room that once hosted concerts and dances in the 19th century. The reputation of the Cross Keys in the 1960s was such that I’m pretty certain those lofty rooms were also used for entertainment, but of a much different nature!

There is a rough, red, incised tombstone in the Museum collection, which had been used in the foundations of the Cross Keys and rediscovered in February 1878. From the design it is of a good age and probably ecclesiastical, adding weight to my theory of a medieval hospice or tavern being on the site. This stone came to light during Thomas Bentley's reign and going on his advertising he was probably responsible for the last major alterations to be done to this building in its long life. It closed its doors for the last time in 1971.

An interesting recollection is from a friend of mine, Mr. Lynn Robinson. As a child he lived at number 27 Sheep Street, just across the other corner of Bull Head Lane. He used to play with Allan Parrott, the then landlord's son. It seems that his father, Frank Parrott was a big man in the cricket world with many important connections and Lynn can remember that Len Hutton, the famous cricketer, stayed as Mr. Parrott's guest at the Cross Keys on several occasions.

The Crow and Horseshoe(63 Gold Street)

Also: The Alhambra

Crow and Horseshoe I can understand why someone would call a pub the Horseshoe with its connotations of good luck, especially if it was at the top of a thoroughfare called Horseshoe Street, but the Crow & Horseshoe sounds an odd a combination as some of the modern daft ones. At first I thought it might indicate an amalgamation of two pubs. However, the Crow as a sign is very rare, probably because of the ominous reputation of this sombre black bird. Maybe, thought I, it indicated some sort of wry expression lost to modern humour, the Horseshoe being lucky, the Crow not.

Horseshoe Street was known in the past for its blacksmiths and at one time was called Crow & Horseshoe Lane, showing that one took its name from the other. Further research revealed that what we now call a crow-bar was once simply called a crow because the end was shaped into a beak. This was not only used as a lever or prise, but as an agricultural tool: - Get Crowe made of iron, deepe hole for to make. Oxford Dictionary 1578.

It also appears to have been a grapnel and an ancient kind of doorknocker! Considering Northampton’s past status as a market-town the name of Crow & Horseshoe Lane, and that of the inn (which I feel derived its name from the lane) indicated to visitors that here was a thoroughfare where one could not only get your horse shod, but purchase agricultural tools etc. as well. William Watson's will of 1802 left:

to my friends John Vialls and Joseph Vialls bothe of Hardston aforesaid yeomen their heirs and Assigns All that Messuage or Tenement with the Stables Outbuildings And Appurtenances to the same belonging called or known by the Name of the Crow and Horseshoe Inn Situate on Gold Street aforesaid now in the tenure or occupation of my said sone Charles Watson.

I wonder why he left it to his friends rather than his sone?

It seems to have been quite large and had its own brewery. The Northampton Mercury October 1851 carried the death of Joseph Steer, a brewer employed at the inn. The same publication carried an advertisement for the sale of the Freehold Inn and Market House in March 1860: - With the large yard, brewhouse, ginger beer manufactory, stabling for 15 horses large malting, for 10 quarters. It had a 24-foot frontage on Gold Street and a gateway from the yard into Horseshoe Street. (Information kindly supplied by Mr. G. Starmer).

It occupied the site that until recently was Bell's Hardware. The Crow & Horseshoe had its own entertainment facility, first called Thomas's Music Hall; this must have been when William Thomas became the proprietor circa 1855. It was later called the Alhambra and according to Lou Warwick (Northampton Independent April 1974) was of low repute. Eventually the license was transferred to the new Plough Hotel, built in 1879.

The Crown

The Crown A ubiquitous sign found all over England and it is argued whether this sign or the Red Lion are the most common. I have discovered five or is it six Crowns in Northampton alone. Monson-Fitzjohn's Quaint Signs of Olde Inns 1926 claims 1,008 Crowns to 921 Red Lions, but I understand things have changed since then; perhaps more Crowns have been demolished or changed to the Nutmeg & Weasel or some other stupid name.

Monson-Fitzjohn states that the origin of the Crown as a sign is due to the fact that the property has at some time been Crown property. This may be so in some cases, but I doubt if many were. The name Crown is a good safe name like the King’s Arms or King’s Head - easily adaptable to the reign of any monarch and unlike Arms and Heads a Crown is a crown and doesn’t need repainting at every coronation. This alone could account for its popularity.

The Crown (or Crowns)(Bridge Street, St Johns Street)

Also possibly: The Wards Arms

Also: The Warwick Arms

There is only one real entry for this pub, Pigot 1840, Edward Meacher, Bridge Street. however, the building labelled 82 on Laws 1847 plan of the town is titled Crowns and seems to be it. Therefore it stood on the south corner of Bridge Street and St. John's Street. This property is numbered on the O/S 2500 1964 as 55 so with this is some confusion. The Three Crowns is listed in Bridge Street in 1830, 1845 and 1847, the proprietors being respectively William Cherry, Morton and Joseph Robins boot ma. & clothier. This property has no number, but it seems these two pubs are the probably the same. To add more confusion by 1858 the Warwick Arms was claiming number 55 as its address and it also goes back to 1840.

This is what I think happened. There was a pub called the Three Crowns standing on the corner of St. John’s Street a long time before the earliest entry of 1830. This site by 1964 was numbered 55. On, or before 1840 there was also a pub next door (57) called the Warwick Arms. By 1858 the Warwick Arms had expanded and taken over number 55, extinguishing the Three Crowns. The Warwick Arms was called for a brief period the Wards Arms between 1901-1905 just to complicate things a little more.

The Crowns origins are not the same as the single Crown; in this case it is thought to refer to the three united kingdoms of England, Scotland and Wales. The three Crowns has the same meaning and often carries the portrait of James I of England (James VI of Scotland), the first monarch to rule all three kingdoms. In medieval times the Three Crowns referred either to the Three Wise Men or to the Papal crown. I could go on with these connections, but instead I will refer you to the entries for The Three Cups and The Three Pigeons.

Le Crown(Swinwel Street [Derngate])

Only one reference, in a document dated 1504. Mentioned in VCH, not much is known about this pub - however the address is interesting as Swineswell Street is the old name for Derngate. The Derngate was once, of course, a gate – situated at the site of the junction of Cheyne Walk and Victoria Promenade which run approximately along the line of the old town wall.

It is thought that the word Derngate is derived from the Welsh word dwr which means water - so Watergate. This is a good name for not only was there a Swines' Well on the way to this gate, but just beyond a well dedicated to St. Thomas Becket, and further along the Vigo well and the river Nenn. Spring Gardens also joins Derngate close to where the gate must have been. It is fortunate that Swineswell Street did change its name for if it had not the Derngate Centre would be called the Swineswell Centre!

The Crown(Dury [Drum] Lane)

Also possibly: The White Hart (Shipmans)

In the 18th century people were fond of giving fashionable London names to quite ordinary places. If you walk up Drum Lane into the Market Square today you will find the building to your right as you enter the Square is still called Dury Chambers but the lane has reverted to its more sensible, original name.

An advertisement in the Northampton Mercury 1766 gives the Crown in Dury Lane as being kept by a William Peck. I have no other reference to this sign, but suspect that it is another name for, or is part of, the White Hart- or Shipmans as it is now known.

The Crown(Broad Lane [Street])

One entry, Burgess 1845, Linnet-Crown-Broad-lane. under Beer-Sellers.

The Crown(Wood Hill)

From RBN 1898, this was probably the pre-Great Fire inn that was on the site of what became the Black Boy. See next entry.

The Crown(St Giles Square)

Because of the close proximity of this inn to the one above I think there is a very real chance of a mix-up here. I cannot be certain that the deeds that I have looked at are the same as the ones viewed by the compilers of the Borough Records, but the ones I have seen could easily be misread and lead one to think the Crown referred to was on Wood Hill. A deed of Sale of 1650 (pre-Fire) has:

near unto a Place called the Wood Hill next unto a Messuage or Tenement in the occupation of Joseph Hensman on the East side and a Messuage or Tenement or Inn called the Crown late in the Occupation of Peter Hanen on the West side.

The will of Richard Benbow 1694 refers to a property on the site of the cake-shop on the corner of Wood Hill and makes the location of the Crown clearer:

and in all that Messuage or Tenement with the appert. wherein Valentine Roberts pipemaker now liveth being the Corner house (facing?) upon Wood Hill on the West and the Inne called and known by the name or signe of the Crowne on the South side thereof in the towne of Northampton.

There are eight deeds I have used from the Record Office that mention this Inn, but a Conveyance of 1859 finally clears up the location of this Crown:

formerly the Crown Inn but now belonging to the County of Northampton and used for the accommodation of Her Majesty’s Judges of Assize.

There was a Crown before the Fire and it didn’t stand on Wood Hill. However, although it is unlikely to have inns of the same name so close to each other there could have been another on the site of the Black Boy before the Fire. It is pretty certain that an inn of some name preceded the Black Boy, it is only legend that says it was called the Crown and this could simply be a mix-up of names of adjacent, but lost, inns. The building that was this particular Crown appears to be still with us, now known as the Judges' Lodgings, standing next to the once hideously named Rat & Parrot!

Crown and Anchor

Crown and Anchor We have had two Crown & Anchors that I've discovered, one of which is still with us in Victoria Road. Although the Anchor is usually interpreted as a symbol of hope it can also mean the sea, especially ships and the navy. Combined with the Crown, a symbol of Royalty it can only mean The Royal Navy and this is the usual interpretation of this sign. Being so far from the sea could be why we have only had two pubs of this name. The surviving pub has at the time of writing an interesting and imaginative sign showing Neptune, god of the sea wearing a crown and holding an anchor.

There is also a dice based gambling game of this name much played by soldiers in the Great War and frowned upon by the Army brass. It is played with a board and three dice. The board has marked upon it the four suits of cards and a crown and an anchor. These six symbols are also marked on the sides of the dice. Players place stakes on one of the symbols and the banker throws the dice. If the symbol comes up on one of the dice the player gets their stake back, if two dice come up he gets twice his stake and three times if all three dice show the symbol. I can remember playing this game once in the school playground with marbles for stakes. I lost all my marbles (take that how you like!) and quickly learned why the Army didn't look kindly on this game.

The Crown and Anchor(178 and 180 Bridge Street)

Also: The Guy of Warwick

It seems in days gone by this pub, or at least a previous one, was known as the Guy of Warwick. The Crown & Anchor stood on the west side of Bridge Street right on the north bank of the river at South Bridge. Although the pub survived until 1959 I have no recollection of it. In that year on the 13th of February the full-on licence of the Crown & Anchor was transferred to a new, unnamed pub at the junction of the Headlands and Longland Road – later to be called The Headlands.

The Crown and Anchor(6 St Edmunds Road or 6 Victoria Street)

Crown and Anchor This one is still open. A typical street corner pub of the late 19th century, matching two similar pubs just down the road - the lost King of Denmark and the Princess Alexandra. Recently owned by McManus Taverns who sold it, along with six others to Mansfield brewery in July 1997. A major renovation took place in 1994. It started life as a beer-only pub as the first entry, in Wright 1884 has bhs.

E. Craddock was the proprietor, probably around 1910. Could this be the Edwd. G. Craddock listed for the Crown & Anchor, Bridge Street 1898-1900? If so, there may have been another name, or none for this establishment before the arrival of Edward who may have brought the name with him.

The Crown and Cushion(11 Fish Street)

We have had three Crown & Cushions with one surviving. The name is thought to derive from the cushion on which the crown is conveyed to the throne during a coronation, perhaps indicating a pub opened in a coronation year.

This pub is a good example of where confusion can occur when using old data. A few years ago a map was produced of the old pubs of the town. Unfortunately the man who produced it relied on the addresses supplied by the old street directories and fixed them onto an O/S 2500 Plan 1964, the earliest that showed street numbers. In his haste to produce his map he did not realise that many of the streets had gone through number revisions between the late 19th century and the 1960s. As a result many street corner pubs found themselves half way up streets and others at the wrong end!

The Crown & Cushion caused me much trouble, as number 11 Fish Street is the present address of the Fish Inn. I was told by one local history fan that this had been its original name, but I knew this to be wrong, as the Fish is one of the old town’s pubs. It was only through persistence and traditional stories I heard that there had been a pub on the opposite corner that I finally uncovered the truth. The street has been altered, widened and re-numbered - it was that simple. The pub stood on the opposite corner to the Fish, now occupied by City Buildings.

Before City Buildings was built in the early part of the 20th century there stood here, an ancient ale-house and the old police station (Chronicle & Echo 8th October 1988). In 1790 it was decided to build a town gaol. This proved to be a grim structure, where debtors got worse treatment than criminals, and lunatics suffered even more (ibid.). It was enlarged in 1840 and later was used as a police station until a new one was opened up in Dychurch Lane in 1892. It was about this time that the street was widened.

The Crown and Cushion(Kingsthorpe)

I have not been able to locate this one exactly; it seems that Kingsthorpe had quite a number of pubs in the past. As until quite recently Kingsthorpe was a village on the outskirts of the town and not in the borough, so it, like many other places, got ignored. This quote however, is interesting:

for not far from the Queen Adelaide Inn there are the King William IV on the Green, the Prince of Wales, the Crown & Cushion, and the Royal Oak. There are no fewer than eight public houses in Kingsthorpe in 1874.
Northampton Independent 22-1-37

This is five of them and I believe one of the others was called the Horseshoe, so I’ve still got two more to find.

The Crown and Cushion(276 Wellingborough Road)

Crown and Cushion This pub is still with us, on the Wellingborough Road on the corner of Collins Street. The first entry for this pub is in Taylor 1858 and gives a Joseph Smith as the proprietor and 212 as the number. On the O/S 2500 Plan 1964 this is a property two doors west of the Old House at Home and Taylor 1864 gives this number as the address of that pub. Laws map 1847 shows most of the Wellingborough Road undeveloped. Only Grundy's New Town (West Street – East Street) exists on the south side of the road. In fact, no more development is shown east of East Street, even by a Birdsalls map 1878. Therefore the Crown & Cushion that we now know could not have existed before this date. This is borne out by the fact that the sign does not reappear in the Wellingborough Road again until 1900.

Grundy's New Town was built between 1836 and 1850 and as there were no buildings between it and Abington Square it must have been a matter of guesswork as to the number of potential plots that lay between. Once the road had been developed west from the New Town, as is shown on Birdsalls map 1878 the plot numbers could be rationalised. This would account for the changes in numbers about this time. However, Law does not show any building where the Old House at Home subsequently appeared. There is a building halfway between New Town Road and Melbourne Street, and this oddly enough, corresponds to the present number 212.

The earliest date for the Old House at Home is 1864 and this is what I think happened. A Crown & Cushion appeared in the Wellingborough Road circa 1858 as part of the northern side of the New Town, i.e. the main road. For some reason it closed or at least, didn't appear in any more directories. Sometime around 1864 the Old House at Home opened on its present site; probably taking over from the Crown & Cushion (they both gave the number 212 at about the same time). Around 1900 a new Crown & Cushion was opened on its present site and was probably called such because of the previous one. A change of four numbers-two plots would be reasonable for a recalculation after the filling in of the road by developments. So, it looks like we may have had two Crown & Cushions in the Wellingborough Road, the earliest one being the predecessor of the Old House at Home. It has been observed that the Fish Inn and the Old House at Home are architecturally very similar, could the license and name of the pub adjacent to the Fish Inn been transferred from Fish Street to the Wellingborough Road, both being rebuilt by the same architect. The Crown & Cushion only later to be renamed the Old House at Home?

The Curriers Arms(14 Freeschool Street)

This pub was on the west side of Freeschool Street opposite the end of St. Gregory's Street. I have little on this pub, Wright 1884 has bhs so it was a beer-shop and Lea 1907 has it twice, once as the Carriers Arms and once under its correct name.

It is not surprising that I have found three pubs of this name in a shoe town like Northampton. Although not directly connected with the making of boots and shoes a currier is ancillary to the trade in that a currier is one who dresses and colours tanned leather. The sign itself is another example of a non-heraldic tradesman's arms.

The Curriers Arms(29 and 30 Mayorhold)

As near as I can work out this was one door north of the corner of Bath Street and the Mayorhold. The O/S 2500 Plan 1901 shows a long property with a gateway through into a large yard behind.

The Curriers Arms(9 Raglan Street)

Only two entries under the sign, both in Taylors Directories, 1858 George Mason and 1864 Edward Roberts. I have found Roberts mentioned as a beer-retailer in other directories. Melville 1861 also may explain why the pub was so called: - Roberts, Edward & Son, curriers & shoe manufacturers, 9 Raglan st. Beer-retailing was probably a secondary business. G. S Roberts, Raglan Street is listed in Royal 1866 as a beer-retailer and finally appears in Melville 1867 with the same description as in Melville 1861. This is true for all such entries and I do not trust the latter ones. Melville only produced two directories and I think the second one is a straight copy of the earlier one and as such cannot be relied upon.

O/S 2500 Plan 1964 shows number 9 as being a larger than usual house half way along the west side of the street with a side entrance leading to a building labelled Works.