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 Garden Tavern(Alliston Gardens)

There are only two references to this beer-shop (1906 and 1907). It doesn’t seem to have survived for very long and as I have no street number I cannot be sure where it was. There are two references to a Beer-Retailer, John Goosey or Goodsey in Stevens 1893 and 1889 at number 32 and this is shown on the O/S Plans as being a more substantial building than its neighbours, this was about in the centre of the north side and could have been the Garden Tavern.

The Gardeners Arms(Barrack Road)

Refer to the entry for: The Duke of Cambridge

There have been three Gardeners Arms in Northampton's past; one of which is still with us. It probably derives from a Friendly Society name.

The Gardeners Arms(1 Bearward Street)

This property was probably right next to the opening that used to be at the end of Alley Yard, one of Northampton's original jitties, and just over the road from the Ram. The only landlord we know of is a W. A. Tanner in 1928. This name also occurs in another directory for 1927-8 at the Gardeners, Arms in Wellingborough Road. One of these is either a misprint, or Mr. Tanner owned two pubs with the same name. Entries run from 1927 to 1936, so it probably disappeared during the War.

The Gardeners Arms(1 Bouverie Street and 184 Wellingborough Road)

Also: The Milkmaid

This pub was originally called the Milkmaid and the earliest entry under this name is 1845. The pub is still with us and still called the Gardeners Arms. Thomas Jeffs, who held it in 1845, was at the Princess Royal, up the road by 1862. The name changed sometime between 1864 and 1884.

Garibaldi

Guiseppe Garibaldi
Guiseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), the Italian liberator was the inspiration for this sign and Northampton had five of them. Garibaldi visited England in April 1864 and was received with great enthusiasm by the masses. A nervous government quickly asked him to leave!

Garibaldi visited England in 1864 and died in 1882, so it looks like one, Bailiff Street, was named for his visit and the others after his death.

The Garibaldi(19 Bailiff Street)

The Garibaldi Bailiff St There are conflicting accounts of this pubs origin, according to the Real Ale Guide 1983 there is a date stone on this building, high on the corner states that this was built in 1849 when it was named after the Italian partisan general Guiseppe Garibaldi. The date stone I’ve seen has A.D. 1897. An article in the Chronicle & Echo 16th June 1986 states that in, 1884 a mortgage document recites that the 3 dwellinghouse 17, 19 and 21 Bailiff street had been through (?) together making one large building trading as a Beerhouse and Grocers shop known by the name of the Garibaldi (sic). It goes on to say that in 1905 it was known as the Garibaldi Hotel.

The first proprietor under the pub's present name was John Brown. I have been able to track this man, as a Beer-Retailer, back to 1852. Between 1845 and 1849 there was a pub called the Black Horse in Bailiff Street for which I have no number, so it is possible that this is a precursor. It certainly seems that sometime after 1884 (bhs) it upgraded to a hotel (1905). The pub is still going and was refurbished; that is, most of the internal walls were removed, in 1982.

The Garibaldi(Guildhall Road)

The GaribaldiSt Michaels Road

I have grouped these two together because they both seem very short-lived and I have little information on them.

Guildhall Road has only one entry Town & County 1905-6, no proprietor’s name and no street number. Likewise St. Michael's Road, one entry Bennett 1906, no name or number. They could be errors, or beer-shops that gave themselves a popular name for a while. St. Michael's Street is interesting, being the 14th century name for Wood Street! Did Bennett mean Road? I have checked directory street lists and Goads Insurance Plans for both - all to no avail.

The Garibaldi(60 Cow Lane [Swan Street])

This pub stood on the west side of Swan Street two or three doors above the junction with St. John's Street. There are no records traceable before 1884 in the Beer-Retailer lists, but it does appear sometimes in the lists after this date (up to 1906) indicating the status of the establishment.

The Garibaldi(1 St Edmunds Road and 130 Wellingborough Road)

The building still stands on the east corner of the junction with the Wellingborough Road. This pub, along with the Duke of York, St Andrew's Road and the Northampton Flying Club bred homing pigeons as part of the war effort during the Second World War (see Duke of York). It appears that this pub closed during the 1960s, but I do not recall it. I have managed to trace the address through the Beer-Retailers lists back to 1864, so the building probably started life as a pub

The Gasometer(25 and 27 Gas Street)

This pub used to stand at the end of Queen Street one door north of the north corner. I can just remember this pub; it was lost during the construction of St. Peter's Way. Of course, the Gasworks are nearby and a gasometer (correctly called a gasholder) still stands by the roundabout (at the time of writing!), so the origin of the name presents no problem.

The Gate Inn(60 Scarletwell Street and 1 Crispin Street)

Also: These Gates Hang Well

The Gate The dual address shows this pub stood on the corner of Scarletwell and Crispin Streets. The name Gate is often given an inn that stood by a tollgate. Although Scarletwell Street is ancient, it is shown on Speeds Map 1610 and could have been part of an extra-mural road around the Danish Burgh it is not in a position to ever have been a toll-road. This is probably a case of the landlord liking the name, perhaps because of the rhyme that goes with it. It is a popular sign; I have references to two others in this County, at Greens Norton and Finedon. The signs all carry similar versions to this motto:

This Gate hangs well and hinders none,
Refresh and pay, and travel on.

The General Tom Thumb(101 Bridge Street)

Also: The Tom Thumb

This was a small pub at the bottom of the Bridge Street hill, on the east side one door down from the junction of Bridge Street and Victoria Promenade, the corner property being the Grazier's Arms.

Tom Thumb is the tiny hero of an ancient nursery tale, popular since the 16th century. A famous American dwarf, named Stratton, was called General Tom Thumb. I understand that when Stratton was working for Phineas Barnum, the circus impresario, he stayed at the George Hotel at the top of Bridge Street. A fitting name as the pub itself was a tiny affair.

The George Inn(1 George Row and Bridge Street)

Also: The George Hotel

Also: The Bodega Vaults

Also: The Hole in the Wall

This venerable inn stood, until its demolition in 1921, at the top of Bridge Street and George Row on the site of what is now Lloyd's Bank.

The demolished building had been built after the Great Fire of 1675 to replace an earlier George. How far back that George went is unknown. Cosmo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany described it as the Inn of St. George when he visited the town in 1669. The Assembly Order 1585 lists it as an auncient inne and George Row is obviously named after the inn, always a sign of a long-standing establishment. A clue lies in its name, it is, of course, not named after a king - the first George did not appear until 1714. St. George was the patron saint of the Crusaders and later, England. Is it possible that a soldier returning from the Crusades established an inn in celebration of his safe return, just as Simon de Senlis did when he had St. Sep’s Church built? Perhaps it was called thus to honour such men - or to show patriotic support for England? We don’t know. St. Sepulchre's church was built circa 1100 and the Order of St. George established by Edward III on April 23rd 1344 - so it is possible that this inn went back as far as one of these.

After the destruction wrought by the Great Fire it was imperative that accommodation was provided for travellers in as short as time as possible this being a Market Town. The owner, John Dryden of Cannons Ashby caused a purpose-designed inn to be immediately constructed on the site. This must have been a good design as a few years later it was being described as:

the best and most commodious Inn for Noblemen, Gentlemen, & Travellers between London and West-Chester.
A Brief History of the George Hotel, Northampton
Henry Brown & Co., Northampton. 1897.

John Dryden died in 1707 and left the George to the Town for charitable purposes, it was used to endow the Blue Coat School. Daniel Defoe in his travelogue, (as near as I can ascertain he visited the town in 1724) A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain describes Northampton as:

the handsomest and best built town in all this part of England. But also refers to the George, The great inn at the George, the corner of the High Street, looks more like a palace than an inn, and cost above 2000l. (£2000) building; and so generous was the owner, that, as we were told, when he had it built, he gave it to the poor of the town.

Much of the Civil, Social and Political life of the town revolved about this inn, and many famous people stayed here, such as Paganini. In 1844 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited the County. The Royal carriage drew up at the George, an address was presented by the Mayor and Corporation, children sang and the horses were changed. From then on the Royal Arms graced the main entrance.

During the Great Election of 1768 three Earls opposed one another in Northampton; Lords Halifax and Northampton (Tory), and Lord Spencer (Whig). Polling went on for fourteen days and everyone was lavish with money. Wine and beer flowed like water and fights broke out continually. Lord Spencer’s headquarters were at the George, whilst the Tories holed up at the Red Lyon in Sheep Street - two inns at each end of the Drapery. At one point 100 Whigs were forced to retreat into the George by 200 rioting Tories. Every window in the inn was smashed and Lord Spencer had to go out onto the balcony and promise to distribute £1,000 worth of bread and coal to secure peace. The election was known locally as the Spendthrift Election and it appears to have cost a total of £400,000 - a staggering amount for the time! Lord Spencer spent £100,000 and the other two £150,000- each. It makes modern elections with our Swingometer on T. V. seem rather tame! There was a similar incident again in 1826 (see the entry for: The Gunning Arms).

Other activities also took place; public auctions, hunt and race balls and the Town and County Justices. At the Restoration in 1649 Charles II in retribution for our Parliamentary support caused our town walls and castle to be slighted - partly demolished: - His Majesty is content yt so much of it (the castle) should remaine as is necessary for ye Shelter of ye Justices in ye Bench. Well, it seems that ye Shelter wasn’t good enough and ye Justices often held Court in the George where they also stayed.

Other claims to fame was one of the finest Cock-Pits in the County (later becoming a skating rink) and on January 16th 1730 the first Masonic Lodge in Northampton was formed here, Sir Arthur Hesilrige becoming the first Worshipful Master.

There were several advertisements and announcements in the Mercury during the 18th century. In July 1732 John Stoughton from the Swan in Kettering announced that the new repair'd George had been taken by himself. In April 1739 it was To be LET and in November of the same year John Page announced his taking the inn. Once more in January 1759 it was To be LETT - in present occupation of John Page to be entered upon Midsummer 1759.

By the turn of the 18th century the structure was beginning to deteriorate and some rebuilding took place in the early 1800s. The trustees applied to Parliament for permission to sell it. In this they succeeded in 1806, selling it to a Tontine for £1,500. Ninety lives were nominated at £50 each by 54 subscribers, raising £4,500 - the surplus was needed to upgrade the hotel. A Tontine was an early kind of life insurance; lives would be sold to raise the finance and the number of survivors nominated, in this case, five. When there were only that number of survivors left, the enterprise would be wound up and sold off, the proceeds being distributed amongst them. The George was sold in 1919 for £20,000 and I understand the buyers intended to build one of those new-fangled Kinemas on the site. In this they were thwarted by the Corporation and in 1921 it was pulled down and Lloyd’s Bank built.

George Hotel Vaults, Bodega Vaults and The Hole in the Wall all refer to the same place, the vault or tap bar of the hotel. The term vault implies the availability of wine, derived from wine vault. The first name is therefore self-explanatory. A Bodega is a cellar or shop selling wine, from the Spanish meaning apothecary. So, some sort of wine-bar in Bridge Street - the first of so many?

The entrance to this place was on the Bridge Street side, right at the top, almost on the corner. Imagine my surprise several years ago when cash points were still a novelty and I was with some friends standing at the top of Bridge Street outside Michael Jones opposite the bank and one of the party said, Hang on, I'm just going to the Hole in the Wall. Of course, what he did was cross the road to Lloyd's bank cash point, almost in the exact spot where the door to the Hole in the Wall bar must have been. This was the first time I had heard the expression.

The George and Dragon(61 St Georges Street)

Gold Sovereign It is easy to see why this pub got its name, however on the N.B.C. Plans it is labelled Green Dragon - this name occurs to my knowledge nowhere else. It is shown clearly as a larger building on the O/S 2500 Plans, on the south side of the street, about halfway between Arundel Street and Patrick Street. This building must have been demolished prior to the NDC Archaeological Unit excavation in the early 1970s.

A popular image of George and the Dragon is that found on the obverse of the gold sovereign. It is said that this sign did not become popular until it was used as the insignia of the Garter, but I don't think this pub goes back that far.

The Gladstones Arms

Refer to the entry for: The Foresters Arms

The Glaziers Arms

Refer to the entry for: The Graziers Arms

The Globe(141 Bridge Street)

This pub appears to have been on the east side of the lower part of Bridge Street, about halfway between the Malt Shovel and Navigation Row. The buildings in the area are small and this establishment gets more mentions as a Beer-Retailer than under its own sign. Dates from 1845 to 1893.

There have been five pubs called the Globe at times in this town. All seem to have flourished in the last half of the 19th century. The meaning of this sign is often given that it is a symbol of Portugal and informed the public that Portuguese wines were available. However, all these pubs are in locations (except Bridge Street) that indicate beer-shops and/or show other evidence of being so. As beer-shops didn't sell wine it seems that this sign implied that the whole world drank here.

The Globe(25 Castle Street)

Also possibly: The Star

The address given in the one entry that has one (1864) is the same for the Star; however, in 1864 there is no mention of the Star. In 1901 and 1904 Bennett records both names as being in Castle Street, but gives no numbers or publicans’ names. As five other directories record the Star as being at number 25 between 1884 and 1907 I conclude that the premises may have been taken over sometime between 1864 and 1884 and the name changed. From studying the Plans of the period (Law 1847, O/S 1901 etc.) it seems that many changes took place with the buildings over this period, so it is possible that the street numbers also changed and the number is a coincidence - I do not think this is likely. Julian Roelands, the only name associated with this pub, first appears in Melville 1861 as, Currier & B/R 29 Up. Mount st., in Slater 1862 he is a Beer-Retailer at number 25 Castle Street. The Globe is then not recorded for 37 years, so I think the second appearance of this name in Castle Street (1901 and 1904) is a resurrection, unfortunately thanks to Bennetts brevity we have no publican’s name to work with.

The Globe(14 College Street)

This was next door to the Boot. Dates are, 1864 and 1933.

The Globe(10 Kettering Road and St Edmunds Row)

Also: The Fig Tree

The reason for linking these two pubs is the carry through of William Powell. Working from O/S 2500 1964 Plan I calculate that number 10 would have been on the south side of the Kettering Road where the Garden of Rest is now. A row of houses shown here on O/S 1901 includes a larger one where number 10 would have been. Burgess 1845 gives the address as St. Edmund’s Row, an old name for the very start of the Kettering Road. It is shown as a PH on Goads Insurance Plan of 1899. William Powell is recorded as being at the Fig Tree in 1845 and 1852 and at the Globe in 1858.

The Globe

Refer to the entry for: The Clickers Arms

The Goat(Gold Street)

Also: The Bull and Goat

The Goat Three goats heads between a chevron is the arms of the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers and is considered to be one of the explanations of the Goat & Compass pub sign. A white goat is part of the arms of Russell, Earls and Dukes of Bedford. The Bull and Goat may refer to some ancient story or may be from someone's name - or it could represent the amalgamation of two inns. Whatever the truth is it was of considerable antiquity and at least in its latter years, of some importance.

The earliest document dates from 1635, so it predates the Great Fire of 1675 in which it was almost certainly destroyed. It may have come to prominence if it had been swiftly built after the Fire when accommodation was in great demand. It was important all through the 18th century, mentioned in the 17th century, but not listed as an Ancient Inn in the Assembly Order. The Bull & Goat was advertised for let in the Northampton Mercury April 1739 and this is probably the same inn.

Laws Map 1847 numbers it 65. I have references to an entrance in St. Katherine's Street that runs parallel to the north side of Gold Street and Laws Map clearly shows a building with a large yard, surrounded by outbuildings and with a wide entrance. The original frontage onto Gold Street was taken down and shops built at the front, whilst the rear yard became a Coach Manufactory.

Near the end of 1885 some correspondence was instigated in the Northampton Mercury by the discovery of a lead plate near the bottom of Wood Street. On this plate was the inscription Ye Goat Inn, 1681. TM. According to one contributor there are deeds that are written in, Old English style, and date as far back as the sixteenth century. Advertisements in the 18th century from the Northampton Mercury are mainly concerning the letting of the inn, or coaches - for it was a coaching inn. We are informed that Joseph Williams had taken the Old Goat Inn in 1744 and a will of 1731 refers to the place as the Bull & Goat. A will of Joseph Daniel 1757 has:

known by the name or Sign of the Old Goat situate and being within the parish of All Saints in said Town of Northampton on the north side of a certain street there called the Gold street...

According to the Northampton Independent April 12th 1957 the yard was still there. An arch with a carved stone goat head and an inscription Site of old Goat Inn had also survived. We did have on the eastern side of what was Brierley's store a small plate with the legend:

SITE OF THE
GOAT INN
DEMOLISHED CIRCA 1860

The Golden Ball(13 Market Hill [Square])

The Golden Ball is mentioned as a sign in NN&Q 1889 and the author quotes an advertisement from the Northampton Mercury March 17th 1739 when one Jos. Satchwell offered paperhangings for sale by the square yard. The author then quotes from another advertisement of seventeen years later:

Whereas Joseph Satchwell, at the Golden Ball on the Market-Hill in Northampton, finds his keeping a Publick-House has been detrimental to his other Business; begs leave to acquaint His Friends, that he has now laid down the Publick Business, and only carries on his private-Trade, as before: where all Persons will be kindly used, and their Favours gratefully acknowledg’d by Their humble Servants, Joseph and Eliz. Satchwell.
N. B. I carry on the Millinery Business, with Mounting of Fans, and Furnishing Funerals; and take in Boarders, etc. as usual.

The Golden Ball was an old sign for a silk mercer so would have been appropriate for Joseph's main business. A later note in NN&Q states that the sign of the Golden Ball was where Messers. Howes, Percival & Ellen's offices now are. Stevens 1889 gives the number 13.

The Golden Cross(St Martins Street)

Golden Cross
One of those listed in the RBN 1898 of which I can find no trace. St. Martin's Street ran along the line of the present Broad Street and was named after St. Martin's Chapel that became a ruin as early as 1254. The exact location of this chapel and the Golden Cross are unknown.

After the capture of Jerusalem in 1099 the arms adopted by the Crusader Kings of Jerusalem were five gold crosses on a silver shield, a cross-potent between four Greek crosses.

The Golden Fleece

Refer to the entry for: The Fleece

The Golden Hind

Refer to the entry for: The Hind

The Golden Horse(138 Bridge Street)

The Golden Horse is probably heraldic, but as both pubs that have borne this name are linked the theory below could be right.

This pub was near the brewery on the west side of Bridge Street and seems to have had good trade with the boats off the River Nenn. I believe it was eventually swallowed up by brewery extensions. As to the name, the Black Horse was only five doors away, so perhaps this sign, or the Black Horse's is an example of rivalry?

The Golden Horse(59 Southampton Road)

The Golden Horse
This pub was built to cater to the new residents moving into Far Cotton at the time and the licence for the original Golden Horse was transferred - along with the landlord. Until a few years ago there were five pubs in this area, three were swallowed up in the Main Road Industrial Estate and the fourth, the Clinton Arms, a victim of the Motor Car (road widening).

The Golden Lion (s)(Locations unknown)

Like the Golden Horse this could be heraldic. There were probably three pubs with this sign. The oldest is from the RBN 1889, I have no location, nor have the documents been found. Taylors unpublished material refers to a Golden Lion in Bridge Street and this could have been it, or another one. The surviving Golden Lion, in Castle Street cannot be the 16th-18th century one from the RBN 1898 as Castle Hill, is clearly shown as undeveloped on all the early maps of the town.

The Golden Lion(49-51 Castle Street)

The Golden Lion

Laws Map 1847 seems to show the original premises and the O/S 2500 Plan 1901 shows something similar, by the O/S Plan 1938 the whole site had been cleared and only two buildings are shown, the pub and the hall.

The Goldsmiths Arms(The Drapery)

The only directory to list this pub is Pigots 1824 who is the first compiler to list more than just coaching inns. Pigots 1830 does not list it so presumably it had ceased to trade. Unpublished material from NN&Q says that the Goldsmith's Arms was given up 63 years ago i.e. circa 1830.

The Good Intent(38 Cloutsham Street)

There is only one entry under this name, but the landlord's name appears in other directories under Beer-Retailers (1885-1900). Shown as an ordinary terraced house on the O/S Plans.

This name could be from a Friendly Society or a Lodge. A schooner of this name was smuggling around the 1830s and a stagecoach from Kent also bore this name.

The Good Intent(40 West Street)

West Street is part of Thomas Grundy's New Town, built between 1836 and the 1850s. This pub was on the west side halfway down and had a side alley. This whole area went in the Bouverie Street Clearance of the 1970s. It must have been a jolly place at times, judging from an advertisement in the Northampton Daily Reporter 6th October 1897:

GOOD INTENT, West Street. Proprietor J. Knightly.
Saturday Night Concerts commence next Saturday, Oct. 9th.
Chairman Mr. G. Marlow.
Phipps & Co's Sparkling Ales & Stouts. & Choice Cigars.

The Granby Arms(77 Vernon Street / Stockley Street)

Also: The Marquis of Granby

John Manners, Marquis of Granby (1721-1770) was a brilliant soldier, during the Seven Years War he was colonel of the Blues and very popular with the troops. There are signs all over the country due to the Marquis having set up many of his wounded senior non-commissioned officers in their own inns. This could be the reason that when he died at the age of 49 he left debts of £37,000! This pub may be an example of the name taking someone’s fancy as this part of Northampton wasn’t built up until at least a century after the Marquis died.

This was a typical 19th century street corner pub. In the early 1970s my wife and I purchased our first house, almost opposite - so it became our local. It had its regulars and in fact, it had little more and needed no more as I cannot recall it ever being empty. It was a small place and started life in the 19th century as a beer-shop (1884 bhs). It has all the characteristics (and characters!) associated with the old Home from Home local. The atmosphere, especially on a cold night, was warm and welcoming and although it sold Watney's beer, at that age I knew no better. There were seats that were somebodys - and although no one minded you sitting in them, when somebody came in you were expected to give them up. Every night there were the same faces and all the local gossip was aired.

We had draconian licensing laws in those days, so on Sundays (Noon - 2pm) we would take a jug with us and get it filled just before closing time, to return home having had a couple of hours in the Granby while the Sunday joint was cooking over the road - Happy Days! After a couple of years or so we were compulsorily purchased, the area flattened, and redeveloped.

It may appear that I have eulogised excessively over a small back street pub, but this pub was in my personal sphere of experience and I am well aware that all over Northampton - indeed all over England there were thousands of such pubs like this one, pubs that sold most of their beer to perhaps 30 to 50 families within a couple of streets of the place. They were the backbone of English pubs and drinking and sadly, at least in the south, largely gone forever, as have the communities that used them.

The Granville Arms(32-34 Grove Road)

This pub is still with us, but not as a pub. The earliest entry is 1884 and it closed in November 1959, in March of the next year the RAFA Club moved from their old premises in the Wellingborough Road (the former Engineer pub) into the former Granville Arms where they are to this day.

The Grafton Arms

Refer to the entry for: The King William IV

The Graziers Arms(99 Bridge Street)

Also (1893 error): The Glaziers Arms

This pub stood on the south east corner of the junction between Bridge Street and Victoria Promenade. A sign from this pub is displayed in the bar of the Malt Shovel.

The Green Dragon(St Georges Street)

Refer to the entry for: The George and Dragon

We have had two of these - one is a contraction of the George & Dragon in St. George's Street, the other one is much older. One of the supporters of Queen Elizabeth I Arms was a red dragon and considering her popularity and interest in inns one would expect more red than green dragons, but this is not so. When an innkeeper wanted to honour Good Queen Bess it was either the Queen's head or the Queen's Arms that were displayed. The Green Dragon on the Mayorhold was almost certainly there before the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603). This one in St. George's Street is a contraction of George & Dragon and would have been called the Green Dragon because that is what was on the sign, interestingly the George in George Row seems to have contracted from the other end and lost the Dragon instead of George.

The Green Dragon(Mayorhold and 54 Bearward Street)

The Green Dragon This inn stood at the end of Bearward Street facing onto the ancient Mayorhold which has been sacrificed to the car and is now merely a road junction and traffic lights.

In the Middle Ages this was an important part of town and the Guildhall or Town hall stood opposite the Green Dragon at the end of Scarletwell Street. This is probably why it was called the Mayorhold (see the entry for: The Crispin Arms).

In 1970 NDC Archaeological Unit excavated the site of this pub and found the remains of a fine medieval house. A few weeks after the end of the excavation we were called back. A hole had been dug in the road in front of the pub site to cut off some of the services and the workmen had broken through into a barrel-vaulted stone cellar. This proved to be circa 18th century and part of the pub. This was one of the Ancuient Innes in the Assembly Order of 1585; it was demolished in August 1970.

The Green Man(52 St James Road)

Also: The Thomas A Becket

Green Man Sign This pub stands on the bend of the road a few hundred yards past West Bridge and once next door stood the Harborough Arms, which was demolished for road widening. There are records of a Green Man in St. James as far back as the 17th century and considering its position it had probably been a coaching inn. The present building is not old. In 1970 Mick McManus took over the pub and changed the name to the Thomas A Becket. I do not usually approve of name changes; however there are two good reasons for this one.

Thomas A Becket Pub Firstly there are the connections between Thomas Becket and the town; the barons attempted to try him at Northampton Castle, just across the river from the pub, and it was from here that he fled to the continent in 1164. The second reason is not so obvious. Many years ago a friend, now sadly passed on, was working as a commercial artist for Watney-Mann painting pub signs. He was commissioned to produce a Green Man for a village pub. Apart from being an artist Tom was also a Witch and knew full well what a Green Man was. He produced a sign showing a shaman type character, dressed in greenery and performing some sort of fertility dance. I never saw the sign, but I gather it was pretty explicit. The sign was hung and everything was fine until the so-called architectural staff from headquarters in Mortlake came to view the improvements. Tom told me this young squirt in his 20s and a bad suit tried to tell him that the Green Man is always Robin Hood in Lincoln Green. The sign was taken down and Tom, under protest, but knowing where his bread was coming from, painted another. The landlord kept the original because he, and most of the village, liked it! The locals got up a petition that was even signed by the vicar, but all to no avail and the sign was never replaced. Tom later painted one for this pub - not a Robin Hood, but a Medieval Jack-in-the-Green, a sort of Morris Dancer type holding two torches.

In prehistoric times the Green Man was the sacrifice or Divine Victim made to maintain the fertility of the soil. The film The Wicker Man is a modern (and unlikely!) version of the idea. In some cultures this sacrifice was also the king who ruled for only a set number of years before being killed. The anthropologist, Margaret Murray in her book The God of the Witches suggests that Thomas Becket substituted himself for King Henry II as this sacrifice. Therefore Thomas Becket could be seen as the Green Man!

The Green Mount(St Edmunds Road)

This is one of those listed in the RBN 1898 of which I can find no trace. Like many towns in the Middle Ages Northampton expanded outside its walls, forming suburbs along the roads leading to its gates. It must have been somewhere along the Wellingborough Road, near Abington Square.

The Green Tree(26 The Green [1864 & 1884] and 56 Green Street [1907 - 1956])

Probably chosen because of the address. The earliest entry is 1858 and Wright 1884 gives bhs, a beer-house, the last entry is 1956.

We have had two Green Trees. What the sign means I have been unable to discover, it could be a symbol of fecundity, or heraldic.

The Green Tree(Malt Row [Market Square])

Malt Row is the old name for the east side of the Market Square. In a Charter of Sale 1456 some of the properties are described. The Peacock in Malt Row (where Peacock Place is now) had to the north a pub called the Cat and next above the Green Tree. There is a Green Tree in the lists from RBN 1898 without a location and this is probably it. This pub along with the Cat probably perished in the Great Fire 1675 and unlike the Peacock, were never rebuilt.

The Rental of 1504 referred to elsewhere also lists this inn: - There was a tenement called le Grenetree near the Friars Minor. The Friars Minor are otherwise known as the Greyfriars and their Friary occupied the land to the east of the Market confirming the location of le Grenetree.

Greyhound

Greyhound The Greyhound was one of the badges of the Tudor kings and appeared on the arms of both Henry VII and VIII. Until the end of the 18th century a silver greyhound was worn on the sleeve of the king's messengers and still is the sign of a British Diplomatic Messenger. This goes back to King Charles who broke a number of silver greyhounds off a piece of tableware and gave them to trusted men as signs of recognition when they acted as his messengers. We have five of these pubs and it is possible that some of the later ones were simply named because the landlord liked greyhound racing, or the breed of dog.

The Greyhound(Woolmonger Street)

The only reference is from the RBN 1898 where it is listed as one of the 16th or 17th century inns, but see below, Greyhound, Gold Street, did this pub go right through the block?

The Greyhound(14 Gas Street)

There is a junction between Gas Street and Woolmonger Street, but if the numbering in the 19th century is the same as the O/S 1964 this pub must have been on the opposite (west) side of the road, probably under the large traffic-island. The first proprietor listed is a Mrs. Mary Norris in 1864. The next entry, the Greyhound in Market Street has for its first proprietor, listed in 1858 a Thomas Norris - there must be a connection. The last entry I have for this pub is 1907.

The Greyhound(104 - 106 Market Street)

This pub was at the Kettering Road end on the north east side next to a factory.

The Greyhound(Alma Street, Far Cotton)

One entry, Taylor 1864, George Smith. This was probably just a small beer-shop. There is some confusion, however, Melville 1861 has G. Smith at the Rose & Crown, Alma Street and he is recorded as being a Beer-Retailer in 1862 and 1869. Taylor 1864 has George Smith at the Greyhound and an Edward Seal at the Rose & Crown, so they are not the same pub.

The Greyhound(Gold Street)

Referred to in the Great Fire Court 1675 22nd July 1676. Presumably destroyed in the Great Fire and not rebuilt, at least under this name.

The Griffin(Gold Street)

The Griffin


One of those in the RBN 1898 list which is now lost to us.

The Gunnings Arms(71 Bridge Street)

The Gunnings Arms stood three doors below the church of St. John at the bottom of the hill according to the O/S 1964 numeration. The Gunnings were local aristocracy from Little Horton who seem to have loomed large in local politics on the side of the Tories over the last two centuries. In 1826 there was a scandal concerning Sir Robert Gunning when the Corporation voted £1,000 out of Borough funds for his election expenses to try to make both Borough seats Tory.

They failed, the result of the poll was; Sir George Robertson, Bart. 1,348 (Whig), Major Maberly 1,137 (Tory) and Sir R. H. Gunning, Bart. 1,005 (Tory) - Robertson and Maberly were elected. This is from the Northampton Daily Reporter March 23rd 1904, which is a quote from the Northampton Mercury June 17th 1826:

This town has been in a feverish state of excitement during the whole of the present week. Several outrages have been committed, but last night a scene of tumult and confusion prevailed before the George inn which has not been equalled during the election. As one of the friends of Sir Rob. Gunning was addressing his electors after the polling, a party of his opponents’ friends were excited by some persons, who immediately commenced breaking the windows of the inn by throwing pebbles, the destruction of which would have been much greater had not Lord Althorpe promptly presented himself at the balcony. His Lordship requested them to desist from these measures as by such conduct they were injuring the cause of Reform. There were a considerable number of panes broken; and we understand that some persons were struck by the pebbles, though we believe that no one was seriously injured.

The Guy of Warwick(South Gate)

Also: The Crown and Anchor(178 and 180 Bridge Street)

This inn must have been of some age as it is mentioned in the RBN 1898 as one of the 16th and 17th century inns; however, I have not seen any documents this old. The author of Glimpses of Old Northampton: Its Signs NN&Q 1889 says it was known under that name at least 160 years ago. There are advertisements and articles in the Northampton Mercury going back at least to the 1720s. A marriage settlement of 1772 gives us some clues and confirms what the author of the above article said, that it became the Crown & Anchor. One interesting part of this settlement may, if it is not an error, give us a clue as to why it was called the Guy of Warwick:

near to the South Bridge and High River there formerly in the several Occupations of Guy Warwick (!) and Joseph Brooks.

Perhaps the originator of this sign was actually called Guy Warwick or the clerk got it wrong. Guy of Warwick was supposed to have been a valiant Saxon Earl and many stories were written about him in the 17th and 18th centuries - so he would have been a good subject of a sign about that time (see the Bearward Arms for more on this hero).

The marriage settlement mentions several messuages or tenements either as property in the settlement or adjacent properties used to define the former. There are also pencilled additions written above the main script. I have no date for these but one above the properties which are marked as one building on Laws Map 1847 (number 84, Crown & Anchor) has, called the Crown & Anchor - the rest of the definition gives to the north a certain messuage or tenement which according to the pencilled additions is, now an alehouse occupied by Amy Dray (or Jay – unclear). To date I do not have any more information about this alehouse and it may end up being unnamed forever (see the entry for: X).