This only occurs once, in Kelly 1847, the proprietor being a William Rutter. The Britannia Inn’s address is often given as, Rush Mills, Hardingstone and once, in Bennett 1910 as, Paper Mills, for the Rush Mills were once a paper mill. From the name of this pub I would guess that it was either nearby or is an alternative name for the Britannia.
Also: The Rivetters Arms
I have grouped these two pubs together, as there is some confusion about them. It is possible that the Patriot became the Rivetters' Arms, but it is also possible that the Patriot moved and/or was resurrected at a later date. The Brewery Plans clearly show the Rivetters’ Arms on the west side about halfway between the Wellingborough Road and Brunswick Street.
The pub first appears as a Beer-Retailer in 1862 and is called the Patriot by 1864, all other entries up to and including 1878 give it as a Beer-Retailer, but in 1884 it is called the Rivetters Arms. Between 1901 and the last entry in 1910 it is called by both names as well as just a Beer-Retailer. From 1901 onwards there are only three directories involved; Bennett (1901, 1904, 1906 and 1910), Kelly (1903, 1906 and 1910) and Lea (1906 and two entries in 1907). Compilers repeating entries from one year to the next without checking them probably caused this confusion. Lea 1907 has both pub names, in Market Street, without numbers, but run by the same person!?
Surprising the Peacock was not listed as an Ancient Inn in 1585, it was of great antiquity but perhaps it wasn't as important then as it became in later years. An early charter of 1456 records:
The sale of a hospice called Le Pecok by George Longevyle, lord of the manor of Little Billyng to Roger Salesbury, squire of Horton.
The reference to a hospice is interesting; as these were the early inns (see Introduction). In 1180 All Saints Church was known as the Church of the Market Place as markets were held in the church and churchyard. Before the Great Fire of 1675 All Saints Church was about twice the size it is now and could have easily held a market. In 1235 King Henry III ordered that no more fairs or markets were to be held in the church, but in a void and waste place to the north of the church - thus was our Market Square created. It is entirely possible that the Peacock began about the same time. In 1456 the Peacock stood on Malt Row as the east side of the Market Square was then called. The two houses next north was called Le Catte and the Green Tree.
The Peacock is the badge of the Dukes of Rutland, but there is no apparent connection. If the Peacock started life as a hospice it would have been attached to a religious house and before the Dissolution it occupied a place in the western boundary wall of the Greyfriars enclosure. The Greyfriars began in the 13th century - about the time of the formation of the Market Square. The religious meaning of the Peacock is as a symbol of the Resurrection, its flesh supposedly being incorruptible. There is listed in the Great Fire Poem a Phoenix Inn, which by its context must be on the Market Square, as this is its only mention anywhere and in consideration of the similarity of the symbolism of the two birds I feel this is probably the Peacock.
In the 16th century John Mole, the King's Lieutenant and Mayor of Northampton bought the inn for £22 and his will of 1548 lists one of his trustees as Laurence Washington, also a Mayor in his time and great-grandfather of the famous president of the USA. NN&Q 1889 has a piece on the Inn and the author describes it thus:
This hotel is situated on the east side of the Market Square. Some idea of its age may be gathered from the fact that it had galleries round its inner court, like the old hostelries of two centuries ago; these galleries have long since been closed, but the remains of them are very plain.
It appears from this account that the galleries were already filled in, leaving the rails and posts exposed on the outside of the wall. In Elizabethan times entertainments would be performed in the courtyards of inns, many of the spectators watching from the balconies that ran around the yards. These remains were finally removed in 1948 during building work. At the time I was just over three years old and I can remember as a very young child looking into the yard and thinking that it looked like a Wild-West saloon – I’m sure I remember those rails and if that is right it must be one of my earliest memories – certainly of a pub! The Northampton-Illustrated (circa 1895) has the following description of the interior:
The accommodation includes spacious commercial and stock rooms for travellers, and a particularly cosy and comfortable smoking room, coffee room, and the usual domestic offices, etc., on the ground floor. There is also a large dining room, where most of the principal civic, Masonic, and other banquets have been periodically held. In the upper portion of the fine old house are well-furnished private sitting rooms, and a number of airy and comfortable bed rooms, affording accommodation for a large number of guests. On market days two ordinaries are served for the convenience of country visitors and commercial gentlemen.
Bearing in mind that this is a form of advertisement it does give a fairly good impression of what a typical large market inn of the times must have been like. It is true that some of the civic and Masonic banquets were held there, but other inns such as the George, Red Lion and Goat also hosted such functions. An ordinary was a meal provided at a fixed time and price in inns, usually on market days.
There are plenty of advertisements and accounts that refer to this inn, including one account on 1688 of 25s. (125p) for the Mayor and others that was disallowed. The landlord was paid £1..2s..6d. (£1-12½p.) for celebrating the coronation of Queen Ann (1702) - including two glasses broke. One popular event was Branding Day when the Freemens' cattle were marked prior to being turned out onto the common. Until the building of a cattle market south of Victoria Promenade (opened 17th July 1873) the cattle were sold in the market. A watercolour by J. A. Perrin painted about 1847 shows these sales and the Peacock Inn was in the right place for such an event. In 1935 there was some excitement at the Peacock, £14,000 worth of jewellery was stolen from a traveller's handcart left in the yard. It seems people were a lot more trusting in those days.
On May 26th 1957 the inn closed, the licence removed and the goods and chattels auctioned off. There was a refusal of planning permission to turn the site into a shopping mall because of inadequate vehicular access and no proper consideration of façade. There was an appeal in November of that year which didn't get anywhere.
The Peacock is an example of Demolition by Neglect - it goes something like this. A property developer buys up a prime site; he then applies for planning permission to knock down the old building. The Council refuse because the building is of historical or architectural value (in the case of the Peacock the populace wanted to keep the whole building, the Council, just the façade). The developer then delays by appealing etc., during the delay the building is left with no security or maintenance so it becomes vandalised, windows get smashed, pigeons get in and rain damages floors and plaster- eventually the building becomes ‘dangerous’ and has to be knocked down. It can also, mysteriously catch fire. I am not alone in suspecting this series of events has been deliberately orchestrated several times in our town over the latter half of the 20th century when so many of our important old buildings were lost.
After negotiations lasting more than 2½ years, the Town Planning and Development Committee have decided that the demolition of the Peacock Hotel on the Market Square should not be resisted. And the council are in agreement. So passes one of Northampton's most beloved hostelries - now too derelict to justify preservation say the experts.
The Northampton Independent January 9th 1959
Thus ended the Peacock Hotel, to be replaced by the hideous Peacock Way - only for this to be demolished in its turn and replaced by Peacock Place, a slight improvement on its predecessor.
Opened circa 1978, a subterranean bar in what is left of Wood Street, which has been reduced to little more than the entrance to the Grosvenor Centre. It was named after the Peacock Hotel, but is nothing like it, being a loud, young, bar and very claustrophobic. It changes its name from time to time, I assume in attempts either to change its image or to announce new management.
I suspect that this is another name for the Peacock Inn, but there is a Black Raven in Newland at about the same time. There is only one reference to this inn, from the Northampton Mercury June 29th 1732-3:
TO BE SOLD
At Grendon IN Northamptonshire,
Good new natural Trey Foil, and Rye-Grass seed, the best Sort for laying down Land, and making fine Green - Sweard. Chapmen may be furnished with any quantity, either by Wholesale or Retale. Samples may be had, and the Price known, at the Peacock & Black Raven in Northampton, the Angel in Wellingborough, the Red Lyon in Olney, and the Bear at Bedford, where Attendance will be given every Market-Day.
Also: The Pedestrian
From the Victorian through to Edwardian times there was a great interest in Pedestrianism, or walking as an athletic pursuit, this appears to be the reason for the name. According to a reply by Fred Bailey to an enquiry in the Chronicle & Echo 20th April 1996, in the 1920s many pubs fielded football teams such as the Moat Athletic, Hind Rovers and the Pedestrians, as the landlord's name was Bocca Isaac (directories give E. T. Isaac) it is obvious where the nick-name came from, indicating a long serving and/or popular proprietor.
The pub was on the west corner of the junction of St. James' Place and Woolmonger Street, only four doors from the Harbour Lights. It appears in the directories in 1864 and the last entry was in 1958.
This was on the north corner of the junction of Weston Street (which disappeared when St. Peter's Way was constructed) and Bridge Street. Directory records go from 1824 to 1922, but it could have been there at a much earlier date. A building corresponding to number 102 in the O/S Plan labelled Inn; it had disappeared by O/S 1936.
There have been two of these, perhaps they were called this to give an Olde Worlde, Sporting, impression, or maybe it was on the menu?
One entry, Taylor 1864, Robert Robertson. He occurs as a Beer-Retailer in 1862 at 30 Sawpit Lane and in Kelly 1864 in St. Andrew's Street. St. Andrew's Square is at the junction of Bell Barn Street and what is now St. Andrew's Street. The southern part of St. Andrew's Street, from the Square to the Mayorhold used to be called Sawpit Lane. I have come to the conclusion that this establishment was on the east side of the street, but I cannot be sure of any of the buildings on any of the old plans. As it appears to have been a small beer-shop it could have been any of the properties in the area.
Every 100 years this fabled bird is supposed to destroy itself in a fire not made by humans and after a while rise reborn from the ashes to live for another century. It can symbolise rebirth but also a new start, so makes a good sign in certain circumstances. In at least one case in this town the inn was named such because it had burnt down and was rebuilt. The bird is also used in religious, heraldic and alchemical symbolism, with similar meanings. There have been at least three in Northampton.
After the Great Fire of 1675 a poem was written. This poem has references to various inns and the order in which they are written is the one you would have come upon them if walking up the Drapery, into the top of the Market Square and across it to the southeast corner. Only the Phoenix's location is not known, however, the poem does not mention the Peacock; if it did it would occur where the reference to the Phoenix is. Is this an error, a nickname of the time for the Peacock, or poetic licence?
NORTHAMPTON IN FLAMES OR;
A POEM ON THE DREADFUL FIRE THAT HAPPENED THERE ON
MONDAY, 20TH SEPTEMBER, 1675.
...The full stretched flames as swift as Jove's fires fly'
Which in an instant lightens all the sky;
Houses of entertainment and of trade
Are together in one ruin laid;
Shops, stables, barns, all buildings fall so fast,
You could not say which was devoured last;
Not even Polyphemus favour’s shewn.
THE SWAN INN
The silver Swan more sweetly sung of late,
Too sad presage of her approaching fate;
In deepest streams she wished to hide her head,
And curs'd the time she left her watr'y bed;
For now amongst the thickest flames she fries'
And there, for want of her own element, dies.
THE LION INN
The Lion next, when nothing else could fright,
Prepares himself for the unequal fright;
Unknowing how to yield, he scornes the fires,
And, in a generous, sullen rage, expires.
THE HIND INN
The Hind, she heard, and knew her danger near,
Which came so fast she had no time to fear.
THE TALBOT INN
The Dog was ne'er afraid of her till now,
Not all so weak an enemy could do;
But now he finds her breath is hotter far,
Than all th' inveterate o’ the fiery star.
Th' Arabian Bird the scattered spices takes,
And of them all a funeral pile she makes;
May she now rise from her flaming nest,
And th’ happy emblem prove all the rest...
This represents about a fifth of a rather long poem. It appears to have been written by, a clergyman of the diocese, and a spectator of the calamity he here records.
Also: The Shoulder of Mutton
This inn only has one mention in a directory, Pigot 1824, Benj. Goodman, but we have much more information from the NN&Q. When I was compiling my Place Names of Northampton Town in 1985 I came across Phoenix Street. Long established inns often gave their name to the thoroughfare on which they stood, such as Black Lion Hill, Swan Yard and Bull Head Lane. The reverse could also happen, Victorian developers giving the street name to their pubs. Phoenix Street, however, is well within the old town and I felt certain that here I had another forgotten pub.
According to the NN&Q there used to be a pub on the Market Square called the Shoulder of Mutton from at least 1745. At 1am. on the 17th of February 1792 the inn caught fire and all within perished except the landlord, Mr. H. Marriot who managed to get onto the roof and raise the alarm. His wife, five children and two lodgers all died. A collection was taken up in the town and raised £150. The inn was rebuilt and named the Phoenix. It stood next to the site of what became the Queen's Arms. Sometime in the first two decades of the 19th century it was pulled down and the stone used for building elsewhere. From the NN&Q:
The figure of a phoenix which was in front of the house is now to be seen at the corner of Phoenix Street, adjoining St. Mary’s Place. Phoenix Street was formed about 1828, when the large earthwork, known as Castle Hills, was removed.
So I was right, the street was named after a pub, but one over a quarter of a mile away on the Market Square! In my youth there was in Abington Park Museum a shelly limestone slab carved in bas-relief depicting a phoenix rising from the flames whilst two cherubic heads blow the flames. In the 18th century flat, carved, stone signs were popular. (After someone was killed by a falling sign Charles II ordered that all signs were to be hung flat upon the wall). On enquiry I located this slab in the Museum Stores in Guildhall Road and Robert Moore of the Museum informed me that he had at least one other bas-relief carving for which there is no provenance or explanation, it appears to be a King's Head. It seems we have here an example of a very old pub sign, if not two. [The stone is now in a sorry condition in the yard of Abington Park Museum.]
Refer to the entry for: The Old Grey Horse
From a document dated 23rd April 1680, quoted by Brian Giggins in Hesilrige House, Northampton 1986, it seems that there was a tenement known by the name of the Pigeon. As far as I can work out it appears to have been in St. Peter's Street at the top of Narrow Toe Lane. A possible candidate for this building is shown on Nobel & Butlins Map 1747.
An estate pub still with us, built in the 1960s, this is one of the pubs that Watneys exchanged with Courage in the big hand over of January 1972.
Also: The Black Lion
The main entry for this pub is under The Black Lion and according to Bob Brewer, the landlord in the 1960s (who had sight of the deeds) this was its name in 1720. He also told me that it had first been a coffee shop.
There have been four Ploughs in the town and as Northampton has been an agricultural market town this is not surprising. It is considered to be a symbol of abundance and fertility, a Plough at Filey has on its sign:
He who by the Plough would thrive,
Himself must either hold or drive.
This hotel was built in 1897 on part of the old Victoria Gardens Music Hall site to cater to the needs of travellers from the Bridge Street and St. John's Street Railway Stations. I understand that these clients did not materialise in the numbers anticipated, however, it was the nearest large establishment to the new Cattle Market that had opened in July 1873. So although it was built as a railway hotel it became one of the chief places of refreshment for the Market. On market days it served the traditional ordinaries and hosted the Annual Fat Stock Show luncheons.
In the 1920s it boasted room for 100 cars and used its position on one of the town's main thoroughfares to cater to the motorist. Between 1942 and 1945 all the hotel except the bars were put at the disposal of the American Red Cross. It is said that more than 147,000 members of the US Forces passed through its doors in that time! After the War it was refurbished and modernised and reopened in May 1947.
Three entries under this sign, 1845, 1847 and 1852 - the proprietor seems to have been a William Thomas Jones. To confuse things Melville 1861 has a William and Thomas Jones listed. Thomas is at the, Shakespeare Inn & Concert Room, 3 Marefair and William at the, Town Arms, 1 Gt. Russell St. William shows up again in Taylor 1864 at the York Tavern, 1 York Place. I have no number in Kettering Road for this pub, so the location is unknown and the link is broken. I feel the Plough was the enterprise of one man and not very long lived.
In the 18th century Gold Street ran from All Saints Church to St. Peter's Church and an abstract of a title dated 16th November 1756 mentions a Plough, which seems to be on the north side of Marefair near Pike Lane. A Plow is also referred to on a document, dated August 1745 as being in Marefair; presumably this is the same pub.
The Plumbers Arms goes back quite a while and the building still stands, having until recently been Thursby's Gunsmiths. Bunches of grapes can still be seen over the arches at the front of the building and a wide gateway leads into a yard behind. In the past this yard was known as the Hind Yard and led to the back of that inn.
The Order of Perambulation for the Church of All Saints in 1829 mentions, the Plumbers Arms in Sheep Street. Perambulations were carried out once a year. The boundaries of the parish would be walked thus keeping the exact limits of the parish clear in peoples' minds. The earliest directory mentioning it is of 1824 and it closed in 1959.
Heraldically a plume of feathers is always three, as in the badge of the Prince of Wales, which is said to have three ostrich feathers, although no one now knows what they originally were. This pub sign is almost certainly, like the Fleur (Flower) de Luce, a reference to the Prince of Wales. The Fleur de Luce is a badge of France, but in this context it is probably the result of poor painting.
The Plume of Feathers is supposed to go back to the time of the battle of Crecy (1346) when it was acquired by Edward the Black Prince, eldest son of Edward III. It had been the badge of John of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia and carried the motto, Hou Moet, Ich Dien that loosely translated means, Keep courage I am your companion in arms and I serve with you. It is thought that the Black Prince retained the latter part of the motto, Ich Dien meaning I Serve as an expression of his loyalty to his father. There is, however, another explanation in the previous century Edward I had been fighting the Welsh and promised them that if they laid down their arms he would give them a prince that spoke no English. Edward II had just been born in Wales so his father presented him to the Welsh saying, Eich dyn meaning Here is the man. Strictly speaking the Plume of Feathers is the badge of the heir apparent and not of the Prince of Wales, although they are usually the same person. There appears to have been two pubs of this name in the town.
This pub was on the south side of the street near the Sheep Street end. It was open for over 100 years, finally closing in about 1930 when it became R. Hoskins, Tailors. A will of John Samwell in the NRO 1824 has:
Messuage or Tenement and premises situate standing and being in Bradshaw st. in the said town of Northampton and commonly called by the Name or Sign of The Plume of Feathers.
It is interesting that the first directory entry for this pub is also 1824 and the proprietor's name is Charles Samwell, presumably the son of the above?
From the NRO, a deed of 1719
ALL that Messuage Tenement or Inn commonly called or knowne by the Name or Sign of the Plume of Ffeathers situate standing and being on the East (my emphasis) side of a certaine Street there commonly called the Sheepe Market or Sheepe Street in the said Towne of Northampton.
At first sight this could be the same pub as above, but it is on the east side of the street and the above pub could only be described as being in Sheep Street in a very loose way if it was referred to as being on the west. I have no more information on the establishment, but I feel that it is very possible that these are, in fact, the same pub, which may have moved sometime between 1719 and 1824.
Also: The Earl of Pomfret
This pub is still with us and still a good example of the sort of establishment you would have expected to find on a major road in the last couple of centuries. The earliest entry in a directory is 1830. The passageway to the right now labelled Car Park was intended for carriers' carts and the like. This was never one of your grand coaching inns; the passageway is too low for carriages and the building too small. Although it is rendered the structure must be of a good date a photograph of 1902 shows a building much like the present one but for the roof-angle, which is much steeper and must have been thatched.
The pub is probably named after Thomas William Fermor, 4th Earl of Pomfret (1770-1833). He served with the Guards in the Peninsula War until his promotion to major-general in June 1813. His eldest son succeeded him and died without issue in 1867.
The most well known landlord was Silvanus Wreford. The directories show him at the pub from 1900 to 1911, but it could have been as long as 1898 to 1914. In 1904 Silvanus – Ben to his friends started up a modest haulage business with one horse and cart. He operated as a general carter around the town and built up his fleet, operating from Euston Road, where his family lived. Today the Wrefords have given up the licensed trade, but the carting still goes on!
One curiosity in this pub is the smoking head. This is a sandstone head protruding from the wall of the lounge. If a cigarette is put into its mouth it will slowly be puffed away, no doubt because of a draught coming through a cavity in the wall. Probably it was originally a waterspout and is supposed to have come from St. Thomas Hospital that stood on the opposite side of the road nearby. The Hospital was demolished 1874. [At this time the pub is closed and boarded up, 2010].
This pub is named from a street as it stood on the southwest corner of Portland Street and the Wellingborough Road. The earliest mention of this sign is in 1884 with John Smith bhs as the proprietor he is also listed as a Beer-Retailer at this address in 1864, so it would have been a corner beer-shop. The last entry is in 1934.
In the late 19th century three drinking places stood side-by-side on the Market Square; the Peacock Hotel, the Lord Palmerston (formerly the Flying Horse) and between them this small establishment. In view of the fact that the Peacock was one of the most important coaching and posting inns in the town I'm quite sure that is where this pub gets its name. It first appears in 1889 as a Beer-Retailer; the last entry is in 1910.
No doubt this pub was a small beer-shop and perhaps the proprietor started his career as a potman. Two addresses indicate a corner location. There are only two references under the name, in 1858 and 1864, but a man called Brookes is listed in 1845 as a Beer-Retailer in Narrow Toe Lane, which was opposite Tanner Street. It appears to have been on the southeast corner of the junction between Green and Tanner Streets. The last entry is in 1864.
The property is still there, three houses south from St. Paul's Road. Most of the entries are as a Beer-Retailer. One, Melville 1861 has: Wilcox William, Beer-Retailer, plumber, painter & glazier. - a versatile man! This entry along with a bhs in 1884 shows that it was a beer-shop with the landlord carrying on another trade. Entries are 1858 to 1893.
An advertisement in Northampton Mercury October 1870 offers
to let a well fitted BEERHOUSE called the Prince Alfred opposite Barracks
Apply Northampton Steam Brewery.
The Brewster Sessions in the Northampton Mercury September 1878 reported that the licence for the Prince Arthur, Leicester Road has been transferred to a new pub to be opened in the Artizan Road (later called The Artizan). This is the only reference to this pub, a small beer-house, probably close to the Barracks
What a strange name for a pub! It is possible that in the 17th century this was an expression in common use that has completely died out like The Case is Altered. It could originally have been The Prince in Armor - or Love - perhaps from some play? The name occurs in a Counterpart of a Settlement of a House dated 1634 next the Hind:
Roger Sargent to Wm. Sargent (‘s?) Wife...in the parish of all Sts...the Messuage or Inne called the Hynde & being on the West and north part, and the messuage or Inne called the Prince in Armour on the east part...
So we do have an idea of where it was, i.e. the northwest corner of the Market Square, two doors from the famous Hind at the top of the Market Square - it doesn’t seem to have survived the Great Fire of 1675.
Also: The Little Bell
Royalty has always been a popular subject of inn signs, not only Kings and Queens, but Princes and Princesses as well. Many heirs to the throne have been popular characters before their accession and Northampton has had, and got, four Prince of Wales as well as two Flower de Luce and a couple of Plume of Feathers, badges of the Prince.
This one is still with us and commands the junction between the Harborough and Boughton Green Roads. According to the Licensee at the time, Michael Bevington (Chronicle & Echo 15th March 1994), who had been there for the past eleven years: - The Prince dates back to 1880 and was formerly Colonel Newham's House and then a coaching house. We are only the third set of licensees since then, said Michael. This information does not agree with my findings, but I have not had sight of the deeds, whereas Mr. Bevington may have. The earliest entry I have is 1877, a Robert Cross.
This pub stood at the corner of Compton Street and Spring Lane. According to The Local Nov-Dec 1980 this pub traded for 80 years (1836-1919), I have dates from directories 1858-1910.
This pub was in the centre of the north side of Union Street. According to the same article quoted from above in The Local this establishment closed in 1915, I have entries from 1845 to 1910.
Princess Alexandra was the daughter of the King of Denmark and the King of Denmark pub used to stand at the top of the next street, Denmark Road. She became the Queen of England having married the future King Edward VII in 1863.
Two fields, destined to become the Alexandra and Denmark Roads were divided up into plots and auctioned off in the same year, hence the street, and pub, names. On his accession the King appointed her a Lady of the Garter – an unusual act the previous one having been, Margaret, Countess of Richmond, the mother of Henry VII in 1488. This typical Victorian street-corner home-from-home pub is still with us and still largely serves the local populace.
Also: The Jekyll and Hyde
This pub is still with us, but with a different name to those above. It seems it started out as a Pork Butchers, the first entry (1854) being an Edward Slater & pork butcher. In my youth this was a gay pub, in fact, as far as I know the only gay establishment at the time. This all changed with the name change sometime in the late 1980s - early 90s.
Named after the street. It was located on the northeast corner of the junction of Pytchley and Ecton Streets. All the streets in this area are named after local villages; Harold Street is in fact, Harrold Street. At the present the pub is functioning as the Ukrainian Club. Charles Miles is listed at this address as a Beer-Retailer in 1878 and the last entry is in 1951.
When a pub gives its name to a thoroughfare it usually means that the pub has been a long-time landmark. It is listed in the RBN 1898 as having documents from the 16-17th centuries, but these have disappeared, like many others. However, the same book says that the passageway alongside the pub was called Quart Pot Lane since the rule of Edward I (1272-1307) making this one of the contenders for the oldest pub.
I never saw this establishment open as a pub, but I clearly remember the quaint yellow sandstone building opposite the PDSA. It closed in the late 1930s, to become a watchmaker's shop and I seem to remember it being a teashop for a while. The only times I entered it was in the 1970s when it sold antiques. The pub has gone, but the lane survives, its name changed about 1900 to Doddridge Street although everyone I knew as a child in the 1950s called it by the old name.
Also: The Queens Head
When this establishment first acquired a beer-only licence in 1838 it was the Queen's Head; it had changed to the present one by 1854. Queen Adelaide was Adelaide Louisa Theresa Caroline Amelia (1792-1849) the daughter of George, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen and the wife of King William the Fourth (1830-1837). The pub was probably named after her death in 1849.
A Cornelius Love bought the pub in 1854 for £165 and he probably changed the name. In 1893 it was sold to Phipps Brewery for £1,500, but the Love family continued to run it well into the late 1930s. The steep hill on which it stands is called Loves Hill - but this could be because the lane used to lead to a well-known courting area. In 1951 it acquired a wine license and a full one in 1961.
Cornelius Love was a good example of a man that in the past often ran pubs alongside other trades; this was especially true in the villages. It seems that in 1937 there still was a room in the pub that had been Cornelius’ shoemaking shop. The shoes he made were sent to London in carts drawn by his Shepherd dogs. One story is that one of his dogs got lost in London and made its way home in only two days - I wonder if it was still drawing a cart? He kept Shepherd dogs because he was also a Shepherd and a butcher - carrying on this business in another part of the premises and slaughtering in the yard at the rear. I imagine that you could have gone to the pub, had a pint of the house-brewed beer, had your shoes mended or brought a new pair, ate a mutton chop while you waited and took a joint home for the week-end.
This pub once stood at the junction of the London and Newport Pagnell roads, now it sits by the busy dual carriageway that leads to the M1. The pub looks modern, especially after a considerable extension and revamp a few years ago, but I am informed that it actually goes back to the 1880s. Queen Eleanor was the wife of Edward I (1239-1307). Their betrothal was political, designed to stop a war between England and Aquitaine, it took place in 1254 when Edward, then a Prince, was fifteen and Eleanor was only nine. Unusually their marriage proved to be a happy one and Eleanor went with him on many of his travels, in 1270 even accompanying him on the Fifth Crusade. In 1290, whilst Edward was conducting a campaign against the Scots she fell ill and died at Harby near Lincoln. Her embalmed body was carried to London for burial in Westminster Abbey and at each resting-place the King ordered a cross to be erected. One of these lies on the London Road only a few hundred yards from the pub – hence the name. Edward seems to have been a loving husband, but he did have his bad points, e.g. expelling all the Jews from England in 1290.
This pub was situated on the east side of the bend at the start of the Kettering Road, at the top of Raglan Street, facing towards Abington Square. In 1878 W. Knight is listed as a Beer-Retailer, last entry is 1958.
There have been two of these in the town, neither of which survive. Like the Queen's Head the Queen's Arms is usually thought to refer to Good Queen Bess. It would have always been a safe name for a pub.
Also: The Royal Oak
Also: The Windmill
According to NN&Q this establishment was called the Royal Oak in the 18th century and from the Plan of 1768 it was run by a Samuel Easton. As this name celebrates Charles I (see the entry for: The Royal Oak) it is possible that this was its name directly after the Great Fire of 1675 and it was the rebuild of a pre Fire pub. The author of NN&Q 1889 says the name was changed to the Windmill in living memory and was kept by a Thomas Butcher, later to become a Gunmaker. The name was changed to the Queen’s Arms on the accession of Queen Victoria to the throne in 1837.
I think the last time I drank here was when the NDC Archaeology Unit was excavating the Green Dragon site. I recall having a session with several of the diggers and some of the men working on the Moat House Hotel. The building still stands largely unaltered externally above the ground floor and is now a bookmaker.
Refer to the entry for: The Old Duke of Clarence
Refer to the entry for: The Queen Adelaide
We have had two, one, in Kingsthorpe became the Queen Adelaide. Like the Queen's Arms this is supposed to be a safe sign - often alluding to Good Queen Bess. However, it seems there were pubs with this name long before Elizabeth I and it is thought that it originally alluded to the Queen of Heaven, i.e. the Virgin Mary. At the time of the Reformation such signs would have been swiftly changed into something less controversial and switching from the BVM to the Monarch would be an easy and cheap solution.
By all accounts Elizabeth I was a vain woman and many of the signs showing her were painted by unskilled locals. According to Sir Walter Raleigh's History of the World 1614:
portraits of the Queen's Majestie made by unskilful and common painters were by her own order knocked into pieces and cast into the fire
(A Proclamation of 1563).
This establishment stood on the east corner of College Street and Gold Street; the earliest record from the directories is 1824. In July 1941 a Stirling Bomber crashed onto the town. It slid along Gold Street ripping into the fronts of several shops on the north side of the street. Parts of the aircraft ended up in the road in front of All Saints Church and part of an engine on the roof. By all accounts the emergency was dealt with efficiently and the Church was saved.
All the crew bailed out successfully, except for the pilot whose parachute failed to open. He was found on Kingsthorpe Recreation Ground. Only one civilian suffered injury, a firewatcher who was blown off his bike and broke his leg. Considering it had a wingspan of 99 feet it is surprising that more damage wasn't caused. As it was all of the ground floor of the pub was smashed to pieces and one of the plane's bombs ended up in a bedroom. The Queen's Head survived this onslaught only to be demolished circa 1961 to be replaced by the District Bank, the premises are presently occupied by Shu-Value.