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 Saddlers Arms(26 - 30 Bridge Street)

The Saddlers Arms The name is fairly common and probably indicates a saddler's shop or that the landlord had been, or still was, a saddler.

This pub is still with us. Early in the 20th century it advertised Bass in the Bottle and Sausage and Mashed Potatoes for 7d (about 3p). According to the Real Ale Guide 1983 this was one of only two pubs in the town selling real ale. I can remember going in here for that very reason, later it was refurbished i.e. knocked into one and became incredibly noisy with very loud music.

Inflation over the years didn't only affect the price of a pint. When it's a pound a pint I'm giving up drinking! How many people said that? An advertisement for this pub in the Chronicle & Echo 1960 said:

The original sausage and mash shop. Served every lunch-time. 2/- (10p) per person. Orders welcome for parties.

The first entry is 1850 John Parberry, Beer-Retailer, considering its location, there is no reason why it couldn’t have been here much earlier.

The Saddlers Arms(25 Marefair)

As far as I can tell it only had two proprietors and the first, Robert Hallam is listed in Melville 1867 as Hallam, Robert, Saddler & Beer-retailer. It appears to have survived for something over twenty years. By at least 1906 the address was a Pawnbrokers. Pub dates run from 1858 to 1878.

The Sallet(Cow Lane [Swan Street])

Also: The Helmet

Listed in the Assembly Order 1585 and probably perished in the Great fire.

The Salters Inn(Abington Street)

One of the RBN 1898 16th and 17th century inns not found.

Saracens Head

There are two possible explanations for this sign.
One, like the Turk's Head it is derived from the Crusades. A fierce depiction of a Turk or Saracen’s face was incorporated by many Crusaders into their Arms and this could have filtered through to the inns in the usual way.
Two, often these signs depicted a quite respectable Saracen and it thought that these were erected to honour Thomas Becket's mother who was the daughter of a Saracen. Thomas Becket is associated with Northampton, it was in our castle that the barons attempted to try him and it is from St. Andrew's Priory that he fled to the continent.

The Saracens Head(4 Abington Street)

A pub that had been there a long while, a Deed Poll dated 26th March, 24th Elizabeth (1592), of Agnes Hopkyns, of Northampton, widow, relates to

a messuage or tenement, in the town of Northampton, commonly called Le Saraznes hedd in Abbyngton Streate.

The Great Fire Court Book 1675 refers to an Ann Harbert at the Sarazens Head. The frontage of the south side of Abington Street from Wood Hill to Dychurch Lane was once occupied by two buildings. The Wood Hill half was taken up with the old Guildhall, demolished in 1864 and the other half by this inn. The inn has been mentioned in poetry, Poems on Several Occasions by Nicholas Rowe, London 1747 has the lines entitled The Lord Griffin to the Earl of Scarfoale

Tho' thy Dear's Father kept an Inn
At grizly Head of Saracen,
For Carriers at Northampton,
Yet she might come of gentler kin
Than e'er that Father dreamt on.

There is mention of this inn in the minute book of the Court of Aldermen dated December 30th 1702:

Memorandum Francis Granborow miller at Cliffords Mill in Little Hoton parish Comitat North’ton was convicted before me Benjamin Bullivant Mayor for swearing six oaths sworn at the goate in North'ton on Thurs, last, he comes to the Saracens head Inne every Sat., could not be found.

The goate referred to here is probably the Goat Inn in Gold Street. An advertisement in the Northampton Mercury June 1752 for this inn was for a fire-eater, a Mr. Powell from London. The advertisement claims, amongst other things that

He eats red-hot coals out of the fire as natural as bread. and He fills his Mouth with red-hot Charcoal, and broils a Slice of Beef or Mutton upon his Tongue; and any Person may blow the Fire with a Pair of Bellows at the same Time. It also claims that he melts a mixture of various flammable substances such as rosin and wax along with alum and lead and eats them with a spoon (which he calls Dish of Soop)! Admission, one-shilling.

The Great Election Plan of 1768 shows a William Dorrell in occupation and the churchwardens' accounts of St. Giles' parish for 1802 has: - Paid at the Saracens Head on Easter Monday as usual .. £2..2s..0d. As usual can also be found in the accounts of 1806.

Advertisements in the Northampton Mercury of the 18th century give some idea of the size and importance of this inn at the time. An advertisement in 1765 refers to the inn as the Post-Office, in Northampton and one of 1752 shows that the inn was being used as a place of audit of the Duchy of Lancaster. The advertisement of October 1753 probably gives the best description:

To be Lett at St. Thomas next, or sooner, if required, The Saracen's-Head Inn in Northampton, being an old and good-accustomed Inn, standing near the Market-Place, and in the Stamford, Peterborough and Cambridge Road; it is a very commodious House, with good Cellars, and Stabling for near 150 Horses. For Further Particulars, enquire of Mr. Richard Moriss, of Northampton.

The inn had a large assembly room and this was often used for political and social gatherings. In 1859 the licence and sign was transferred to a house in Barrack Road. By 1860 a David Hall had taken possession of the old building and was running it as a Temperance Hotel.

The Saracens Head(1 Lawrence Street and Barrack Road)

This is the transfer mentioned above, a much smaller establishment. I recall sitting on the top deck of a bus and coming level with this sign when the bus stopped. If the sign had originally been intended as a compliment to Thomas Becket's mother the one I saw certainly wasn’t! Although this pub did not close until 1970 I never visited it, probably because it was so far from our beaten track.

The Saracens Head(Market Square)

This is from the RBN 1898 16th and 17th century list and as the Saracen's Head; Abington Street was directly opposite the southern entrance to the Market Square it is possible that this is the same inn.

The Saxon Inn

Refer to the entry for: The Moat House


Refer to the entry for: The Peacock

The Sewing Machine(62 St Andrews Street)

This pub was on the east side of the street, between the ends of Cromwell and Regent Streets. The name refers to the machines used in the production of boots and shoes rather than garments. Dates from 1834 to 1936.

The Shakespeare(3 Marefair)

Along with my friends I used to visit this pub back in the 1960s, it became our local. Local is perhaps not the right word because we came from all over the county and beyond, such far-flung places as Wellingborough, Towcester, Long Buckby, Newport Pagnell and Aspley Guise. What we had in common was the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, girlfriends at the Art School, Jazz and long hair. We Beatniks were not always welcome in the town’s pubs. I can remember we were asked to leave one pub because one of us was thinking!

The landlord of the Shakespeare was different, we were made welcome, he was an artist. I'd much rather have you lot in here than that lot of squaddies from over the road. He was referring to the North-Western Hotel opposite, renowned for its soldiers from Wootton Barracks and their weekend punch-ups.

The pub was located on the west corner of the junction of Horseshoe Street and Marefair. The reason for the name was because of a theatre that once stood to the east of it. First the theatre went for road widening in 1922 and then the pub fell victim to the Great God Car in 1974, the earliest I have is 1824.

The Shamrock(Grafton Street)

From an auction announcement in the Northampton Mercury July 1868:

Lot 6. - All that well-built BEERHOUSE known by the name of The Shamrock situate on the south side of Grafton Street, Northampton, comprising a large Bar, Tap-room, Club-room, Three Sleeping rooms, Kitchen, Cellar, with an Entrance Gateway used as a Coal-Store, detached Stable with Loft over, a large Yard, now in the occupation of Mr. Coughlan.

The Ship(The Drapery)

The Ship
Taylor refers to this sign in the material for his articles in NN&Q. I thought it might be a contraction of Shipmans, but the reference is to the Great Election of 1768 and Shipmans business didn’t start until 1790.

Although we are about as far from the sea as you can get the Ship occurs three times in the town. It is thought that an inland Ship in pre-Reformation times was a Noah's Ark, later becoming a Ship. The Royal George was a ship and probably the Albion and the portrait of a famous ship on a sign could become called the Ship by the less literate.

The Ship(Green Lane)

One of Burgess unique finds, with the bare surname, England. I have found in Melville 1861, England, Septimus, Shopkeeper, Abbey lane, West Bridge. And this is all, except for a Beer-Retailer, Daniel England at 39 Bouverie Street in Slater 1862. There is no evidence that these two are connected with the proprietor of the Ship, although Green Lane is quite close to the West Bridge.

The Ship(Mercers Row)

According to a schematic plan based on the 1831 poll, published in NN&Q this pub was located on the east corner of Conduit Lane and Mercers Row, right next to the Duke of Clarence. The proprietor's name is given as William Butcher Brickmaker so presumably, like many landlords of the time, he had two occupations. The Great Election Plan 1768 gives William Hill, victualler, but no sign name.

Shipmans(12 The Drapery and 3 Drum Lane)

Also: The White Hart

Also: The White Hart Tap

Also: The Roebuck

Also possibly: The Crown

Shipmans This pub is licensed under its official name of the White Hart - however, by the rule of common usage I have put it under the name that everyone in the town calls it. The Northampton Mercury 1766 mentions the Crown in Dury Lane kept by William Peck. Dury Lane was a fashionable name for Drum Lane in the 18th century. Drum Lane goes back at least as far as the 16th century and probably derives from a pub called the Drum, that's probably the forerunner of the present Rifle Drum.

One theory is that the Crown became the Roebuck which in turn became the White hart, but there is an advertisement from the Northampton Mercury 24th January 1767 announcing the letting of the Roebuck and describing it as: - That Well-Known and good-accustomed PUBLICK HOUSE Known by the sign of the ROE-BUCK.

As the Crown was referred to one year before, it is unlikely to have changed its name and then been described as well-known within one year. The publick house was in the possession of a Mr. John ROE at the time of letting, and this probably explains the name at the time.

The plans of the Great Election 1768, one year later, show a property facing onto Dury Lane as Back of the White Hart Rd. Merrill. Richard Merrill is listed as a Fellmonger, but could have owned the pub and let it. To confuse things further in the Drapery William Peck is shown as occupying the third property up from the corner with Mercers Row. There are six in the block up to Osborn's Jitty. O/S 1901 has seven and the third from Mercers Row is Shipmans!

As the pub has two entrances onto two thoroughfares it is possible that the Crown was the Drapery side and the White Hart Drum Lane. This ignores the fact that the Crown was described in 1766 as being in Dury Lane. It is easy to accept that the Roebuck had become the White Hart for they look similar on a sign. By 1790 the business of W. & R. Shipman had started, and continued under the same family until 1945. At one time it was run by Dr. J. G. Shipman who was MP for Northampton for ten years. When he died his widow gave their house in Dallington for a convalescent home. During the Doctor's time the pub was known as The Doctor's so going to the doctor took on a new meaning!

W. & R. Shipman were originally wine merchants and bottled wine in rooms above the present long bar. Near the stairs can be seen a thick, lead pipe hanging down through the ceiling through which wine was transferred. At two places behind the bar there are groups of six brass taps with brass letters beside them. In days gone by these dispensed spirits etc. from casks above.

In my youth I occasionally went into Shipmans and at the time it was run by Mr. Herbert Pitcher, or Pitch as he was known, a formidable character who ran a tight ship, often refusing us because of our long hair or just because he didn't feel like serving us that day. We still went back, even though at the time the pub didn't serve draught beer, and later, when it did start to serve draught, only in halves. It was a place we liked to call in now and then and I think we all respected Pitch. Pitch died at the beginning of 1987 and his wife, Jaquie took over for a while, retiring in July of the same year. The pub at the time of writing is run by Bob and Diane Wise.

The Barrel Bar was opened in 1950 and you could never get draught in there or bring it through from the Long Bar. We were worried about the fate of the interior of this pub when it changed hands after Jaquie's retirement, but the only real alterations was to rearrange the toilets and remove the wall between the Barrel Bar and the Long Bar, making it into a one bar pub. The actual bar in the Barrel Bar was taken out to give more floor space for tables etc.

The Shoemakers Arms(Gold Street)

This establishment is mentioned in NN&Q under the Blue Boar, which, according to the author it may have become in the 18th century. Refer to the entry for The Blue Boar for further details.

The Shoulder of Mutton(Market Square)

This name is thought to have been given to inns where the innkeeper also carried on the trade of the Butcher, or that this is what was put on the table at meal times. See the entry for The Phoenix for more on this pub.

The Silver Cornet(26 Kerr Street)

Also: The Builders Arms

Also: The Bricklayers Arms

This pub stood on the end of Kerr Street, on the Mounts. When I was much younger a garage stood on the site, the electricity sub-station at the back of the Courts is approximately the same place. The earlier names obviously refer to a sign depicting bricklayers. The first recorded landlord; William Dunmore 1858 might have been a bricklayer.

Although I doubt either of the two pubs with this name acquired the name for this reason it was probably of religious significance, becoming a musical instrument after the Reformation. The theory is that a silver cornet was originally a halo, probably around the head of a Saint or the Virgin Mary. The paint would weather leaving the halo or cornet (coronet?) and in days gone by when most people couldn’t read they called a pub by what they saw on the signboard. This is also one explanation for lucky horseshoes which originally had their ends pointing downwards, the custom of putting it the other way up so the luck doesn't fall out came later.

The Silver Cornet(21 Welland Way, Kings Heath)

In February 1959 the Chronicle & Echo announced that a Public House for Kings Heath in 1960 Planned. To get a licence for this new pub entailed the brewery surrendering the licences of the Queen's Head, Gold Street, the Queen's Arms, and the Cleveland Arms, both in the Kettering Road.

For a short while this pub was called the Silvers, but has reverted to the old name. According to an article in the Chronicle & Echo September 1992 one of the landlords was Norman Snow, a star prizefighter in the 1930s and 40s. It seems that in 1940 he was narrowly beaten in the British Welterweight title fight in front of a 7,000 crowd at Franklin's Gardens.

The Six Ale House(Vernon Street)

I assume this pub sold six different ales! It was probably no more than a small beer-shop as the only solid reference I have is from the Northampton Herald March 1878, an advertisement for the sale of brewing plant. For this information I am grateful to Mr. G. Starmer.

In the 1970s my wife and I bought our first house, a small terraced property in Vernon Street. One of my old neighbours told me that at one time my house had been a pub, and when I started on this book I looked forward to discovering something about it. I found nothing for my address, but people do not usually distinguish between beer-shops and outdoor beer houses so I assumed that my house had been one of these. It was unusual as my house had a side entrance when others didn’t and the front window had been much larger. Other neighbours told us it had been a shop - I wonder if at one time it had been the Six Ale House?

The Skulls at the Cups(Bridge Street)

This is a most intriguing name, the origins of which I know not. I know little more than its name - it being listed by Ron Sheffield, the author of From Tabernae to Fantasia 1973, there is no number so I cannot locate it.

The Slipper

Refer to the entry for: The Franklins Gardens Hotel

The Spade and Plough(5 Vigo Terrace, Bedford Road)

The Spade and Plough This pub, now gone, was once a school and Watney Mann's sign making department. In the 1970s I had occasion to visit the sign makers and the bar etc; was still intact with pumps still on the bar, but stacked behind with lengths of wood.

I can just remember this pub being open when as a child we would go to Midsummer Meadow for a picnic on a Sunday. My mother and I would sit somewhere on the grass near the river, opposite the power station and my father would walk across to the pub and get some drinks. I can remember my father telling me that it was only open in the summer; it seemed strange to have a pub in such an isolated position. Apart from people visiting Becket's Park and Midsummer Meadow there were very few houses in the vicinity, but in the past there had been the Vigo Brickworks and later the United Counties Bus Depot and other industry such as Brown Bros. Aircraft. Maybe this is why it managed to keep open until the 1950s. From the directories; 1858 to 1954, it was a Beer-Retailer's until around the turn of the 19th century.

The Spencer Arms

Refer to the entry for: The Earl Spencers Arms

The Spinney Hill Hotel(Kettering Road)

Spinney Hill Hotel This pub opened its doors in September 1936. It was very much a purpose-built establishment designed to cater not only for the refreshment, but the recreational needs of the fast growing estates around it. The original plan for the area included a swimming pool, two tennis courts, a large hall for social gatherings, a large garage and a childrens playground with a shelter. I understand that the proposed site was on the Kettering Road at its junction with Park Avenue. As it turned out it was built about 650 yards further up the Kettering Road and although the tennis courts and childrens playground were built the swimming pool etc were not.

The first proprietors were Mr. and Mrs. Fred Brightman. They had been stewards of Monks Park W.M.C. for eleven years before moving to the Clarendon (see Two Brewers) for a short period. The N.B.C. surrendered the licence of the Clarendon for this one. The next landlady was Bertha Wilmott a BBC Radio star who along with her husband, Reg. Semour and others would go around during the war entertaining the soldiers manning anti-aircraft guns etc.

In 1985 the pub went through a British Raj transformation and two of Osbourne Robinsons paintings that were in the pub and no longer in keeping with the new décor were renovated by Hamden Hosts, the owners, and presented to the Royal Theatre in 1986. The pub has changed again, but not much externally from its 1930s design with the exception of the loss of the elm trees due to disease.

The Sportsmans Arms(52 Bath Street)

Also: The Forget-Me-Not

The Sportsmans Arms

This pub started life as a Beer-Retailers around 1858, by 1884 it was called the Forget-Me-Not and run by a Mr. Charles Chaplin! By 1900 it was the Sportsman's Arms, it is now (2000) the Shoemaker's Tavern.

The Spotted Dog(19 Crane Street or 109 Grafton Street)

The lower end of Grafton Street was once called Crane Street and this pub stood on the east corner of Monks Pond Street. I can never think of this pub without regret, for years I walked past it thinking that it seemed an interesting place and that I should visit one day. I never did get around to it and then in 1971 it was shut. After that I vowed to go into every pub in town that was still open. The earliest entry, as a Beer-Retailer, is 1878.

We have had two Spotted Dogs in the town, both of which have now gone. It is thought that the name derives from the Talbot, an extinct breed of hunting dog, now found only in heraldry and pub signs.

The Spotted Dog(45 Kingsthorpe Road)

This pub was in Kingsthorpe Hollow, on the southern corner of Alpha Street and Kingsthorpe Road, the earliest entry is 1878. All this area has been developed and Alpha Street is no more. According to the Chronicle & Echo 24th October 1997 50 Years Ago feature:

GUEST of honour at the annual dinner of the Northampton Licenced Trade Womens Auxiliary was Mrs. H. Poulteney, of the Spotted Dog, Kingsthorpe Hollow, who has been a licencee for 56 years.

The Poulteneys ran this pub for a considerable part of its existence. Charles William Poulteney is shown as having the licence on the earliest Licensing list in 1903 and a Reginald J. Poulteney is recorded in the last directory entry of 1956.

The Spread Eagle(37 Bridge Street)

The Spread Eagle
This pub stood on the east side of the street about halfway between the Angel and St. John's Street. Entries run from 1845 to 1906.

The Spread Eagle is a very common heraldic device; and many monarchs wanted to claim some sort of connections with the Roman Emperors after the fall of the Roman Empire. Both Kaiser and Tzar are variants of Caesar. In the case of inn signs it can indicate the Holy Roman Emperors and therefore the sale of wine. The Black Spread Eagle also has local connections that can be found under that name, these below could be contractions. We have had five in the town; one is still with us.

The Spread Eagle(47 Hopes Place, Barrack Road)

Probably was one of the shops between the Britannia pub and Louise Road. In view of its proximity to the Barracks it could have had a military significance. Short lived, entries run from 1845 to 1858. An advertisement in the Northampton Mercury June 1862 has:

THE SPREAD EAGLE opposite the BARRACKS, NORTHAMPTON, TO BE LET, with immediate Possession. Fixtures etc., about £30 - For particulars Apply to Phillips Bros., Northampton Steam Brewery.

The Spread Eagle(Location unknown)

One untraceable from RBN 1898 could have been on the Market Square and a contraction of the Black Spread Eagle.

The Spread Eagle(Mercers Row)

There is an advertisement in the Northampton Mercury November 1783 that informs us that JAMES DURHAM (late Turnkey at the County Gaol) has taken the Spread Eagle on Mercers Row.

The Spread Eagle(147 Wellingborough Road)

The Spread Eagle
This one is still with us and I've been able to trace it back as a drinking place to 1850 when a William Watts held it as a Beer-Shop - this is probably about the year in which it was built. The pub closed for a time in 1971 being in line for demolition as part of the town improvements. For part of this period it was leased to the Men's Own Ruby Club, but after eleven years it was reopened in 1982.

The Squirrels(33 Main Road, Duston)

Still with us this building partly dates from the 17th century, still has a thatched roof and is constructed of warm, yellow ironstone. It may have begun life as a private house. It is shown on O/S 1886 as PH, but not as large as now. It first appears in a directory in 1830.

The Stag

Refer to the entry for: The Roebuck

The Stags Head(7 Abington Street)

Stags Head Sign The Stag's Head is probably heraldic, but it has been suggested that it could be religious - perhaps from Psalm XLII, v 1: As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. I think I prefer the heraldic explanation!

Stags Head Advert This inn was on the north side of the street, near the Market Square. At the beginning of Abington Street after a short distance the pavement widens and there is a grey stone block of shops. There is a stag's head carved on the front; this is Stag Buildings, the site of the inn, which was demolished in the 1930s. The bar, I'm told, was the longest in town, running the whole length of Stag Buildings and through to another entrance in the Market Square.

In the 19th century it was one of the best-known hostelries in Northampton and of considerable size, the frontage quoted at auction in 1890 was 88 feet to the street. It was fitted, like all large establishments of the time, with every convenience for a commercial trade. It had a yard with 10 loose boxes and extra stabling for 20 horses, two covered carriage sheds, lofts, saddlerooms, brewhouse etc. A Mr. Manning bought it for £6,000. Is this the Manning of Castle Brewery?

To be sold by Private Contract, A very fine Crop of Barley, nearly ripe, growing upon two Acres and a Half of Land, opposite to St. Gyles-s Church-Yard, in Northampton, adjoining the Road leading from the top of Abington-Street to the General Infirmary, Usual credit will be given upon approved Security; and for further Particulars, apply to Mr. Paine, at the Stag's Head, Northampton. (July 1805).

This quote from NN&Q 1891 gives an idea of the east side of York Road in 1805. The inn is listed as a 16th or 17th century inn in RBN 1898, but again, I have been unable to trace these documents. The earliest evidence I have is from the Great Election of 1768, although I am sure it was of good antiquity. The last entry in a directory is in 1936.

The Star is one of our most ancient signs, if for no other reason that it is easy to paint and recognise. The Stella Maria is the emblem of the Virgin; it is also a symbol of prudence and welcome and was often used by monastic inns. In later years to call one's inn the Star implied that your establishment shone above all others. The brightest stars are the Morning and Evening ones and these are also represented in our town.

The Star(Abington Street)

This inn stood at the end of Ditchers (later Dychurch) Lane on the east corner, right opposite the Stag with the Saracen’s Head on the other corner. It pre-dated the Great Fire of 1675 for it is mentioned by the Fire Court Commissioners in 1679. It also crops up in the Churchwarden's Accounts of St. Giles' Church:

1677, 22nd May. Spent going a processioning att ye Star by ye churchwardens, overseers, and parishioners ... 0..13..4.
History of the Church of Saint Giles Serjeantson 1911

Tanners sold leather here in the 18th century, but in 1723 the sales were moved to the Talbot, the Star being sold. It appears that at this time the Star ceased to be an inn.

The Star(25 Castle Street)

There is some confusion as to whether this is also the Globe.

The Star(Weston Terrace and Elephant Lane)

Also:  The Star and Railway Inn

Although the first appearance of the name of this pub is just the Star, it's name changed from year to year and is an example of a name getting shortened by use; however, it seems the Railway part was added when the station was built. First appears in the directories in 1845 and last in 1962, about the time it became a shopfitter's workshop, it is now a private club. This pub is often confused with the similar sounding one just across the road.

The Stars and Stripes

Refer to the entry for: The Cattle Market Tavern

The Stone Quarry(New Duston)

This pub is now a Post Office; there is a terrace of sandstone cottages on the west side of Quarry Road, the end one being the Post Office, beyond are the remains of a quarry. The centre cottage bears the date 1862. From the directories I have discovered a John Henry Smith as a Beer-Retailer in Duston in 1864. Wright 1884 (earliest entry under Stone Quarry) gives the landlord as John Henry Smith and these two pieces of evidence indicate that the end cottage started off as a beer-shop. This was confirmed by the proprietors of the Post Office on a site visit in 2000. Wright 1884 gives the proprietor of the Rifle Butt at the end of the road as a William Smith, a relative? Directories go on to give a last entry for the Stone Quarry of 1911 and in 1903 we have a William Frank Smith at this address described as, Shopkeeper, Post Office.

The Sultan

Refer to the entry for: The Criterion

The Sun

Refer to the entry for: The Bull and Butcher


Refer to the entry for: The Rising Sun

The Sun and Raven

Refer to the entry for: The Bull and Butcher

The Sunnyside Hotel(Boughton Green Road)

This establishment, which is still with us, was converted to its present use from a large house in the 1950s. I can remember in the 1960s.going to this pub on Friday nights to a jazz club that was held in a barn behind the main building. At closing time exhausted from stomping all night we would have to trudge the whole length of Eastern Avenue to Kingsthorpe Grove where we would break up and go our various ways.


The Swan Sign There were three swans in Northampton, one of which remains, but hiding under a different name. The two most popular birds on signs are the Cock and the Swan.

The Swan is supposed to have originated from the Order of the Swan, an Order of Knighthood started by Frederick II of Brandenburg in 1440. It was later adopted by the Cleeves family and was used by Anne of Cleeves, the fourth wife of Henry VIII. It also figured as a badge on the arms of many English Kings and noblemen, e.g. Henry the IV and Edward III. The Swan is usually argent or white, but you do get sable or black swans, often called the Mucky Duck. In medieval times the Swan was considered to be an emblem of innocence. An old rhyme from an Irish pub sign:

This is the Swan,
That left her pond,
To dip her bill in porter,
Why not we,
As well as she,
Become regular Topers?

The Swan(6 - 8 Derngate)

Also: The Mailcoach

The Mailcoach The RBN 1898 lists this establishment as one of the 16th or 17th century inns. The earliest record I have is 1830 and it changed its name in the 1970s to the Mailcoach as a result of a competition, the new name alluding to the Postal Sorting Office that was opposite at the time.

The Swan Advert I used this pub at the time and the bar would fill up with uniforms, Postmen and Bus Drivers from the United Counties Bus Station just down the road. The lounge would fill in the evenings with theatre-goers from the Repertory Theatre just around the corner, and sometimes quite famous people, including Errol Flynn in times gone by, could be seen in here.

The Swan(The Drapery)

The Swan in Derngate gave its name to Swan Lane when it was changed from Cow Lane, so this Swan gave its name to the jitty half way up on the west side of the Drapery, Swan Yard.

This is one of the thirteen ancient inns listed in the Assembly Order of 1585 and from the records of All Saints Church we learn that in July 1645 they buried a soldier from the Swan, one of the wounded from the Battle of Naseby a month before.

The Swan is the first inn to be mentioned in the poem Northampton in Flames. It was rebuilt and the Northampton Mercury is full of advertisements concerning the inn in the 18th century. I have no definite closure date, but Laws Map 1847 has Swan Yard marked and I'm sure if the inn was still running it would have been included.

The Swan(Woolmonger Street)

No information available

The Swan and Helmet(23, 23a or 25 Gold Street)

This is a confusing address that is explained under the entry for The Foresters Arms, this entry deals only with the Swan & Helmet. There is a reference to a Swan & Helmet in Gold Street as early as 1723. As it also appears in the Universal Directory of 1791 it must have been of some importance. Taylor wrote of it thus:

There was a Inn or publick-House situate on the South side of Gold street, bearing the above Name, and continued to exist up to the Year [info missing]. When the premises were taken down and rebuilt. And the new House assumed the name of ROYAL HOTEL, under which it is now carried on by Mr. C. Cain. But at what period the Old Inn was opened we cannot now say. But by its venerable appearance it seems like a House or ... large Tenement run up immediately after the great Fire of 1666 (sic).

An advertisement in the Northampton Mercury 1742 to let the inn, now in occupation of John Tebbutt describes amongst other things a brewhouse and stabling for 50 horses. Other advertisements for auctions indicate that it must have had at least one large room.

The Swan and Helmet(65 Grove Road)

Swan and Helmet Photo Swan and Helmet Advert This pub is still with us, another purpose-built street corner pub constructed at the same time as the surrounding terraced houses, shops and small factories. The ground floor still bears externally the vitreous green tiles that were so popular for pub exteriors in the 1930s. The Old Black Lion is another one, but they are a marmalade colour. The earliest I could trace this pub back was 1877; probably about the time it was built. William Barker, the first landlord was also a Coal Merchant and Dealer.