Please send me a picture of your pub, and its pub history? I am currently adding accurate transcriptions of the UK 1921 census to the UK pub history site. Or visit your local library.

Pub history - mainly London and surround

I start with a random selection of A to Z London pubs I have chosen. There are only a few shown here, but the pub history site lists about one hundred thousand pages ( or maybe there are only sixty thousand); but I try to list many different areas around the UK. The pages are often quite boring, but they mainly list the residents or licensees of a premises, and how they, or their family, moved around the trade.
You can search the entire site in the local search engine, which is OK, and can be searched by surname or address or pub name.
Some families, only spend a few months in the licensed trade, others span many decades.

The pub history site does record minute details of research of people, buildings and streets from diverse sources, including Pepys diaries and taverns visited, pub tokens, newspaper reports, masonic records of meetings, Sun Fire insurance records, early maps and street directories, and surveys of London, window and hearth taxes, licensing petty sessions records, census detail, births, christenings, marriages, deaths and wills. There are also a significant number of images of the buildings, business cards and other related material.

Here is the story of the Carlton Tavern, in Maida Vale. Sadly it was demolished a day or two before being listed for historical reasons, and has since beeen rebuilt, for this same reason.

This history of any old London building, whether it be a pub, a church, or any other landmark that is identifiable in history is important in how to understand where, and how, London evolved through time, and what originally existed before the masses of modern architecture was built.

Random stuff

In addition to public houses, are the many coffee houses and taverns, Inns, chop houses and hotels. Many of these pre-date public houses, and many are now the exchanges for business, and were formerly a place for meeting associates, reading newspapers and share dealings. Here are the wine merchants, victuallers, coffee houses etc in 1809 from the London Holden directory. I am building the latest listing on the london taverns blog. Here are many thousands of London listings.

The London Brewery, Golden lane established 1804. For supplying the public with genuine malt liquor

The Licensed Victualler Asylum in 1844, and a list of its subscribers, mostly with pubs, to the charity.

One of the lazy ways to search the site for pubs by postcode is via Ewans Pubology site, and I have some listed by postcode too. I am working on this slowly.

Some of the victuallers joined the freemasons societies and their lodges. Here are some listings of the Grand Lodge memberships; and a second listing of Grand Lodge memberships. And a third listing Grand Lodge memberships, from a second book of Grand Lodge freemasonry records; and a fnal list Grand Lodge memberships finishing this book of Freemasons initiation Grand Lodge records with very useful dates and sometime their ages.

Pubs are closing every day for a variety of reasons, mainly financial. During the early part of the 20th century, and in particular between 1904 and the first world war in 1914, a series of measures through the temperance movement, were executed where too many public houses were spoiling a neighbourhood. This led to the Licensing Act in 1904; which allowed Notice by the way of a Compensation authority to recommend to close down licensed premises for a fee, or compensation. The licences were of varying types, some were full licences, others were beer, some listed themselves as ante-1869 which meant they could have been bought for two guineas a year without any magisterial licensing issues as was the case in the earlier beer act of 1830. Here are a some newspapers reports on Compensation which also often aid in naming an early beer house.

A quick jump into the present day, and many pub chains are being bought up by investment funds, e.g. Stonegate is now the biggest pub co.

Another brilliant resource was the Licensed victuallers institution. This had royal patronage, and therefore it was a charitable institution which was popular, and quite wealthy.

Many of the more astute licensed victuallers were involved in the Licensed Victuallers Association. This association was an insurance to protect members of licensees families, in times of hardship.
A considerable number of children, were named in a list of those most in need of reward at the Institution, and their detailed reasons. There was then a vote to choose those who should receive this help. This was limited by numbers. Those children who were lucky enough were then educated to a standard which enabled them to learn a trade. Older ex licensees, or their wives, were sometimes offered a place to live out their lives.

The Licensed Victuallers Association is also brilliant in naming many of the early victuallers at a licensed house.

Royal Hospital row, Chelsea and pub history - I am currently visiting the Brompton hospital on a regular basis!

I get lost a lot when looking for old pubs, and even more so when in the West of London. These magical names started to appear for the Chelsea area when searching the pubs of the early 1800s, like Royal Hospital row, Jews row, Turks row, Five fields etc.

Even if you told me their modern address I would struggle with their situation. And without detailed plans of an area over 200 years ago, old addresses seem to disappear from view very quickly as we match old with the new.

These are all listed in the pubs of Chelsea, with their modern addresses of Brompton road, or Queens roadEast, or wherever they may now be listed, if at all.

So, we have the General Howard, Royal Hospital row until at least 1826. (sometimes listed as Jews row) ;
The Recruiting Serjeant, Royal Hospital row - noted between 1805 and 1811, and the ;
Royal Hospital Inn, 23 Royal Hospital row, Chelsea, from at least 1790 until about 1901; with a more modern address of 148 Pimlico road.;
>Eight Bells, Royal Hospital row, Chelsea - not currently listed, but existed in 1811 at least. Maybe it is the Kings Head & Eight Bells, 50 Cheyne Walk;
Mermaid, Royal Hospital row, Chelsea - not currently listed, but existed in 1803 at least. In searching newspapers, a Mermaid yard in Jews row gets a mention incorporating lodging houses in 1834. Jews row appears to be the natural name, and preferred name, for Royal Hospital row.;
General Elliott, Royal Hospital row, Chelsea existed from at least 1799, also listed as in Jews row, and latterly in Queens road East until at least 1865.
Duke of York, 9 Royal Hospital Row from at least 1805, and latterly known as at 120 Pimlico road.;
Three Crowns, Royal Hospital Row, from at least 1805 and latterly at 4 Queens road east., until at least 1861.;
Snow Shoes, 21 Royal Hospital Row Chelsea becomes 21 Queens Road east, from 1788 until at least 1895

Actually, on a closer look, we are missing the following:

The Coach and Horses which exists at 95 Lower Sloane street as a modern address, and at the corner of Lower Sloane street and Jews row (later Pimlico road)

A General Wolfe is mentioned, and also a Cheshire Cheese, both in Jews row.

Also, listed as part of St George Hanover square listing, which appears to be incorrect is the :

Nell Gwynne, of 1 Grosvenor row, Pimlico, and latterly through street renaming eventually becomes the Nell Gwynne, at 105 Pimlico road. What is interesting is that in 1824, a newspaper, the Morning Advertiser describes this as the Nell Gwynne, Jews row, Chelsea.

A final thought in 1896:

Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press 04 July 1896
The old inns of the metropolis are being gradually wiped out of existence. The city and suburbs suffer alike in this respect, modern improvements and the needs of present day life putting but little value on historic association or picturesqueness.
Now the old Royal Hospital at Chelsea is to be demolished.
This hostelry was the scene of Sir David Wilkies well known picture, "The News of the Battle of Waterloo," with the pensioners carousing on the benches which then stood outside the inn.
The house is at the south west corner of the condemned block of buildings bounded on the north by Turks row and on the south by Jews row.
Chelsea is fast losing its old time appearance, and where picturesque but dingy and dirty purlieus once stood modern mansions and open thoroughfares are fast taking place.

And Last updated on: Monday, 30-Jan-2023 09:15:26 GMT