Bridgnorth Pubs & Inns : A History

Articles » Bridgnorth Pubs & Inns : A History

Bridgnorth Pubs & Inns : A History

Bridgnorth has a long history of inns and public houses both past and present, surviving historic pubs include the Golden Lion, New Inns, Hen & Chickens, the Swan, Kings Head, Shakespeare and the Hare and Hounds.

Low Town

Bernards Hill

The Hare and Hounds is still located on Bernards Hill, appears on a list as first being licensed in 1690, with the current building going back as far as 1857.

The Barley Mow was at 40 Bernards Hill

The Wheatshelf was at 41 Bernards Hill

Hospital Street

The Bucks Head was at 35 Hospital Street ( Was last a grocery store, now demolished to build new terraced house,)

St Johns Street

The Fox is situated at 34 St Johns Street and is now called The Coach House, it was first licensed in 1810 and in 1828 an advertisement shows  it ran coaches to Wolverhampton.

The Roebuck was in St Johns Street, Low Town and was described as an old established and well accustomed public house.

Mill Street

The Bandon Arms on Mill Street, to the right of Bandon Island if you come from Wolverhampton, has had different names over the years including  The Hand and Bottle and Bottle In Hand. As the Hand and Bottle it has its own malthouse in 1726, and was home to a Masonic Lodge.  Before 1828 (see below) it had changed its named to Bottle In Hand. By this time the licensee at the time, one Mr. Thomas Brown, a renowned prize fighting champion, had moved to Cartway and took the name of the public house, Hand and Bottle with him. The Bandon Arms was also one of three Bridgnorth pubs to have a Cock Fighting Pit
A poster dated April 1829 describes the Bottle In Hand to be let. By 1839, tied in with its owners, the Hazeldine Family, it changed its name to the Bandon Arms, and was so licensed in 1820.

The Parlors Hall Hotel is located on Mill Street and was built in 1414.

The Crown & Anchor started at 38 Whitburn Street and was first licensed in 1830. (There is no evidence today of a 38 Whitburn Street, but it would have been where the Sainsburys island is) It must have moved as is it listed as being at 39 Mill Street in 1868 & 1900 (As illustrated above)

The Five Partridges was originally at 54 Mill Street and a license for the premises was recorded in 1708. It had moved to Bernards Hill by 1789 when it was demolished to build St Marys Workhouse.

The Fosters Arms still trades today at 56 Mill Street. Originally the Whitmore Arms it was first licensed in 1790.

The Vine still trades today at 57 Mill Street and was first licensed in 1690. The current building dates back to 1720 as the three houses were built on the original site.


St Johns Street

The Falcon Hotel is still trading today at 1 St Johns Street. It belonged to John Singe in 1672 and was first licensed in 1820. It was also a  Commercial and Posting House in 1851.

The Olde Mitre Oak  was located at 4 St Johns Street, it later became the The New Found Out and had become  The New Hotel & Inn by 4th June 1824 when it was advertised for sale.

Chequers was at 11 St Johns Street

The Plough was at 22 St Johns Street, it was originally on the corner between Hospital Street & St Johns Street where it was licensed in 1690.

The Oak was also located on St Johns Street.

Bridge Street

The Lyon was located on Bridge Street and was demolished to build the Bull Inn

The Bull Inn was in Bridge Street, Low Town and closed in approximately 1970. It was first licensed in 1691 the original building was demolished in 1824. The more recent building on the site is now the Bridgnorth Rugby Club.

The Bridge was at 2 Bridge Street, it was partly rebuilt at the end of the 18th century when work was done to improve the approach to the east side of the bridge.

The Black Horse at 4 Bridge Street was first licensed in 1810 and still trades today. The rear of building was originally stabling, which once housed Grand National Winner  ‘Tipparari Tim’.

The Cape Of Good Hope was at 5 Bridge Street

The Cartway

The Red Lion on the Cartway next to Bishop Percys House was demolished in 1885 to make was for the Riverside road.

The Kouli Khan was on Cartway and in the house adjoining Bishop Percys House.

The Woolpack was at 9 or 10 Cartway

The Beehive first started at 17 Cartway later moving to 82 Friars Street, it then moved again to 47 & 48 Cartway where it became the Magpie in  about 1780.
As the Magpie it sported a secret hatchway for OT and Sunday drinking, as well as a secret tunnel from the stables to the river. The premises is still licensed today and now known as the Bassa Villa.

The White Hart was located at 17 Cartway obviously on the original site of the Beehive, by 1868 its location was 35 Cartway.. It moved twice more to 67 Cartway and then to 17, it was last recorded in 1853.

The Ship and Anchor was at 31 Cartway.

The Coopers Arm was at 32 Cartway (Possibly previously on Friars Street). 

The Horn & Trumpet was at 44 Cartway, in 1828 it was named The French Horn

The Tumbling Sailors was at 55 Cartway. Its sign showed three sailors arm in arm. The pub started the first Bridgnorth Working Men’s Club in about 1885 with the rector of St.Leonards as president.

The Black Boy  (aka The Blackie Boy)  is the only surviving public house now at 58 Cartway with a history of over 400 years. It was first licensed in 1790 at 67 Cartway, in 1831 it was at 17 Cartway and finally settled at 58 in 1889.

The Railway Tavern was at 68 Cartway it was first licensed in 1790. There was a secret hatchway for OT drinking. It has now been full refurbished as a private dwelling.

The Saltbox was located at 84 Cartway.

The Forge And Hammer was located at 85 Cartway

The Star started life at the bottom of Cartway and was also listed later as being at 15 Underhill Street and later in 1851 on Bridge Street

The Mermaid was located at the bottom of the Cartway.

The Britannia was located at the bottom of the Cartway.

The Cornucopia (or Horn Of Plenty) was also on Cartway.

The Saracens Head was located on Cartway although its exact location is unsure.

The Severn Trow was located on Cartway although its exact location is unsure.

The Compasses

The Bush was  located on Cartway although its exact location is unsure.

Friars Loade, Friars Street & Granary Steps

The Old Friar Inn was located at 52 Friars Street was built in the early 1800’s yards from Bridgnorth Friary. It bore the inscription : “I am a friar of orders Grey. Who lived in the Friary over the way. Tho’ my Friary’s gone I still have cheer. Come in and taste our Bridgnorth Beer. And still keep temperate with the same. Nor bring this house to evil frame.”  The inscription was removed in 1957 when it became a private dwelling.

The Anchor and Wherry was on Friars Street

The Doomsday was on Friars Street

Halfmoon Inn was on Friars Street

The Malthouse was on Friars Street

Harrison Arms was on Friars Loade

The Fold was on Friars Loade

Prince Of Wales Feathers was on Friars Loade

Queens Arms was on Friars Loade

The Angel was on Granary Steps

The Nelson was on Granary Steps

Underhill Street

The Severn Arms is on Underhill Street and was first licensed in 1690. It was originally trading as the Wine Vaults, it then became the Lift Vaults. Today it is The Severn Arms Hotel

The Hop Pole was originally at 8 Underhill Street standing on the quay next to the bridge. It was demolished in 1852 and moved to the bottom of St Marys Steps.

The Station was at 22 Underhill Street

The Britannia was at 54 Underhill Street, on the Quayside, it was demolished during road improvements to the bridge.

The Rose & Crown was located at 3 Stoneway Steps and was demolished in 1892 during the construction of the Cliff Railway.

Five Alls was on Underhill Street

Hollybush Road

The Yew Tree was located at 9 Hollybush Road

The Hollybush was located at 10 Hollybush Road and was next to the Hollyhead.

The George is still at 11 Hollybush Road, It has also been called the The Hollyhead. The original George Hotel was on the opposite side of the road which was demolished to make the railway embankment. The George was first licensed in 1790.

The Station Tavern was founded in 1862 and still trades today as the Railwaymans Arms on the Severn Valley Station Platform

The Sun was on Hollybush Road opposite Railway Street, it was demolished in 1861 to make way for the railway embankment.

High Town


The Coach & Horses was located at 1 Moat Street, it offered accommodation and stabling.

The Bear ( Or Brown Bear) is still located at Northgate. It once brewed its own beer, and also was known as the Nags Head before this name was moved to a new premises at 24 High Street by 1775, even later to move to 35 Hospital Street.

The Reindeer Inn was at 25 Northgate (More recently became Mrs Jone’s Sweet Shop and is now Reindeer Antiques.)

The High Street

The Golden Lion Inn at 83 High Street dates back to the 17th century when it was used as a coaching inn, it was first licensed in 1790. The mounting block for customers to mount their horses is still in existence outside the front of the building. At one time the Golden Lion even had its own brewery, at the rear, with the stables alongside. The Golden Lion was brought in 2017 by Holdens Brewery and reopens after a major refit in September 2017.

The Jewel of the Severn is at 45- 47 High Street and is a Wetherspoons that opened in 2002. The building was best known as Wm Williams and prior to that as Williams & Jones.

The Crown is still a very popular High Street pub. The first records of the premises go back to 1646, but it probably suffered damage due to the Great Fire. It was first licensed in 1710 and on 19th October 1723 it was used for the Courts Quarterly Sessions. By the end of the 18th century it became known as the Crown Inn and Royal Hotel, or Crown And Royal for short. There was a small theatre at the rear of the building called the Cockpit Theatre which closed 16th February 1824. The theatre was also used for Cock Fighting, it is recorded in 1793 promoters were forced to take out a license for the events. In March 1894 the Crown and adjourning Raven Hotel were purchased by Broadway Brewery and it became The Crown And Raven, and it was the only AA 2 Star rated hotel in Bridgnorth.  After a refit in 1968 the Crown And Raven reopened  as just a pub. Much of the original building was demolished to build Woolworths.

The Red Cow was located at 21 High Street (Now NatWest Bank) it was also the site that cattle were originally sold.

The Corn Market was located at 22 High Street. (Between Natwest & The Red Cross)

The Royal Oak was at 23 High Street (Now The Red Cross) it ceased trading in 1896.

The Town Hall Vaults were at 27 High Street it was first licensed in 1690 and closed in 1970. It had a wine and spirit shop next door owned by Charles Deighton and also bottled its own beer.

The Pig & Castle, or Cock & Castle Inn at 36 High Street was first recorded in 1710. To the rear was a beautiful gallery with  carvings that were thought to have been removed and placed on the High Street side during renovations in 1647 or 1888. The quarterly court sessions were held here in the late 18th century and early 19th century. It continued until 1860 when it was taken over by the proprietor of the Crown to become ‘Tanners‘. The ‘Hirondelle’ stage coach stopped here en-route for Cheltenham and Liverpool.  At the rear were stables and rooms for 5 stablemen and old maps show these adjoined to the hostelry.

The Castle Vaults was located at 39 High Street (Now M & Co) originally part of the Pig & Castle it continued to trade after the closure of the Pig & Castle.

The Swan was at 52 High Street, it was one of the few buildings to survive the Great Fire although alas it did burn down some years later. It was rebuilt closer to the street. There are no pub records for the premises until 1723, by 1748 it was known as The Old Swan. The Swan closed in 2014 but reopened its doors as a Prezzo Italian restaurant in December 2015.

The Bell was located at 54 High Street (Now Fish) originally as a coach house and definately licensed pre 1828. Pre World War I was a popular sign for pigeon racers.

The Nags Head was first located at 58 High Street ( Now Nationwide Building Society ) by 1775 it had moved through Northgate finally ending up at 35 Hospital Street in Low Town.

The Antelope Inn  at 64 High Street (now Barclays Bank) and may well be one of the oldest pubs in Bridgnorth, it was listed as a hospice in a will in 1465. It’s garden ran from the  High Street as far as the little land leading to the Church of St. Leonards. It was destroyed in 1646 probably by the Great Fire .

The Cross Keys was at 64  High Street, (Down an alley beside what is now Barclays Bank). In 1848 the shop and parlor of the pub became the first Roman Catholic Chapel with the licensed area being at the rear. The Cross Keys was one of three Bridgnorth pubs to have a Cock Fighting Pit (The others being the Bandon Arms and The Crown). In 1900 it was listed as The Cross Keys Wine And Spirit Vaults, it closed in the 1930’s.

The Harp Inn still trades at 74 High Street, after 1880 it became the Harp & Pheasant but today it is again just known as the Harp.

The Green Dragon was originally located at 75 High Street, (Now Nock Deighton) by 1795 it had moved to Whitburn Street and included a barbers shop.

The Duke Of Wellington (aka the Duke or the Old Duke) was on the High Street near the Town Hall.

The Cock was also on the High Street

The Talbot was located at 7 & 8 Waterloo Terrace, it is shown on plans in 1821 with stables on the opposite side of Postern Gate.

Whitburn Street

The Pheasant Inn was on the corner of Whitburn Street and High Street and demolished in 1880 to build Lloyds TSB.

The Raven was at the top of Whitburn Street and is now part of The Crown. It was one of the first restored properties on Whitburn Street after the Great Fire. Between 1800 and 1853 it was the meeting place for Castle Lodge of Freemason. In 1851 it was listed as a commercial inn and Posting House. It was taken on by the same company as the Crown in 1894.

The Kings Head still stands at 3 Whitburn Street, it was rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1646 and was first licensed in 1780, although it was trading well before then. In 1851 it was also listed  as The Kings Head Railway Coach House & Posting House, and it’s trap ground was used as a cricket ground. It was sold by David Broadley to local butcher Richard Beaman who converted the stables at the rear into the Stable Bar. Another building at the rear was also home to the Bridgnorth Brewing Company who are now based on Hollybush Road.

The Crown & Anchor started at 38 Whitburn Street and was first licensed in 1830. (There is no evidence today of a 38 Whitburn Street, but it would have been where the Sainsburys island is) It must have moved is it listed as being on Mill Street in 1868 & 1900

The Horse and Jockey was located at 51 Whitburn Street.

The Carpenters Arms was located at 53 Whitburn Street and finally ceased trading in 2011. It was first licensed in 1840 and classed as a tavern until 1888.

The Crown and Cushion was listed as being at 71 Whitburn Street (It became Jefferies Cycle Shop and then Bryan & Knott Insurance Brokers)

The Two Crowns was at 93 Whitburn Street.

Listley Street

The Greyhound was located at 2 or 3 Listley Street which later became Crosbys Barbers and is now Stephen Evenett Opticians.

Robin Hood Inn at 6 Listley Street first licensed about 1790.

The Elephant & Castle was at 10 Listley Street, now Shakespeares Hardware.

The Bulls Head was at 16 Listley Street opposite the Library (A this time Bridgen Hall stood where the library car park now exists) it was first licensed in 1791 and 1828 it was fully licensed. It was demolished to build Listley Street Car Park.

The Bricklayers Arms was at 27 Listley Street and was first licensed in 1750. The building was demolished in the early 1960’s to build the Comrades Club.

The Turks Head was also on Listley Street

Railway Street

The Joiners Arms was on Railway Street

The Woodman was on Railway Street and was first recorded as a pub in 1770 and was demolished in 1862.

St Marys Street

The Hen & Chickens is still at 3 St Marys Street in the Central Arcade . It now trades as The Friars.

The New Inn still trades at 4  St Marys Street, having been first licensed around 1760 . Records show that one John Andrews of  the New Inn was charged with pandering on 22nd September 1506, records also show that  in 1851 a Jane Andrews was the landlady. There is evidence the rear of building was used as a slaughter house.

The Flower De Luce was listed as being at 5 St Marys Street.

The White Horse was at 7 St Marys Street.

The Spread Eagle was at 21 or 22 St Marys Street.

The Severn Stars began at 23 St Marys Street and later moved to 58 High Street (Now Bridgnorth Journal Offices)

The Duke Of York was at 28 St Marys Street.

Seftons Cider House was located at 70 St Marys Street

The Rifleman (aka The Volunteer) was on St Marys Street

East Castle Street

The Ball was at 30 & 31 East Castle Street (Lastly became The Habit and closed in 2012) it is recorded as being licensed in 1750.

West Castle Street

The Shakespeare is still at 1 West Castle Street, it was originally the Punch Bowl when it was licensed in 1792. It was taken over by Joules Brewery in 2017.

The White Lion still trades at 3 West Castle Street with its own micro brewery Hop & Stagger. It was first licensed in 1760.

The Bird In Hand was at 8 West Castle Street (Now Blunts Shoe Shop) and was licensed in 1791.

The Old Castle at 11 West Castle Street  is still very popular for it’s ales & food.  It was supposedly first licensed in 1740 and  in 1889 it was used by the Bridgnorth Cycle Club as their headquarters .

The Masons Arms was located at 29 West Castle Street, it was first licensed in 1840. It closed in on 11th March 1912 when the police felt there were too many public house and the lease was not renewed.

Castle Hill Walk & Postern Gate

The Green was on Castle Hill Walk to the south of St Marys Church.

The Hole In The Wall was built against the Castle Wall Barbican which gave access to the castle, which is now known as Postern Gate. It was demolished at 10.00am on 25th June, 1824.

Pound Street

The Squirrel Hotel was in Pound Street opposite Listley Street junction and was licensed around 1783. It was bombed in August 1940 and had to be rebuilt. It was finally closed and demolished in 1979.

The Hell was on Pound Street

Salop Street

Ash Inn on Salop Street (Adjacent to Rutters Garage) was built in 1462 as a farmhouse and converted to an inn many years later, before being pulled down in June 1645 to improve the defence of the town. It was rebuilt and first licensed in 1821 before being demolished again overnight during the 1960s to make way for Rutters Car Lot.

The Barrel was next to the Ash Inn on Salop Street and was first licensed in 1830.

The Bell & Talbot is still situated at 2 Salop Street it was first licensed in 1831. It was listed as the Bell & Falcon in 1883 which was most probably as misprint.

The Leopard was at 4 Salop Street and first licensed in 1840, and in 1851 the landlord was listed as one Joseph Mason.

The Commercial And New Inn was located at 35 Salop Street. First licensed in 1826 it had 4 cellars and 8 bedrooms with a cobbled courtyard and stabling at the rear. It is now the Whitburn Grange Hotel.

The Bannut Tree was also on Salop Street

Victoria Road

The Woodberry Down is still at 70 Victoria Road and is one of the newest pubs in Bridgnorth. It closed in 2014, and reopened as the Woodberry Inn in 2015 after a full refurbishment.

Pubs in RED are still trading today

In 1909, the Police claimed that six Public Houses should be closed down as they were not required in their neighbourhood.

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