The Cockpit Theatre

Articles » The Cockpit Theatre

The Cockpit Theatre

The Cockpit Theatre was located at the rear of the Raven Inn (Now The Crown) and replaced a smaller theatre on the same site that was in use pre 1790.

The Cockpit Theatre opened on 11th March 1811 under direction of Charles Stanton with the play “The Earl Of Essex And Queen Elizabeth” and followed by “The Weathercock”.cockpit 3

On average there were three shows per week  at the cost of a shilling in the gallery or two bob to be in the pit.

Stars of the theatre included Edmund Kean, Charles Stanton and Harriet Mellon.

The last performance was “Wallace, Regent Of Scotland” on the 16th February 1824.

On 11th December 1824 a new theatre was built in West Castle Street (Now the site of the Newmarket Buildings) and it opened with ” The Wheel Of Fortune “. This thetare continued until 1850 when the building was demolished and the theatre had a new home in The Agricultural Buildings on the High Street. (Now The Factory Shop).

The building remained on site used as a cock fighting pit, a coach house and later as a garage / car park.

It became a Grade II listed building 1954 and was listed as :

“Circa 1811. A square single-storeyed building of brick with tiled pyramidal roof and wood ball finial. Used as a cockpit and theatre until mid C19 when converted to a coach house and provided with a new front brick wall incorporating 2 arched doorways with cambered heads and a gabled sack hoist. Interior, now used as a garage, has brick floor and wooden stairs in brick enclosure giving access to roof space. Loft has boarded floor, which may originally have been a peripheral gallery, carried on a lattice of beams which support the fine roof structure consisting of a massive king post and radial struts supporting the principal and hip rafters.”

It was dismantled under the guidance of the Bridgnorth Civic Society in 1976  and moved to Avoncroft Museum. Reconstruction was completed in 1979

cockpit 2


  1. dawes December 11, 2015 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    I have a poster advertising a play dated 23rd Oct 1776 on which Mr & Mrs Stanton are named together with Mr & Mrs Collier, Mr Penn, Nunns, Keys & Mrs Bath & Mrs Jones. The theatre referred to must be the one that predates The Cockpit.

  2. dawes December 13, 2015 at 11:15 am - Reply

    As mentioned before I forgot to say that the poster I have is original with only a slight water mark so is completely legible.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.