Pubs of Royal Leamington Spa.
Leamington Spa has always had a good selection of pubs with a variety of breweries involved in the trade in the town. Old established names such as Phipps, Ansells, Phillips and Marriotts, Mitchells and Butlers, Hunt Edmunds, Flowers, Watneys, Atkinsons and the two local firms of Thornley and Kelsey at Radford Semele and Lucas in Lillington Avenue have all had a presence in the town at some time. Mergers and takeovers led to some changes in the 1950s and 1960s as the conglomerates of Allied Breweries, Bass Charrington, Watneys and Whitbread Flowers came into being. However, in the 1960s there remained a nominal choice of Ansells, M & B, TK, Marstons, Watneys, Whitbread and Flowers spread throughout the town. With the takeover of TK by Davenports, a new name was added to the variety of beer available. The later infiltration of Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries was to add the Banks's name to some of the local pubs.
The old pattern of pubs tied to breweries was changing in the 1980s as new chains developed and the separation of pubs and breweries began. The photographs shown here were mainly taken in 1987 by Bill Bigley, at a time that the changes in the Leamington pub scene were starting to take effect and, sadly, some of the old pub names were being altered. Leamington could boast a range of interesting and evocative pub names to accompany the variety of beers on sale. Names such as the Chair and Rocket, the Jet and Whittle (since disastrously renamed before returning as the Jet) and the Fox and Vivian are part of the uniqueness of Leamington.
There are more then 50 photographs in the original collection. Not all the photographs are displayed here and the page will be changed from time to time to show different pubs. This is not a comprehensive history of Leamington's pubs, more a glimpse of the situation in 1987. It is known that pubs changed use over time and some of these shown here have since had a change of use or been altered in some way. Also there are other buildings around the town that have been used as pubs in the past. At one time it seemed that there was a pub on every corner and certainly in the Clemens Street/High Street area, a pub crawl could have been exactly that!
Changed in the 1990s to the Cask and Bottle.
The Hope and Anchor
At one time this was a pub owned by the local Lucas brewery and was taken over by Ansells of Birmingham.
The Green Man
An old established local pub dating from the 1920s.
The Jekyll & Hyde
The building has a chequered history with a variety of businesses having occupied it. The pub itself opened in the 1980s and closed in the 1990s. It is now The Clarendon.
The Hope Tavern
At one time a Thornley and Kelsey, of Radford Semele, outlet it became a Davenports pub when the TK pubs were sold off.
The Shakespeare Inn
Once owned by the noted Flowers Brewery of Stratford on Avon.
The Coventry Arms
A substantial building, it was at one time owned by the local Lucas Brewery.
The Coach & Horses
Another TK house taken over by Davenports in the 1960s.
The Joiners Arms
Another ex-TK pub which was taken over by Davenports in the 1960s.
At one time a pub belonging to the local brewers Lucas & Co.
Birch & Billycock (Warwick Hotel)
Another pub which has undergone changes over the years, at the time of the photo in the 1980s it was known as the Birch and Billycock, having previously been the warwick Hotel.
The Tavistock Inn
Another TK pub taken over by Davenports in the 1960s.
The Stoneleigh Arms
Sadly boarded up and empty now.
The Stoneleigh Arms
Advertising uncovered during restoration work.
The Stoneleigh Arms
Plough & Harrow
Located in Whitnash it brings back memories of visits to the beer garden on a summer's evening.
The Heathcote Inn
This pub dates from the 1940s and was originally a Thornley Kelsey owned establishment. Its prominent position in Whitnash means that it is handily placed to serve the new estates that have been built in the area.
The Newbold Tavern
Handily located for the Jephson Gardens.
The Bulldog was built in the 1950s and was originally a Thornley Kelsey pub before being taken over by Davenports when the TK estate was sold off. There was originally a small walled garden island at the front of the pub which was later removed to create more car parking space.
The Great Western
Now closed but had what must have been the smallest bar in the area.
A modern pub on the Sydenham estate.
The Chair & Rocket
At one time known as the Vaults but now, for some unfathomable reason, renamed as The Old Library.
Prince of Wales Inn
Kellys (The Leopard)
Another pub lost to development.
The Avenue Hotel
A pub with a chequered history of ownership, at the time this photo was taken in the 1980s it had a most uninviting appearance.
The Jet & Whittle
This was the original name of the pub in recognition of Sir Frank Whittle, jet engine pioneer, who was educated at Leamington College. It was later to become the Brunswick Tavern before returning as The Jet.
New Binswood Tavern
Now sadly gone, it had been handily placed for 6th form students from Leamington College.
The Carpenters Arms
Pictured, deserted by the houses which once surrounded it due to redevelopment, the pub itself has undergone a change of use.
The Carpenters Arms
The Haunch of Venison
The idiosyncratic Mock Tudor frontage was added in the 1930s at a time that the pub was owned by the Leamington brewer Lucas & Co. Although totally out of keeping with the surrounding buildings it did at least stand out.
The Black Horse
Tucked away up a side street this was nother pub that could truly be called a "local", serving local residents. Unfortunately it is now closed.
This substantial building once served as a small hotel. Sadly it is a pub no more, being converted to residential accommodation.
The Holly Bush
The Bedford Inn
The Royal Exchange
Sun in Splendour
A pub dating from the 1960s but now demolished and replaced by a block of flats so that the view is now totally altered.
The Talbot Inn
View of the mural which once adorned the pub.
Was The Willoughby Arms
The Railway Inn
The Star & Garter
At one time the only Marstons pub in the area.
The Queens Head
The Cricketers Arms
Handily placed for Victoria Park and the English National Bowling Championships which take place on the greens each year.
The Somerville Arms
A good old traditional pub with live music sessions.
The Kings Arms
Pub closed around 1988.
The Ranelagh Tavern
A real old-time unpretentious pub, now closed.
The Golden Lion
Believed to be the oldest pub in Leamington at the time that this photo was taken. No longer a pub.
Refurbished a few years ago with photos of Old Leamington on display it now appears to have gone the way of many other pubs featured here and closed.
Now closed and converted to residential accommodation.
The Fox & Vivian
Now converted to a convenience store.
The Grist Mill
One of the newer pubs in the area, built on the Sydenham estate, it opened in 1985.
The White Horse