Public Houses

Coseley once had large mining and industrial communities, employing a significant number of people. Most of the local workers socialised in the many public houses that were built to cater for them. As time progressed, people's needs changed, particularly when much of the industry disappeared. Today, only a few of the pubs remain, many of the older ones have been forgotten. The majority disappeared as large housing estates began to dominate the area. Most of the survivors are in effect restaurants, that cater for the whole family, as well as the relatively small number of hardened drinkers.

The list below includes a few pubs from the first half of the nineteenth century. Coseley had a large number of pubs for such a small place. Pubs still close because of diminished trade, and also because they are an ideal target for property developers. They usually have a large car park which could accommodate several houses.

If anyone can add to the list or make any corrections please send me an email.

Public Houses in Coseley


The Anchor  

Anchor Road   Old Blue Bell Hurst Road
  Apple Tree   Central Drive. Originally in
Castle Street, moved in 1961
  The Old Bush Dark Lane
  The Bear Bayer Street   The Old Bush Ebenezer Street
  Beehive  Highfields Bridge   The Old Bush Skidmore Road
  Big Cat Can Lane   The Old Chainyard Castle Street
  Bird in Hand Duck Street, moved to Paul Street   The Old Gate Gorge Road
  Bird in Hand Male Lane   Old House At Home Chapel Street
  Bird in Hand Paul Street   Old Yew Tree Church Road
  Black Country Real Ale House Roseville Precinct, Castle St. Originally Oscar's Wine Bar   Painters Arms Avenue Road
  Black Horse Skidmore Row   The Park Inn George Street
  Black Horse Upper Ettingshall Road   The Prince of Wales Hallfields, Daisy Bank
  The Boat Ettingshall Road   The Prince of Wales York Street
  The Boat

Havacre Lane

  The Prince of Wales Tipton Road
  The Boat Highfields Road   Queens Arms Hollywell Street
  Boot and Slipper Ladymoor   The Railway Ash Street
  Bramford Arms Tipton Road   The Railway Chapel Street
  Bricklayers Arms Brierley Lane   The Railway Tavern Meadow Lane
  Brickmakers Arms Broad Lanes   The Railway Tavern Deepfields
  British Queen Meadow Lane   The Red Cow Edge Street
  British Queen Parkes Hall Road   The Red Lion Daisy Bank
  The Brook Bourne Street   The Rifle Corps Clifton Street
  Bulls Head Webb Street   The Rising Sun Darkhouse Lane
  The Bush Can Lane   Rollers Arms Foundry Street
  The Bush Mamble Square   Rose and Crown Providence Place
  The Bush Wallbrook Street   The Royal Castle Street
  Castle House Bridge Street   Saddlers Arms Darkhouse Lane
  Coseley Tavern Upper Ettingshall Road   Ship and Rainbow Rainbow Street
  Cottage Spring Brook Street   Spread Eagle Birmingham New Road
  Crown and Anchor Deepfields   Spread Eagle Church Road
  Deepfields Inn Havacre Lane   Spread Eagle Ladymoor Road
  Druids Head Caddick Street   Spread Eagle Meadow Lane
  Duke of York Hockley Lane   Squirrel Lower Bradley
  Earl of Wessex Summerhill Road   The Star Broad Street
  Ettingshall Cottage Sodom, Ettingshall   The Star Hurst Hill Road
  Wern Tree Walter Street   The Summerhouse Can Lane
  The Fountain Rounds Hill   The Summerhouse School Street
  The Four Ways Caddick Street   The Summer House Sedgley Road
  The Foxyards Sedgley Road West   The Swan Darkhouse Lane
  The Gate Ward Street   The Swan Swan Row
  Gate Hangs Well Hurst Road   The Swan Sedgley Road
  Gate Hangs Well Pear Tree Lane   The Swift Packet Male Lane
  Golden Lion Old Green   The Talbot Bradleys Lane
  The Hillyfields Parkes Hall Roal   Three Horseshoes Ladymoor Road
  Hop and Barleycorn Mason Street   The Union Mamble Square
  Horse and Jockey Ivyhouse Lane   The Union Wallbrook Street
  Horse and Jockey Robert Wynd   The Union Tavern Coppice
  Hurst Hill Tavern Caddick Street   Waggon and Horses Moor Street, off Broad Lanes
  The Ivy House Ivyhouse Lane   The Wallbrook Chapel Street
  The King William Can Lane   The Wallbrook Tavern Wallbrook Street
  Lord Collingwood Can Lane   White Horse Upper Ettingshall Road
  Miners Arms Hurst Road   White House Daisy Street
  The Navigation Can Lane   White Lion Castle Street
  The New Inn Broad Street   The Woodcross Woodcross Street
  The New Inn Ward Street      
  The New Inn Regent Street      
Pub Open     Pub Closed  

Beer houses:
82, Can Lane, Hurst Hill
19, Ward Street, Mount Pleasant

The Apple Tree in Castle Street. From an old postcard.

The Evolution of the Traditional English Pub

The traditional English pub evolved into several separate rooms, each with its own purpose. The bar, with a counter, was copied from gin houses, where the idea was to serve customers quickly, and keep an eye on them.

The saloon bar, or lounge, appeared in the latter part of the 18th century, as a comfortable, carpeted, and well furnished room with an admission fee, or higher priced drinks. It catered for more affluent people. Often entertainment would be provided, and drinks were served at the table.

The tap room, or public bar, was developed for the working classes. It had simple wooden bench seats, cheap drink, and bare floorboards, or tiles, that were often covered in sawdust to absorb spillages, and spit.

Another room, the snug, sometimes called the smoke room, was a small, private room where people could drink without being observed. The windows were made of frosted glass, and the room had a separate entrance to the bar, so that people could enter and leave without being seen. There was usually access to a separate section of the bar, where a higher price would be paid for drinks. The snug was often used by ladies, at a time when the pub was perceived to be for men only, and also by courting couples, who liked their privacy.

There was often an off licence, where beer, wine, or spirits could be purchased for home consumption. It was a small room with a counter, or often just an open window facing the back of the bar, through which people were served.

Customers, including children, sent on an errand by their parents, could take bottles to be filled with beer. A paper seal would often be stuck over the stopper to ensure that the children didn't sample the contents.

Beer Houses

Many of the bubs began as beer houses with a beer house license. Beer was considered to be a harmless, nutritious alternative to gin, the consumption of which should be actively encouraged. This idea led to the Passing of the 1830 Beer House Act that introduced new and radical changes in the law. It allowed any householder and tax payer to obtain a license to sell beer on their premises, in exchange for a 2 guinea licence fee. Licensees were not allowed to sell spirits or fortified wines. Anyone doing so would be closed down, and heavily fined.

The legislation led to a rapid rise in the number of public houses, and the introduction of a new class of licensed premises, the beer house. Beer houses were family homes, in which beer was usually sold in the front room, and dispensed from a jug, or directly from the barrel. Often the room was simply furnished with bare floorboards, wooden benches, and trestle tables. By the 1850s beer houses greatly outnumbered pubs. Some of the early beer houses carried names, just like pubs. Many of the more successful beer houses eventually became pubs.

Beer houses flourished until the introduction of the Wine and Beer House Act of 1869, which prevented the opening of new beer houses, and tightened local magistrates' control of the industry. By the early years of the 20th century they had all gone.

The Square, Roseville. From an old postcard.

Many of the older pubs, originally had a beerhouse license. Some of the licensees, particularly in the 19th century, had a second job. Edward Jones, who was the owner and licensee of the Anchor, in Anchor Road, was also a sheet iron worker and a bucket maker. Joseph Dicken, licensee of the Deepfields Inn, was also a brickmaker and Benjamin Webb, licensee of the Bulls Head was a coalmaster. Another brickmaker, Joseph Rudge, was licensee of the New Gate, and Henry Nock, licensee of the Navigation, was a carpenter.

Several licensees also were shopkeepers, including Eber Stanley of the White Horse, and John Skidmore, of The Union. Joseph Beardmore, of the Coseley Tavern, was a grocer, and William Harper of the Three Horseshoes, was a butcher. Richard Caddick, licensee of the Old Bush, was also a screw maker, as was William Waterhouse of the Old Gate. Another licensee, Joseph Massey, of the Woodcross, was also a blacksmith, others were maltsters or brewers.

Some of the pubs had nicknames, including the Brickmakers Arms, known as ‘Shutty’s’, the Druids Head, known as ‘Flavell’s’, The Spread Eagle, known as ‘The Ten Legs’ and the Summerhouse, known as ‘The Puzzle Garden’, because it had a maze in the grounds. The Swan became known as ‘David Hyde’s’, the Waggon and Horses was known locally as ‘Leggy’s’ and the White Lion was called ‘Webbie’s’.

Pigeon racing was once a common hobby in which participants joined a local pigeon flyer's club, based at a local pub. A number of local pubs had such clubs, including the Bird in Hand, in Duck Street, the Bird in Hand in Paul Street, the New Inn and the Woodcross. Some of the pubs competed in local darts or crib leagues, and others had football or cricket teams who also competed locally. Ian Stenner, one of the licensees at the Apple Tree was also a wrestler, who competed under the name of Pat Patton.

An advert from 1994.

An advert from 1997. The quiz night on Tuesday evenings, at the Talbot, in the 1990s was always extremely popular. The pub was often packed-out for the event.

The Talbot in the 1990s.

The Public House Today

Sadly many pubs have disappeared within the last few years, and still continue to do so at an alarming rate. The pub was used mainly by working class communities, and factory workers. Most of the factories are now gone and working class communities have largely disappeared. Many people now drink at home, taking advantage of the cheap beer, wines and spirits that can be found in the local supermarket. The smoking ban and tougher drink-drive regulations have also had an impact, as has the downturn in the economy.

Hitchmough's Black Country Pubs: has been a great help in preparing this section.

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