Historical Lists

Some of Worcester's Inns have been in existence for centuries. In the Middle Ages they gave hospitality to a multitude of travellers; pilgrims to the Cathedral, military personel, and merchants crossing the Severn, for Worcester was the administrative centre for the Welsh Marches, and one of the gateways into Wales. But times have changed, and the city has changed too. Areas in the old parts which were once crowded with courts and houses, are now almost solely given over to shops and businesses. Many of the old inns and taverns have gone, and some, as fashions vary, have changed their names.

Historical Lists

In 1555, there were 10 licensed inns in Worcester: the Cardinal's Hat, Talbot, Lion, Bull, White Hart, Antelope, Hickock's House, Bell, Griffin, Saracen's Head, plus 44 licensed ale houses.

In the 17th century, new licences were granted to houses near the entrances to the city: the King's Head, Sidbury; Bear, at west side of the Bridge; Ship, at the Quay; Crown, at Sidbury; Rose, Foregate Street; and Prince's Arms, Cornmarket.

John Noak in his Worcester Relics names the inns used at the 1734 Election (for the purpose of expenses). They are: the Stag, Golden Cross, Unicorn, Bell & Unicorn, Dragon, Bellman, Starr, Royal Oak, Crown, Crispin & Crispianus, and the White Horse. Noake, again in Worcester Relics, gives a fuller list of 18th - century Worcester inns, which surprisingly does not include any of those mentioned for the election expenses.

18th - Century Worcester Inns listed by Noake in Worcester Relics

  • Adam & Eve, High Street. Held by Thomas Gyles in 1778
  • Atlas, Shambles, 1715
  • Bear, Hylton St.
  • Bell, adjoining St.Martin's Gate, Cornmarket, in 1764
  • Bull, Hylton St.
  • Bush, the Cororation Inn.
  • Cheshire Cheese, Foregate St. (Closed around 1829.)
  • Coach & Horses, east side of Edgar Tower, at St.Mary's Steps. Closed 1751(converted to a registry office, later pulled down.)
  • Coach & Horses, Tything, 1744.
  • Crispin, St.John's, 1763
  • Crown & Septre, near the Foregate.
  • Fish, Friar St, 1790.
  • George, Powick Lane.
  • Golden Fleece, near Blackfriars, 1684
  • Griffin, opposite the Commandery Gates, 1747. Gone later in 18th century.
  • Green Man, Tything.
  • Hop Pole, Foregate St. First mentioned 1742. Closed c.1843.
  • King of Prussia, at corner of Edgar St. and Frog Lane, 1780.
  • Lion, Hylton St.
  • Parrot, Broad St.
  • Punchbowl, Collage St. First mentioned 1793.
  • Queen's Head, High St., 1715
  • Red Lion, a very ancient house which stood on the west side of the old Worcester Bridge, 1720.
  • Red Lion, Sidbury, 1793.
  • Rose & Crown, west side of Foregate St. Mentioned 1662, and 1778.
  • Ring of Bells, St.Peter's.
  • Salutation, St.John's, 1772
  • Saracen's Head, Tything. Called Blackamoor's Head in 1715.
  • Seven Stars, Palace Yard, 1775.
  • Swan, High St.
  • Swan, St.John's.
  • Talbot, The Cross.
  • Trinity Inn, near The Cross.
  • White Hart, near The Trinity.
  • White Lion, in Cornmarket.
  • Vintorne, Broad St, 1696.
Many of the above houses were much older than the dates given.

In 1788, a Survey of the Principal Inns of Worcester listed the Hop-Pole, Foregate St.; Bell, Broad St.; Unicorn, Broad St.; Crown, Broad St,; and the Star & Garter, Foregate St.

In addition to the above lists, a 1793 Directory gives the following which are not included in Noake's List:

  • Bear, Turkey. (Tybridge St.)                   Leopard, (? Broad St.)
  • Bell, Broad St.                                      Old Greyhound, New St.
  • Bridge, Bridge St.                                 Packhorse, St. Nicholas St.
  • Bull's Head, High St.                             Peacock, The Trinity.
  • City Arms, Church St.                           Pheasant, New St.
  • Crown, Droitwich Road.                         Queen's Head, The Tything.
  • Crown & Anchor, (?)                              Reindeer, Mealcheapen St.
  • Dog & Duck. (? St.Nicholas St.)             Saracen's Head.
  • Ewe & Lamb, Angel St.                         Shakespeare Tavern, Angel St.
  • George, The Tything.                             Ship, Cooken St.
  • Golden Lion, High St.                            Swan, New St.
  • Green Man, The Tything.                       Unicorn, Broad St.
  • Hare & Hounds, College St.                   Wheatsheaf, Oxford Road (London Road).
  • Holly Bush, St. Nicholas St.                  White Horse, (? Silver St.)
  • Horse & Jockey, Pump St.