The Hop Pole Inn

  • 6 Oct 2011
  • Worcester People and Places
  • Back

On the corner of Foregate Street and Shaw Street stood the Hop Pole Inn, the principal inn of Worcester during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The first mention of it is in St. Nicholas parish records of 1742. It was obviously built when the City was recovering from the disaster of 1651, and rebuilding had begun on the sites of the hovels outside the Foregate. The Town Ditch had been filled in, and the Berkeley Hospital had been erected. The old Foregate had gone, and the new elegant hotel had been built on the opposite corner, very spacious compared with those inside the walls.

It was soon the rendezvous of the county families and of nobility and royalty. It had a magnificent assembly room, part of which still exists, now used as offices. It is approximately 60ft by 20ft, lined throughout with heavy, rich molded paneling, divided into bays by fluted Ionic pilasters. There are two fine fireplaces with molded shelves and carved architrave surrounds. The ends of the room have pedimented features, and at the west end, contemporary semi-circular arches framing double doors. 

In 1842, the Hop Pole was taken over by a Mr. Scott and soon after-wards ceased to be an inn. There was a considerable alteration to the frontage, and it became the most high-class shop in the City, being called Victoria House. In 1865, it became Scott and Oram, a partnership that lasted over 20 years. Then followed Richard Westwood, and later, W.K.Hogben, from New Bond Street, who held it until 1926, when it became Fearis's the grocers..