Genealogy Forum for Pubs, Inns, Taverns and Breweries of Staffordshire - Help and Information for Local Historians and Genealogists with photographs, details of licensees, census data, newspaper articles for those studying their family history.


Genealogy Forum - Staffordshire

Albion Inn

Albion-InnWall Heath

Bell Inn - Trysull
This photograph shows the Albion Inn during the Edwardian era. Eli Bird was the publican at the time and no doubt is featured in the photograph.

Q: Firstly may I thank and congratulate you for your website. I am really pleased I found it as it has not only opened new doors for my family tree research, but it has added heaps of colour to what I had was quite a dull image of my Black Country ancestors. The people you have shone light on are my direct descendants, John and Elizabeth Munday who ran The Plough in Trysull and then the Albion Inn. As we know, John died and Elizabeth remarried Tom Timmins after her daughter Mary Ellen [my great-grandmother] married in 1881. You mentioned they went on to run many Black Country pubs. Do you have the details of which pubs and when?"
Abi  Willemstad, Curaçao  18th March 2014

A: Thank-you for your kind comments. I did see a reference to Elizabeth Munday owning the Bridge Inn at Dawley Brook and the Three Crowns at Hill Top near West Bromwich. However, I would need to do further research to confirm this. Kieron

Bell Inn


Bell Inn - Trysull
This photograph was taken around 1928, shortly James Whitehouse took over as licensee of the Bell Inn - his name can be seen emblazoned above the front entrance. That may be his wife stood at the door.

Q: A most interesting site! I have a particular interest in your listing for the Bell Inn at Trysull as Samuel Monk and Jane Monk [née Hardstaff] were my great grandparents. We have a photograph similar to the one on your website - I think one of the wee girls is my grandmother. Anyway, I just want to confirm the dates you mention. My records show Samuel dying in 1896 - clearly I will have to tweak things if the 1900 date is correct. Jane was born in 1839 so if the 1928 date is correct, she would have been licence holder at 89 years old. Presumably one of the sons would have been running the place, but I can't begin to guess which one.
Phil Holmes  Golden Bay, New Zealand  24th June 2012

A: I see from the 1891 census that Samuel and Jane Monk moved to the Bell Inn from Wombourne where Shepshed-born Samuel worked as a gamekeeper. No surprise there really as his father was also a gamekeeper. I also think he died in April 1896, suggesting an error in transcribing the licence register or simply that it remained in his name until a later brewster’s sessions, though the latter is unlikely as they were generally quite strict on these matters. Unfortunately, this means a trip to the record office at Stafford in the future. I am not sure if they would check this document for you if you requested online - perhaps your location would help your enquiry as you can hardly nip along to Stafford. I would be most interested in seeing an alternative photograph of the Bell Inn so perhaps you would be kind enough to supply an electronic version. Kieron

Boat Inn


Boat Inn - Brownhills
This photograph was taken when George Yates was the licensee of the Boat Inn. Highgate ales can be seen advertised.

Q: I believe that my great great grandparents were licensees of the Boat Inn in the late 1850's or early 1860's - at least it says so in a trade directory of the time and so did my late Uncle Tom Langley who used to broadcast on regional BBC as Tom, the old Blackcountryman. To go back to the beginning.... my great great grandmother was named Caroline Jackson of Cock Hill Farm, Allen End, Middleton, born 1821. She "ran away", whatever, and gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Fanny, [Frances Ann Jackson] in 1843 at 62 Great Hampton Row Birmingham in 1843. She was found by her father, farmer John Jackson, brought back to Middleton and married off to her cousin Joseph Langley in 1850. Joseph was set up as a licensed victualler in the Leopard-Inn in Sandhills, further down the Walsall Road from the Boat Inn [I believe that still exists]. Some time later they were in the Boat Inn, and he was also an agricultural labourer, perhaps the anonymous one you mention. By 1881 they were in Balls Lane houses. Their grandson, Fanny's son, George Henry Jackson [by now known as Langley] married Mary Jane Baker, the daughter of James Baker who kept the Cottage Spring [on the site of the Cottage of Content] in Queen Street, Chasetown. James Baker owned quite a lot of property in Chasetown; Baker Street was named after him. At some stage George Henry and Mary Jane Langley kept another of James Baker's pubs in Queens Street [could have been named the Queen's Head]. Others of James Baker's children married into the Hadley family and kept pubs all over the place. This is a rough account - but is just to say that my ancestors kept the Boat Inn around 1860 and possibly for some years before that. I think on the 1861 census they are down as living in Rowley's Cottages, just near the Boat Inn - but the trade directory gives Joseph Langley as the licensed victualler at the Boat Inn at around that time. On the 1861 census Fanny [aged 19] was in Mousetrap Hall near Aldridge, but where and what that was is a mystery. [I am living in Australia so checking on things is a bit difficult].
Mary Werkhoven  Australia  19th May 2007

A: You are right - this pub still exists. It is located on the north side of the A461 dual carriageway to the south-west of Muckley Corner. This image provides a glimpse of how the pub looked in the early years of the 20th century. A sale notice for the building advised potential bidders that the pub had a club room with oak block floor and brick fireplace. The smoke room featured a quarry tiled floor, two modern fireplaces and a bar counter framed and panelled with mahogany top. The public bar also featured a quarry tiled floor, wood framed wall benching and a fitted bar and counter. There was also an outdoor department with a hatch servery. Kieron

Guy Family

[connection with above message]Rowley Regis

1901 Census for James Guy and Family
This census extract shows James and Caroline Guy living at the Lock House near Brades Hall farm. The latter, as indicated here, was occupied by the contractor Benjamin Bigglestone and his wife Sarah.

Q: The 1901 Census shows that my grandfather, James Guy, was living in the Dudley Road Toll house in Rowley Regis in 1901 where he was the toll clerk and toll collector. My uncle Walter George Guy who lived in Rowley Street Dudley in 1901 was also a toll clerk. My father, Frederick Guy, who was a school teacher, lived in Hawes Lane, Rowley Regis. [The census mis-spells my grandfather's name as GREY, but place of birth, age, wife and occupation are correct). In the 1881 census my grandfather and other uncle, Edwin Guy, were living in Clarke's Lane Willenhall where they were also Toll Clerks on the canal. Within the website you mention a canal office building at Rowley Stop and I wondered if this was the Dudley Road Lock House where my grandfather was living in 1901. Alternatively, is there another lock house on the Dudley Road at Rowley Regis? The Guy family came up from Woburn in Bedfordshire in the 1850s or 1860s. I wonder if there was a recruitment, or migration, to the Black Country caused by opportunities for employment on the canals? The other side of my family were brewers and pub keepers - Thomas and Selina Hadley in Rowley Regis - James Baker at the Cottage Spring in Chasetown, Joseph and Caroline Langley at Shenstone in 1851 [possibly the Boat Inn and later perhaps at Muckley Corner]. James Baker, my great grandfather, owned other pubs which were run by various of his children. The Cottage Spring has been pulled down but I have a photograph of it, taken about 1900.
Mary Guy  Sydney, Australia  6th September 2002

A: Phew - there are so many issues and questions here. However, the Toll House photograph that I featured does not look like a building that housed a family. I'm not sure how clear maps are at but the Dudley Road you are looking for is the one running from Oldbury to Tipton. The toll house would have been close to Brades Road, Brades Bridge and, indeed, Brades House. I would like to hear more about the pubs your ancestors kept - and would love to have a copy of the Cottage Spring photograph you mention. Could I have an electronic copy? Kieron

Caernarfon Castle


Arthur Tudor and family in 1891
This census extract shows 75 year-old Arthur Tudor living in retirement at No.2 Clarke Street.

Q: My great great grandfather, Arthur Tudor, was the innkeeper at the Caernarfon Castle in Berry Street, Wolverhampton from about 1841 to 1881 [possibly later]. The building no longer exists, neither does Little Berry Street. I would love to see a picture of the street during that time, if one exists - and also have any other information about the Caernarfon Castle, or Arthur Tudor and family, or Wolverhampton during those years.
Helen Davison  Loughborough  9th September 2006

A: Arthur Tudor was born in Montgomeryshire in 1816. He was a plasterer by trade - indeed, he had a successful business as he employed 12 men in the early 1850's. It would seem he invested in what was then called the Castle Inn on Great Berry Street, moving in with his wife locally-born wife Ann and their four children. Arthur and Ann Tudor must have built up trade considerably in this establishment because they later employed servants, barmaids, a cook and an ostler. Business was clearly brisk at what was later called the Caernarfon Castle Hotel. Arthur Tudor was clearly thinking of his Celtic roots when he re-named the house. In retirement and as a widower, he lived in Clarke Street with his daughters Fanny and Alice. He died in 1898. Kieron

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Church Tavern

Church-TavernQuarry Bank

Church Tavern - Quarry Bank
This photograph was taken three years after the pub had reverted to its original name. The building faces the yellow-brick parish church.

Q: I am trying to research the history of the Church Tavern in Quarry Bank. I know that it was known shortly as The Nailmaker but that it has now reverted back to its original name. I understand that it was kept by an eccentric gentleman who had something to do with [I think] the Birmingham Hippodrome. At the pub he is reputed to have nailed a chair and table to the ceiling! Any help would be gratefully received.
Chris Smith  Gornal, Staffordshire  18th September 2006

A: This is a pub with which I need to do some more research. You are correct in that it was known as The Nailmaker for a brief spell. I believe that this was an initiative by Brain's of Cardiff, a company that tried to create a Black Country themed experience across a number of pubs they had acquired. The pub also traded as the Three Shovels for a very short period between 1995-8, a period when pub entrepreneur Sue Whittall was the operator. I think she sold her chain of outlets to Brain's. Other breweries that have operated this popular tavern includes Showell's and Ansell's. It was under the Allied Breweries banner than the Church Tavern was converted into a Holt, Plant and Deakin outlet. I used to nip into the Church Tavern when it was The Nailmaker as the gaffer who used to run the Talbot Hotel in Cradley kept good beer. Kieron

Golden Ball

Golden-BallHorseley Heath

The Golden Ball in a Trade Directory for 1834

Q: My ancestor Joseph Pershouse owned the Golden Ball in Horseley Heath, Tipton in 1826. On his death he left it to his son John Pershouse Galey, could you tell me something of the history of the pub and what happened to it on John's death as he had no children. Apparently, the family owned all the property around the pub including the bake house, pigsty and houses. The pub is no longer there.
Susan Smith  2nd August 2007

A: Born around 1806, Joseph Pershouse was recorded as a baker in a trade directory published in 1845. He was also documented as a maltster in other sources. Consequently, he could have named his pub the Brewer and Baker. The Golden Ball was later operated by the North Worcestershire Breweries Ltd. but closed many years ago, around 1915. Henry Beddow was the publican in the 1860's but whether he owned the building or not is not clear. Kieron

Plough Inn


Q: Can you help me find out about John Munday's death? He was kicked by a horse and died from his injuries. He lived in Trysull and was married to Hannah Grainger. He died in 1848. He was my gggrandfather.
Christine Daniels  Helston, Cornwall  13th August 2012

Turk's Head


Q: I have just found your website and found it very interesting to learn about the old pubs of the Black Country area. I wondered whether you can throw any light on a particular pub, or is there anyone else out there who can help. In reference to the Turk's Head at Audnam - according to my mother [who is now in her late 60`s] her grandparents were John Henry Kinsell, and Hannah Elizabeth Kinsell. Somewhere between the dates of 1907-1917, according to my mother, Hannah Elizabeth Kinsell was landlady of the Turk's Head and her husband was responsible for brewing the beer. I am trying to find out whether they were licensees or not. Also, a Mrs Penn arrived on the pub's history as landlady for whom my grandmother worked as a barmaid. According to family gossip the family split up about 1917 due to Hannah Kinsell having a child with red hair. The finger was pointed at a policeman that always helped in the pub in his spare time who also had red hair. Also, a relation Alfred Kinsell was landlord of the Windsor Castle located at No.140 Sams Lane, West Bromwich in the 1901 census.
Ken Wright  Cornwall  5th October 2004

A: Alfred Kinsell was born in Pensnett around 1864. One of his first jobs was as a coal loader. He moved to West Bromwich following his marriage in 1888. He and his wife Jane set up home in Mount Pleasant, from where Alfred worked as a general labourer. The Windsor Castle closed sometime in the late 1990's. Kieron

Ward Arms

Ward-ArmsRowley Regis

Ward Arms - Rowley Regis
This photograph was taken just after the Second World War when the pub was run by the Gilbert family. At this time the Ward Arms was operated by Ind Cooper and Allsopp's Brewery.

Q: I have a request for further information on the Ward Arms at Rowley Regis. I have just discovered that my paternal great-great grandmother Honor Stainton was listed in the 1861 census as the innkeeper of the aforementioned pub! Have you access to any information or pictures of the pub in Victorian times? Is it the same place as the Ward Arms Hotel. Birmingham Road, Dudley?
Margaret Stephens  Pembrokeshire  26th August 2009

A: The Ward Arms Hotel in Dudley is a completely different pub. There were a number of public houses in the Black Country named after one of the largest landowners in the region. The Ward family resided at Himley Hall. The Ward Arms at Rowley Regis was located in Hawes Lane and close to the gates of St Giles' Parish Church. Indeed, it was because of the pub's close proximity to the church, coupled with the fact it was frequented by many of the congregation following the service, that the house was once dubbed "The Well of Bethlehem" by the vicar. The photograph here dates from just after the Second World War but little had changed from the property that was kept by your ancestor Honor Stainton. To the left of the bay window there was a large entry for waggon access to the yard behind the pub. Above the entry there was another bedroom. The man on the doorstep in this photograph is thought to be the father-in-law of the licensee Arthur Gilbert, a publican who managed the Ward Arms for many years during and after the Second World War. He kept the pub for Ind Coope and Allsopp's of Burton-on-Trent.

cont'd: You have rightly identified Honor Stainton as the innkeeper in 1861, by which time she was a widow. In fact, she was recorded as such in the census conducted ten years earlier. Her son Samuel was documented as a butcher in 1851. This business may have been conducted on the same premises. Daughter Phebe, though only 16, was recorded as a pawnbroker, demonstrating that the Stainton family were not short of entrepreneurial flair. An elder daughter, Ann, worked in the Ward Arms alongside her mother and another daughter named Caroline no doubt helped around the house. Elizabeth Stainton, though still a scholar, probably had a list of chores which she attended to at the end of class. Interestingly, a maltster named Edward Jones lived in a neighbouring property; he may have been involved with ales sold at the Ward Arms in the early-mid 19th century. In White's trade directory for 1851 Honor Stainton was listed as the publican of the Ring of Bells. Tracing backwards, the Ring of Bells was listed in White's 1834 trade directory in which Matthew Stainton was listed as the publican. The 1841 census shows Matthew and Honor Stainton at the Ring of Bells with the aforementioned maltster Edward Jones living next to building. Honor Stainton died in 1881. As you have identified, the Ring of Bells was kept by George Hadley in 1855. He was a saddler by trade and kept the pub with his wife Elizabeth. The house was almost opposite the Ward Arms on a kink of the road among a row of shops. Kieron

Q: That's really great and both confirms and enlarges upon my research to date.. A couple of small points to add to the research findings. In the 1851 census, the youngest child of Honor, my great grandmother Sarah [b.1840] is not listed - she may well have been staying with a relative on that night - but she was definitely alive - and embroidered a berlin-work tapestry with her name on it in 1856! In the 1881 census Honor is entered as living with daughter Phoebe, now wife of William Whitehouse at 42 Hawes Lane. Is that close to the pub? Thank you so much again for your help.....we intend to come up to Rowley Regis soon to visit the church where all these ancestors, including my own parents, were married.
Margaret Stephens  Pembrokeshire  29th August 2009

A:  I had to travel to Tividale today so I nipped into Blackheath library to see if there was any information on the Ring of Bells public house. I didn't realise that the local history group had produced a wonderful magazine called The Rowley Rag. Lo and behold in one of the issues there was an article entitled "Another Mystery Solved" in which, Mrs Margaret Owen, an elderly resident of the village, was asked the question "where was the Ring of Bells?" Here is her reply: "....possibly about 1937-38, numbers 18-19 and 20, Church Road were condemned, and we all moved. Aunt Elizabeth from Number 20 moved to the lower end of Hanover Road, we moved to Portway Road, I think Mr & Mrs Cole went to live in Springfield, but by 1939 we moved back to the village into the Ring of Bells. When my family lived there it was no longer a licensed premises, the front door into this house was on the pavement at a slight angle. My brother Major remembers the sign over the front door, it had been painted over, there were eight bells and Major believes there was a connection with the bells in the church and the bells were all named. Downstairs there were two rooms plus a kitchen, but it still had the old settles in and also an ingle nook fireplace. The rooms were partitioned off as they were quite large, the cellar was still there as were the sills where the beer barrels were stored. The kitchen had the usual things, sink, copper and some quite long ovens, I remember father telling me at sometime it was a bakery? Possibly it was Sefton's from Old Hill or Cradley Heath. Upstairs there were two rooms, one was quite a large room, possibly an assembly room, because it had a clothes closet in the corner and both rooms had fireplaces. At the rear of the house there were stalls and lofts, and also the toilet." A priceless description of the old pub and hats off to the local historians who asked the all-important questions. Kieron

 “Some family trees have beautiful leaves, and some have just a bunch of nuts. Remember, it is the nuts that make the tree worth shaking.”
Author Unknown

Waterloo Inn

Waterloo-InnBrierley Hill

Waterloo Inn - Brierley Hill

Q: I know that Oliver Lowe was at the Waterloo Inn in 1851 and was listed in a trade directory in 1865. Does anyone know anything about its history and where I can find a copyright free photograph to add to my family history web web page?
Hazel McMullin  Bridgend, Glamorgan  10th April 2009

A: The Waterloo Inn was still trading in 2009 - good news in an area that has had its pub stock decimated. The original pub was listed as early as 1818 and your ancestor Oliver Lowe was the publican for around twenty years between the mid-1840's and the mid-1860's. He was certainly listed at the pub in 1845. He almost certainly produced his own ales at the Waterloo Inn because he had earlier been documented as a journeyman maltster, a job that entailed producing beers for a number of free houses in the area. The son of James Lowe and Letitia Whitehouse, he kept the Waterloo Inn with his wife Sarah and probably remained at the pub until his death in 1866. He was the brother of another publican called Benjamin Lowe. Kieron

White Lion


Bilston - White Lion in 1880 Kelly's Trade Directory

Q: I am curious as to how to find out which pub my great-great-great grandparents were either owners or managers of in 1881. In the 1881 census, as well as in the birth and marriage records of their daughter, Charles and Anne Hughes who lived on Temple Street in Bilston were listed as "Publican" or "Licensed Victualler". Is there a way to find out where they worked or were they proprietors? My great-grandparents on the other side of my family were "Publicans" at the "Good Will to All" Pub in the London area somewhere I believe. Their names were James and Emily Eldridge and this was in the 1881 and 1891 census. Any information would be interesting to me."
Alison Brown  Ottawa, Canada  16th December 2011

A: During the 19th century there were many pubs in Temple Street. Places like the Old House at Home, The Brown Jug and The Shamrock to name a few. Charles and Ann Hughes kept the White Lion for quite a number of years. They were recorded at the pub in a directory for 1864 but I am not sure of the exact date they moved in. Ann Hughes was succeeded by Alfred Brown in 1882. The extract above is from an 1880 Kelly's Trade Directory. The son of a farm labourer, Charles Hughes was born in the Cheshire village of Peckforton. He married Ann Brown at Bilston in 1863. The couple were either managers or tenants as the building was owned by the Willenhall farmer William Price before it was sold to the South Staffordshire Brewery Co. Ltd. Charles Hughes died in 1879 and was succeeded by his wife. She remained at the White Lion for three years. Ann Hughes did remain in Temple Street and later operated a shop [at No.58 in 1901]. As for your other side of the family, I am afraid that London is out of my area so I suggest trying - good luck. Kieron

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