History of The Red Lion at Stourport in the county of Worcestershire. Research is augmented with photographs, details of licensees, stories of local folklore, census data, newspaper articles and a genealogy connections section for those studying their family history.


The Red Lion
The Red Lion

Some History of this Pub
This Lower Mitton pub has been listed as the Red Lion because it traded under this name for almost 200 years before it was changed to the Steps House and, in more recent times, has been called the Steps Inn. You can see the steps by which this pub was colloquially known, though they themselves have changed over the years. The original flight projected straight out from the front door but an increase in traffic on busy Gilgal forced a sideways approach for tottering customers.

The Steps Inn on Gilgal in Stourport [2011]

The pub was originally called The Lyon when it traded in the late 18th century. It is thought that the building may have been a private house beforehand but the location suggests that it was a purpose-built inn. The building faces the old bridge by which all travellers from the south had to cross to enter Stourport. The property had a different frontage in the 18th century and was altered considerably by around 1820. There is an addition to the left of the building as you look at it here. The main section of the pub has four bays with a projecting pedimented central section featuring a semi-circular window. Segmentally arched brick heads provided relatively cheap but attractive decoration.

The Steps Inn on Gilgal in Stourport [2011]

Thomas Crow was the publican in charge of the Red Lion during the 1840's, a period when the locale around the pub was known as Pall Mall. The name of Piccadilly was also in close proximity, London names that possibly date from the construction of the canal and the aspirations both the canal company and the town's officials had for Stourport. Thomas Crow was the licensee of the Red Lion and his son, also named Thomas, traded as a butcher. Daughter-in-law Sarah probably helped out in the pub where a servant and labourer were also hired.

Thomas and Sarah Crow moved to Anchor Row from where Thomas worked as a butcher. Meanwhile at the Red Lion a Yorkshire flavour had been introduced to the pub when Bradford-born Amos Bower took over as the victualler in charge. He kept the Red Lion with his wife Mary who was Lower Mitton born-and-bred. Amos was possibly drawn to the Kidderminster and Stourport area as he had previously worked in the carpet trade. Indeed, he would later seek employment as a foreman in one of the local factories before trying his luck out in Australia.

Former Tin Works Opposite the Red Lion on Gilgal in Stourport [2011]

The Red Lion faced one of the principal carpet factories located on the river in Lower Mitton. No doubt workers enjoyed some refreshment in the pub after putting in a shift across the road. There is an old factory just across Gilgal a few yards from the pub. This was a former tin stamping works which probably supplied more thirsty customers for the Red Lion.

Amos Bower was succeeded by Henry Millman in 1863 and the Red Lion would be run by the Millman family until the mid-Edwardian period. Like his father, Henry Millman worked as a carpet weaver before he married into the Bateman family, after which he and his wife Emma took charge of the Bird in Hand at Upper Mitton around 1850. Henry Millman later kept the Bell Inn for a couple of years with another wife called Sophia Walker. The couple, who had married in 1859, moved to the Red Lion but Sophia died in 1868. Henry remarried to Drusilla Drew and the couple kept the Red Lion with Henry's son Thomas. He would later take over the licence of the pub.

The son of a Sedgley shopkeeper, Howard Turley held the licence for two years in the late Edwardian period. The former butcher died in 1911 and was succeeded by Samuel Hodgetts who hailed from Haden Hill in Old Hill. He kept the Red Lion with his wife Laura who was born in nearby Hartlebury.

Former house painter and resident of Lower Mitton, Henry Millner took over the licence of the Red Lion in 1926. Born in Areley Kings in 1884, he kept the pub with his Derbyshire-born wife Helena. She succeeded her husband as publican and pulled pints throughout the Second World War.

The Red Lion closed down in the 1970's and re-opened as Steps House in 1979.
© Copyright. Images supplied by Digital Photographic Images.

Licensees of this Pub
1779 - James Cartwright
1782 - John Cartwright
1820 - 1829 Richard Howell
1829 - 1840 John Tolley
1840 - 1850 Thomas Crow
1850 - 1854 William Smith
1854 - 1860 William Wassell
1860 - 1863 Amos Bower
1863 - 1894 Henry Millman
1895 - 1906 Thomas Henry Millman
1906 - 1907 William Henry Millman
1907 - 1907 John Davis
1907 - 1909 William Henry Bishop
1909 - 1911 Howard Benjamin Turley
1911 - 1924 Samuel Henry Hodgetts
1924 - 1926 Laura Hodgetts
1926 - 1929 Henry Edward Millner
1929 - 1947 Helena Alice Millner
1947 - 1949 James Edward Ballard
1949 - 1966 Norman Bowers
1966 - 1971 William Ronald Clarke

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Genealogy Connections
If you have a genealogy story or query regarding this pub you can contact me and I will post it here in addition to including your message within the website pages for Worcestershire Genealogy.

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Alexander the Great
"I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”
Alexander the Great

Work in Progress

Newspaper Articles
"A man was arrested by police after officers discovered a cannabis factory in a garage at the back of a pub in Stourport.

PC Julian Ward was on mobile patrol in Gilgal when he noticed a smell of cannabis in the area last Friday evening and Stourport response officers, PC Paul Modley and PC Steve Harris, carried out a search on foot the following morning.

They followed their noses to a garage at the back of The Steps pub and after entry was forced 145 cannabis plants were discovered in two tents, along with hydroponic equipment used for cultivation. The plants were seized for destruction, along with some cannabis bush and the growing equipment.

A man in his 50s, who is from Stourport, was arrested shortly afterwards on suspicion of being concerned in the production of cannabis. After questioning at Kidderminster Police Station he was released on police bail until June 5, pending further inquiries.

PC Harris, who is investigating, said: “We would like to hear from anyone who has noticed any unusual activity at the back of the pub, such as any people or vehicles regularly coming and going, or if they have any information at all that could assist our inquiries.”
"Cannabis factory found in garage behind pub in Stourport"
in Kidderminster Shuttle
April 29th 2013
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Comic Postcard - Ours is a Nice House

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Public Bar Stained Glass

Woman Serving Beer

Brewery Buildings