History of the Pack Horse Inn at Hollywood, Wythall in the county of Worcestershire


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The Pack Horse at Hollywood was formerly known as the Pack Horse Inn but later gained hotel status - as can be seen in livery within the photographs below. In more recent times, the building was converted into a branch of Sizzling Pubs, a network of budget licensed restaurants under the Mitchell's and Butler's retail arm. I think it's fair to say therefore that the old pub has lost its identity. Located in a relatively isolated position, the pub prospered as a destination hostelry with Brummies enjoying a trip out to Worcestershire on bicycles, charabancs or, in later times, when the old Austin got wheeled out for a Sunday spin.

A key difference between the two old photographs is the additional painted signage on the latter image, suggesting that the Pack Horse Inn had been taken over by a large brewery. These big breweries tended to emblazon their public houses with advertisements for their own products. In the first photograph the building simply has Pack Horse Hotel and the name of N. Brocklehust painted on the wall. The publican at the turn of the 20th century was Noah Brocklehurst - more on him in a bit. As a keen cyclist, I love the fact that there are loads of bicycles parked up outside the Pack Horse Hotel with riders enjoying refreshments before continuing on their journey.

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The Pack Horse Inn was originally part of a farm with the publican undertaking agricultural duties in the day before serving ale in the evenings. Local farm labourers would head for the pub after a day grafting in the fields, perhaps at May Farm, Shawhurst Farm, Makielhall Farm or Woodleaf Farm to name a few of the nearby businesses. In the pub's early days there was also some labourers toiling in nearby clay pits. However, the Pack Horse Inn also enjoyed a fair deal of passing trade as the hostelry was one of many taverns fronting the old turnpike road connecting Birmingham with Alcester.

Thomas Preston was the farmer and victualler of the Pack Horse Inn during the early 1840's. He kept the hostelry with his wife Mary; the couple were married in 1821. As a widower, Thomas Preston continued working in agriculture in the locality but had given up the Pack Horse. The Moore family were in charge of the tavern during the mid-19th century. Indeed, at one time Joseph Moore was running the Pack Horse whilst John Moore was in charge of the Swan Inn at Drakes Cross.

The Pack Horse Hotel at Hollywood in Wythall [c.1904]

Enoch Edwards held the licence of the Pack Horse Inn before moving to the Rifleman's Arms at Redditch, a pub operated by Messrs. Brown and Co. In this lovely photograph however, Noah Brocklehurst was mine host. He kept the hotel with his wife Sarah. The couple had married in 1866 at Chesterfield. The Brocklehurst's had moved south from Eckington in Derbyshire. Born in Hollinsend at Sheffield in 1845, Noah Brocklehurst had previously worked as a miner for many years whilst he and his wife ran the Sydney Arms in Queen Street, Eckington. I have a record of a Noah Brocklehurst running the Old Swan at Lye in 1900. It is quite an unusual name so this could have been the same person. Perhaps this was the couple's move south before a change of Worcestershire locations? Noah Brocklehurst died in 1909 and his wife moved a short distance away at Birch Acre in Watery Lane.

The Pack Horse Hotel at Hollywood in Wythall [c.1914]

This wonderful photograph of the Pack Horse Hotel shows a gathering of men outside the old front door. They were possibly on a day trip from another public house in Birmingham. Note how the building is now covered in advertising. I suspect that this followed the sale of the pub in 1914. An advertisement in the local press showed that there was to be a sale of the stock and contents in October due to the owner leaving. The stock included heifers, bullocks, horses plus outdoor effects including a float, garden seats, lawn mower, farm tools and a Triumph motor cycle.

Licensees of this pub

1841 - Thomas Preston
1851 - Joseph Moore
1870 - John Moore
1876 - Mrs Eliza Moore
1884 - William Edkins
1895 - Enoch Edwards
1901 - Noah Brocklehurst
1918 - John Henry Glover
Note : this is not a complete list of licensees for this pub.


Map Extract Showing the Pack Horse Inn at Hollywood in Wythall [1883]

This extract from a plan drawn up in 1883 shows the Pack Horse Inn alongside the old turnpike road connecting Birmingham with Alcester.

Genealogy Connections

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

Related Websites

Wythall Parish Council
Wythall Transport Museum
Worcester CAMRA
Worcestershire County Council

Have Your Say

If you would like to share any further information on this pub - perhaps you drank here in the past? Or maybe knew a previous publican? Whatever the reason it would be great to hear of your stories or gossip. Simply send a message and I'll post it here.

Newspaper Articles

"At a successful vegetable show, held at the Pack Horse Hotel, Hollywood, Birmingham, a collection was made for the Blind Institution, while the vegetables were afterwards given to the local hospital."
"War Office and Red Cross"
Birmingham Gazette : October 15th 1918 Page 4.

"At Wythall, today. John Henry Glover, licensee of the Pack Horse Hotel, Hollywood, was fined 20s. for selling matches at price exceeding the maximum fixed by the Matches Order."
"Publican Fined"
Daily Mail : September 6th 1918 Page 3.

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"The horse I bet on was so slow, the jockey kept a diary of the trip."
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