History of the New Inn on Villa Street in Lozells in Birmingham in the county of Warwickshire.


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Some history of the New Inn

The New Inn, a beer house that also traded as the New Inn Revived, and later the New Inns, was located on the western side of Villa Street just north of the Hockley Brook on the corner of Hunter's Vale.

Thanks to Lyn Harrington, I can show you this wonderful photograph of the building when it was known as the New Inns. It is such a bostin' photograph that I nearly fell off my chair when she uploaded the file. The photograph was originally supplied by the Carl Chinn Archive.

Birmingham : Post-Flood Work at the New Inns on the corner of Villa Street and Hunter's Vale at Lozells [1920s]

In the photograph, the cellars of the pub are being pumped out following flooding of the Hockley Brook. This stream was benign for most of the year but often flooded when it rained heavily. One of the worst floods occurred in July 1925 when one house was wrecked by the raging water that broke through the wall. In the flood that affected around 200 properties, some elderly residents had terrifying experiences before they got to safety. Three women, Mrs. Evans, aged 70, Miss Builk, also aged 70, and Mrs. While, aged 62, had to be rescued by the police from No.6 Cottage Place. This image may date from this particular flood, though there was another terrible disaster just two years earlier. Eventually, the brook was culverted by the public works department to prevent further damage to housing and property.

Widower John Horton was running the New Inn during the early 1860s. The beer retailer was born around 1790 so was one of the thoroughfare's senior citizens and a link back to old Birmingham.

John Taylor was recorded as a retail brewer so the New Inn was almost certainly a homebrew house. Born in 1826 at Alcester where his parents, George and Mary, were toll gate keepers, John Taylor kept the New Inn with his wife Maria Perks. The couple had previously lived in a court on Well Street from where John worked as a brewer. The couple were certainly running the New Inn by 1864 for in January of that year John Taylor was hauled before the magistrates at the Erdington Petty Sessions for keeping the beer house open after eleven o'clock, an offence for which he was fined 5s. plus 12s. 6d. costs.

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John and Maria Taylor added the "Revived" element to the inn sign by the end of the 1860s. I guess we will never know the reason for definite - perhaps it was because they had taken over the beer house from a man in his seventies. Or maybe it was to gain some patronage from people using the New Inns at nearby Berners Street which was operated by Frederick Taylor in the late 1860s. Whatever, the tavern was trading as the New Inn Revived by 1870.

Following John Taylor's death, his Cotswolds-born wife Maria took over the licence of the New Inn Revived. She relied on taking in boarders to supplement the income of the beer house.

Will of Maria Talbot [1890]

The above will shows that the house was owned by Marria Talbot[t] when she died in March 1890, following which the lease, licenses, goodwill and possession of the New Inn Revived was advertised in the local press [see below image].

Sale Notice for the New Inn Revived at Villa Street in Lozells [1890]

West Bromwich-born Arthur Rhodes was running the New Inn shortly afterwards. He kept the beer house wife Emily who hailed from Small Heath.

On May 22nd 1936 the New Inn was one of eight public houses that were refused a renewal of the licence because they were part of a list of houses which had been referred for compensation by the Birmingham Licensing Justices. Consequently, the New Inn closed for business shortly after this date, along with The Crown on Monument Road, the Park Tavern on Aston High Street, The Vine on Burbury Street, The Guest Street Tavern, the Wattville Tavern in Wattville Road, the Rising Sun in Talbot Street, and the Lord Napier at Hingeston Street.

Related Newspaper Articles

"Between 4 and 6 o'clock on Thursday night a thief sneaked into a bedroom of the New Inn beer house, Villa Street, Aston, and stole £6 in money and some trinkets."
Birmingham Journal : June 30th 1860 Page 5

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Licensees of this pub

1861 - John Horton
1864 - John Taylor
1878 - John Taylor
1881 - Maria Taylor
1883 - Edward Talbot
1891 - Arthur Rhodes
1892 - George Willetts
1899 - William Blackburn
1901 - Frank Yates
1905 - Frederick Eaton
1913 - Frederick Brown
Note : this is not a complete list of licensees for this pub.


Map showing the location of the New Inn at Villa Street in Lozells [1889]

This map extract shows the location of the New Inn Revived. As you can see, the beer house was very close to the Hockley Brook, a stream that once formed the boundary between Birmingham in Warwickshire and Smethwick in Staffordshire, along with the divide between Handsworth in Staffordshire and Aston in Warwickshire.

The three properties in Villa Street immediately to the north of Hockley Brook remained fairly consistent in the Victorian era in terms of economic activity. The first property was generally occupied by a coal dealer so I guess that part of Court No.9 was used for the storage of coal. The front of the second building was a grocery and provisions store, though Francis Thacker operated a greengrocery shop here in the late 1860s.

Genealogy Connections

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

Have Your Say

If you would like to share any further information on this pub - whatever the reason it would be great to hear of your stories or gossip. Simply send a message and I will post it here.