Some history of the Waggon and Horses on St. George's Quay at Lancaster in the County of Lancashire


The Waggon and Horses is one of the public-houses that survived into the 21st century on St. George's Quay. Several other taverns closed, some of which have vanished from the landscape.

Lancaster : Map extract showing the location of the Waggon and Horses on St. George's Quay [1893]
© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with kind permission of the National Library of Scotland under the Creative Commons Attribution licence.

The location of the Waggon and Horses is marked on the above map extract surveyed in 1890 and published three years later. The modern pub has been been extended into the corner building, enlarging the premises. As a result it stands on the corner of Reynolds Street.

Lancaster : Census entry for the Cart and Horses on St. George's Quay [1871]

In the 21st century the inn sign has lost a G. In the late Victorian era the premises were known as the Waggon and Horses. As can be seen from this extract from the 1871 census the house had formerly been known as the Cart and Horses. However, this may simply have been an anomaly on the part of the enumerator as it was listed as the Waggon and Horses in earlier records. In 1871 the tavern was kept by the widow Ann Kirkham, the premises being licensed as a beer house. As Ann Bond, she had married the licensee of the house, Arthur Kirkham, in 1844. The Preesall-born publican, who was also a ship broker, had been running the tavern for at least a decade when they tied the knot.¹

Lancaster : Advertisement for the Waggon and Horses on St. George's Quay [1894]

In the early 1880s Edward Maund was recorded as a brewer so homebrewed ales were probably sold at the Waggon and Horses during his tenure. Born in Chelsea, he had married Agnes Kirkham, daughter of the landlady, in June 1874. He was publican for 23 years. His wife, Agnes, died in 1893 and he re-married five years later to Florence Mary Patten at Preston. By this time he had retired from the trade. It was not a happy marriage and he was hauled in front of the magistrates just six months later on a charge of assault. From the evidence it appeared that he had come home drunk and, following a quarrel, took hold of Florence by the throat and said she had to die and that he would strangle her. She managed to get to the window, opened it and shouted for help. Whilst calling for help the former publican struck her several times on the face, and attempted to pull the window down on her head. He was seen doing this by one of the neighbours so had little defence when facing the magistrates. In the court he accused Florence of having a terrible temper. On one occasion, he claimed that she hit him on the head with a frying pan containing a steak. He was found guilty of assault and fined accordingly.²

Lancaster : Wagon and Horses on St. George's Quay [2017]
© Photo taken by author on September 12th, 2017. DO NOT COPY

Where the George and Dragon was once an outlet for a local brewery, the Waggon and Horses has a track record of selling beers from further afield. It was once part of the tied-estate of Hartley's Brewery of Ulverston. These days the beers hail from Stockport as it is a Robinson's house. The company bought out Hartley's Brewery in 1982.³

Beer labels for Special Strong Ale and India Pale Ale brewed at Hartley' of Ulverston

In recent years Robinson's have invested in major improvements and the Wagon and Horses now has a contemporary interior not really conducive with the building's façade. The original pub on the left was extended into a neighbouring property and an extension was added to the rear in 2008 when the Wagon and Horses became much more food-oriented. Mind you, we were told that the adjacent French restaurant was very good so it was possible to combine a little va-va-voom with some fine Robinson's ales.

1. "National Commercial Directory of Lancashire" : J Pigot & Co.; 1835. p.84.
2. "Ex-Publican's Connubial Experiences" : Lancaster Standard and County Advertiser; November 11th, 1898. p.6.
2. Barber, Norman [1994] "A Century Of British Brewers 1890-1990" New Ash Green : Brewery History Society p.15

Licensees of the Waggon and Horses

1834 - Arthur Kirkham
1869 - Ann Kirkham
1886 - Edward George Maund
Note : this is not a complete list of licensees for this pub. The dates of early licensees are sourced from trade directories, census data, electoral rolls, rate books and newspaper articles. Names taken from trade directories may be slightly inaccurate as there is some slippage from publication dates and the actual movement of people.

Unicorn of Robinson's Brewery at Stockport

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Related Newspaper Articles

"John Madden, labourer, Bridge Lane, was charged with stealing a trowel, value 2s. 3d., the property of Thomas Hilton, bricklayer, on the 14th inst. Prosecutor left work about noon on Saturday, taking the trowel with him. On his way home he called at the Waggon and Horses beer house, St. George's Quay, where ho had two pints of beer. He went out and accidentally left the trowel in one of the outbuildings. He did not miss it until he got home, and then he sent his wife to the beer house to look for the trowel. She went there, but could not find the trowel. Prosecutor went round to the pawn shops, and found that the trowel had been pawned for 1s. by a woman. It transpired that the woman had been sent by the prisoner, who when arrested by the police, stated that he found the trowel on St. George's Quay near the Carlisle bridge, and that as he did not know who the owner was, he thought he might make a shilling out of it by pawning it. Evidence was given by Thomas Hilton, the prosecutor; Margaret Ashburne, who said she was with prisoner when he found the trowel on the Quay, and afterwards saw him show it to a lot of men at his lodgings; and D.S. Baxter. - Prisoner said he found the trowel, and thought there was no harm in pawning it as he did not know the owner. He kept it from half-past two in the afternoon until nearly eight o'clock at night in the hope of finding the owner. The Chairman said for prisoner to find anything and then convert it to his own use was to commit larceny. When he found the trowel he ought to have made a reasonable effort to find the owner of it. Under the circumstances he would be fined 2s. 6d. without costs, in default, seven days' hard labour."
"Theft Of A Trowel"
Lancaster Gazette : March 21st 1891 Page 8

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