In the heyday of the coaching era, Wetherby had up to forty inns and alehouses. Here are just some of the ones we know about so far, it is recorded that in the 1850’s that, in addition to its own Brewery, Wetherby had 35 public houses
If you have more information on any of these please contact us and let us know.
This page is a work in progress so we have decided to give you all the names we know so far and add details to each as soon as we can, tracking down the history of each of them becomes a problem because the names change, some use the same names over time, Inns move and in the coaching era every shop and front room seems to have been called a inn.
Here are the bars with details added
Here is a list of the inn’s and Alehouses that we have found and are currently seeking to add more information:
Blue Ancer, Bottle and Bean, Don’t Tell The Duke, George and Dragon, La Locanda Wine Bar, Mercure Hotel, New Inn, Old Mill, Old Star, Retro Bar, Star Hotel, The Angel, The Black Bull, The Blue Boar, The Brunswick, The Crown, The Devonshire Arms, The Engine Shed, The Fox Inn, The Mews, The Red Lion, The Royal Oak, The Swan and Talbot, The White Hart, Three Masons, The Wetherby, The Yorkshire Hussars, Wetherby Brew Co,
In the nineteenth century The Three Legs of Man was born on this site it is now, In the great sale of Wetherby in 1824 in a previous location on the other side of the road it was bought by Mrs Whittaker for £560
In Transcript of the entry of ‘professions and trades’ for Wetherby in Pigot’s Directory of 1829 it is stated that Mr Whittaker called it “Legs of Man”
In the Leeds Mercury 11th July 1840 it shows that the Whittaker’s must of sold the Three Legs to a Mr Hind who died in ownership of it as it went up for auction
The Three Legs closed in 2007 and became Bar Three, Wetherby’s first non smoking pub.
Where now stands the HSBC we have the site of the Blue Anchor
In the Great Sale of Wetherby this establishment was clearly marked and also in the will of Gregory Rhodes in 1829 which included details of six inns in Wetherby, he purchased the Blue Anchor after the sale
Behind the Blue Anchor was a pit for cock fighting. in 1801 the jubilee of George III was celebrated by a cockfight here for a silver cup, the ring was 16ft in diameter and raised two foot from the ground with a foot high brick wall. The ring and its wall were demolished in 1830 to make way for more stabling for coach horses, then in great demand. “extract from Wetherby through the ages by Dr Lodge”
Micklethwaite on the south bank of the Wharfe had a public house, the Drover Inn (also known as the Spotted Ox) which is now a private residence.
Opposite the inn were some “barracks” thought to have been built in 1825 to house the Yorkshire Hussars in case of civil disturbances anticipated in Leeds at the time of the Chartists. As the Hussars were a volunteer force without base this was not so much barracks, but was thought to have been used to stable their horses.
Also near where the barracks was thought to have been built was fields that used to be called the cricket field, though football and hockey were also played there, cricket was played there for the best part of a century.
With the advent of the railway, cattle were no longer driven over the bridge, Later on around 1880’s The Drovers Inn closed its doors to the public.
The Angel Hotel was around in 1700’s and became an important coaching inn between 1760 and 1840 with stabling for over 100 horses. It had its own smithy and shoeing shop to deal with the forty pairs of horses kept here for posting purposes.
After the great fire of Wetherby in 1723 Richard Brown, Innholder and maltster took out two insurance polices to cover the Angel, brewhouse, maltkiln, granaries, stables and coachhouse for a total cover of £1000.
After the decline in the coaching trade the Angel was purchased by Mr Henry Crossley, who converted some of the stables into a printing works. Part of the Inn below the passage was redeveloped into what was known as the market room, where the local magistrates held their court. The printing office was moved into the Angel Yard and he erected a shop where the old court room had stood. That shop was to remain the home of the Wetherby News for about a century and is now the Post Office.
It was around 1910 when internal decorations were being carried out at the Angel and an interesting discovery was made. on the paper being stripped from one of the bedroom walls, the entire plaster on one of the walls was found to be covered with coloured biblical pictures. Nothing is known as to when and by whom the illustrations were made but they were not interfered with so they must still be but of course again covered by the wallpaper
During the Second World War, The Angel served German and Italian prisoners of war from the nearby camps and, being the only pub in the town to do so, attracted some controversy as a result.
A contribution to a BBC project about people memories of WW2 this can be found
Contributed by stellacoll
People in story: Edith, James and Ella Dearden
My grandparents, James and Edith Dearden, managed a pub in Wetherby, the Angel, during the War. There were two prisoner of war camps, each side of Wetherby, one Italian, one German. Virtually all the pubs in Wetherby and the surrounding area would not accept German POWs in their establishments. However, my grandfather took pity on them, saying that they were just fellow human beings who had been caught up in the War, and deserved a beer, if they felt like one. He was criticised by some of the bar regulars, but nonetheless accepted the Germans’ custom. They were always quiet and well behaved, and very grateful. Before they left for Germany, at the end of the War, one of them presented my grandfather with a pair of miniature shoes, made with leather and nails, which he put in a Swan matchbox.
This small gift, which speaks volumes for my grandfather’s humane and understanding nature, is kept in the family, and will be passed on to future generations, as a sign of respect for others, even in the most difficult times.
The Angel was sold in 2009 and re-opened as Sant Angelo Italian Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlour. The pub was recreated on the first floor and had become one of the town’s busiest weekend drinking venues,
The bar upstairs closed to the public and now is a funtion room
The Bowling Green Hotel
The Bowling Green Hotel was situated on North Street. This pub was demolished in 1929 to allow road widening, part of the land that this pub gave up is now the garden of rest
This inn was enlarged at one point to allow for clubs and games, “It may not be generally known that there was a fine fruit-bearing vine in the grounds” The Bowling Green hotel was the only Tetley house in Wetherby at the time
The Garden takes the place of the “Bowling Green” and four shops, Tom Parr’s Fresh Fish, John William Cookson’s Bakery and Mason’s Machine and Blacksmith. Many people wanted the land to be used as a car park, but the county council who leased the land to the parish council at a nominal rental, stipulated that it should not be used for money-making purposes.
Land behind what was the Bowling Green was upon its demolition gifted to the Church and is used for events and recreation known as the Tetley Field.
The town’s oldest surviving pub (ish currently closed), originally the The Devonshire Arms before becoming the Golden Lion and then the ‘Brunswick Hotel’
The Brunswich has been dated to the Georgian Period for like Methodist churches its name was given to show allegiance to the crown (House of Brunswick)
As advertised for sale the description was The Brunswick comprises a substantial Grade ll listed, three storey, detached public house of stone construction that sits under a pitched slate roof. The property sits on a plot extending to circa 0.05 acres.
It closed in 2003 and reopened as Harris’s Bar and Restaurant which was very successful for a time, We are not sure when it closed but in 2012 reopened again as The Brunswick after refurbishment by Enterprise Inns,
Then it shut down again and remains in that state, as for its future who knows
Wetherby Sports Association (WSA)
Wetherby Sports Association (WSA) came about in 1999 as the brain child of Wetherby Bulldogs and Wetherby Athletic, who identified a need for a “home” they could call their own after years of playing out of concrete bunkers by the river and holding meetings in local pubs. The outcome of which was the Lottery/FA funded building on Lodge Lane which is used extensively by the local community today.
WSA is a registered charity which provides a community hub for sports clubs and societies in Wetherby that would otherwise struggle to fund a place of their own. WSA has seen its ranks grow over the years and in addition to Wetherby Bulldogs and Wetherby Athletic is now home to Wetherby Runners, Wetherby Wheelers, Wetherby Petanque, the local branch of the Military Vehicles society, Wetherby & District Angling Club, Pilates, Zumba, Wetherby Park Run, Gym Gems and many more.
Working Mens Club
In 1882 we see in The Yorkshire Herald that Wetherby Working Men’s was admitted into the The Working Men’s Club and Institute Union
The upper portion of Mr Spigelhalters’ premises were in 1891 the home of the working men’s club, which housed both a billiards and bagatelle table, and here many exciting boxing contests took place among the members of the club. Following the many black eyes sustained during these fights, the club earned a bad reputation. It was also here that the first Boy Scouts group, with Mr James Hodgson at the head was founded.
We have also discovered that this was up a set of stone steps in Adkinsons/Atkinsons (spelling undetermined) Yard in the Horsefair Center. Since the whole area was rebuilt there is no physical evidence that we can find.