16. The Angel Inn

Photo of The Angel Inn blue plaque - text below

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.

The Dictionary of Pub Names states “The Angel sign has been in use since the Middle Ages reflecting the early connection between religious establishments and travellers’ hostels.”

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.

In the SALE OF WETHERBY, on Monday 11 October 1824, LOT 7 was listed in the Sale catalogue as follows –

Occupied by John Clemishaw  

The ANGEL  INN and POSTING HOUSE, in the High Street, being a large Brick-built House, containing on the GROUND FLOOR Five Rooms, besides the Bath and Kitchen, 7 Bed Chambers, 6 other Rooms, and Laundry over the Kitchen. A spacious Yard containing Coal House, Harness Room, Ostrey, Stall Stabling for 17 Horses, open Stable for 14 Post Horses with Granary and Hay Chamber over, Standing for 3 carriages and Soldiers Room over, another Stable with 4 Stalls and Hay Loft over.
In the Outer Yard a large barn, range of Cow-houses, Stables, &c. round the Fold Yard.
Lot 7 was purchased by Messrs. Greenwood for 1920 guineas

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.

In a extract from the Wetherby news at the beginning of 1901 states “The Angel Court, which has now been turned into cottages, then stabled horses, and more than a hundred horses were located at the Angel alone; and then the Swan had more than seventy horses in its stables.”

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.

Picture of the Angel dated 1988.
Picture of the Angel dated 1988.
Leeds Library & Information Services www.leodis.net

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,

Taken on the evening of Tuesday the 8th of May 2018.

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