Pub History

It's a sad fact that over the years many fine old pubs - some with centuries of history - have disappeared in the name of progress. Even when the developers are not involved, new owners often change the names (and the character) of their establishments. This is an updated version of a series of articles originally published in the Solihull Drinker by Steve Wood.

If you spot any errors or have any additional information please email

History of Solihull District Pubs

The following is a brief history of Solihull district pubs based on their current name or their original name if they are now closed. Old Pub Name Index provides a cross reference of the pub names.

ANCHOR Wharf Lane, Solihull

Listed in the Warwickshire Directory of 1874, it closed in 1937. The site and the neighbouring Gas works was redeveloped as a large Office complex for West Midlands Gas. In the 1970's this was the largest open plan office in Europe. The whole site has now been redeveloped for housing.

The Anchor, Wharf Lane from Solihull A Pictorial History by Sue Bates

The Anchor from "Solihull A Pictorial History" by Sue Bates

Beech House

A pub has been on this site since the 18th century, the current building dates back to the 1930's. Originally called the Golden Lion in then became BAR CO (2001 to 2004), The TOWN HOUSE, The Lazy Cow and has now been renamed The Beech House (May 2016).

BELL Wharf Lane, Lapworth

Existed from about 1700 to 1890.

Bird in the Hand, Henley in Arden

After closing as a pub it was converted to the Spice Room restaurant. It is now the Finest catch Fish restaurant.

Bird in the Hand, Lapworth

Existed from about 1700 to 1890.

BYRON'S High Street, Solihull

One of Solihull's oldest buildings, it opened as a wine bar in 1973. Later changed its name to RAISON D'ETRE. It closed in 2000 before opening as a shop as part of the development of the Touchwood shopping centre in 2001.

CHERRY TREES Lapworth

Across the road from the PUNCHBOWL, the licence was transferred in 1861.

CLOCK INN, Bickenhill

A half-timbered building on the north side of the Coventry road dating back to at least 1672 when the landlord was a Francis Hobby. It was still operating in 1874, when the landlord was Charles Harvey. It was finally demolished to make way for the widening of the A45. Clock

COACH HOUSE, Solihull

A modern pub built following the building of Touchwood. Changed name to Ebb and Flow before closing in June 2017.

COCK INN Stratford Road, Shirley

On the corner of Cock Lane (now Olton Road). Reputedly Prince Rupert, nephew of Charles I, stayed there in 1643 on his way to sack Birmingham for their insurrection against the King in the Civil War.

COCK Horse, Rowington

A 300 year-old pub situated just south of Rowington village on the B4439. This classic country pub closed towards the end of 2012, and was converted to a private house.

Drum and Monkey, Bentley Heath

Originally the White Lion in 1861, the pub currently on this site is called the DRUM & MONKEY. The most likely explanation for the new name relates to the blasting powder carriers working on the construction of the nearby railway - the powder monkeys. The drum presumably refers to the receptacle the powder was stored in.

Drum & Monkey

ENGINE Hampton in Arden

This building was converted from a private house to a pub following the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century and called the ENGINE AND RAILWAY INN until a least 1874. Closed for a housing redevelopment in 2006.

Fieldhouse, Monkspath

A modern pub which originally was called Chequers. It became Fieldhouse following a extensive refurbishment.

GARDENERS ARMS High Street, Solihull

Opened in the 1860's, demolished in 1971. The site was then occupied by the CAPTAIN LOCKER, which became the NEVADA BAR in the 1990's, before closing during the Touchwood redevelopment in 2001. It is now a members-only club called the OPAL LOUNGE.

GEORGE & DRAGON High Street, Solihull

Built in the 15th Century, this half-timbered pub with a jettied upper storey stood on the corner of High Street & Mill Lane. Sometime after 1874 it was renamed the MAGPIE, then later the GREEN DRAGON. It was demolished in the 1960's.

George & Dragon 1880's from "Solihull A Pictorial History" by Sue Bates

GOLDEN ARROW Warwick Road, Olton

1960's pub demolished in 2004 to make way for housing.

Golden Cross, Henley in Arden

Was on the corner of High Street and Warwick Road. Closed in 1996, demolished and replaced by flats in 1997.

GREEN MAN Stratford Road, Shirley

So named from 1842 to 1861, then became the TRAVELLERS REST. It was renamed the GEORGE & DRAGON in 1881. The pub closed in 1986, and was then demolished in 1987 to be replaced by an American theme bar called CALENDARS. It was renamed the DALLAS EXCHANGE in 1994, but was demolished in 2005 to make way for a retail development (Porcelanosa).

Greswolde Arms Hotel, Knowle

A former coaching inn dating back to the 18th Century. Became the MERMAID & GRESWOLDE ARMS by 1828 when it was owned by Henry Greswolde Lewis, joint Lord of the Manor with his cousin Jane Anne Eleanor WILSON. About 1868 it was shortened to just the GRESWOLDE ARMS, later becoming the GRESWOLDE ARMS HOTEL before being changed to the GRESWOLDE HOTEL & BRASSERIE Greswolde Arms Hotel following a major refurbishment in 2004.

Harvester, Monkpath

Originally called the Crown it was knocked down in the 1980's for Stratford Road widening and replaced by JEFFERSONS. In 2006 it was bought by the Harvester chain and called the Havester Monkspath Harvester Monkspath.

HILLFIELD HALL, Hillfield, Solihull

The Borough's oldest Tudor hall (built in 1574), it became a restaurant in 1974. The old stables became a pub (called unsurprisingly The STABLES) until 1999, when it was converted to kitchens, and the main hall became a restaurant/pub. The whole complex was closed in 2002 for conversion to flats.

Hillfield Hall courtesy Solihull Times

Hobs Meadow, Olton

Originally called the Viking. It changed its name to the HOBS MEADOW in 1990. Hobs Meadow.

Hockley Houses, Hockley Heath

This was a large Georgian coaching inn on the Stratford Road.

KING'S ARMS Heronfield

Originally the BLUE BOAR, it had been renamed the KING'S ARMS by 1874, then was officially called the CAT IN THE WINDOW in 1959, although this had been it's nickname for some time. Later renamed the BRIDGEWATER HOTEL, and then the HERONS NEST in 1998. It reverted to the King's Arms in 2014

Observant road users will know that the bridge over the canal is still called the King's Arms Bridge.

The Met bar, Solihull

A former shop which opened as JACK BARROW'S BAR & GRILL in 1996. Became the PITCHER & PIANO in 1999, but has been the METRO BAR & GRILL since 2004. It was renamed the MET Bar & Kitchen in 2015.

Miller and Carter, Dickens Heath

Originally named THREE MAYPOLES, it was built in 1938 on the site of large house known as the Cider Mill, which was demolished in 1935. Later renamed the PICKWICK, and then the CHESWICK GREEN INN in 1996 and then converted to a Miller and Carter steak house. Miller & Carter

Missoula Bar High Street, Solihull

The Missoula Bar and nightclub on Solihull High Street dates from the 17th Century. It was originall The Malt Shoval pub and has ungone numerious reincarnations and name changes. it has previously been known as SNOOTY FOX (1978-93), variously as ROSIE O'BRIENS, ROSIE'S PUMP HOUSE, THE PUMP HOUSE (1993-2004), LOAF (2004-2006), POP WORLD, and B91 (briefly around 2009) and THE HOUSE Missoula Bar

The Malt Shovel 1910 from Solihull On Old Picture Postcards by John Marks

MOONRAKER Gospel Lane, Olton

Renamed ALEXANDERS TAVERN before closing in 2002. It was demolished in 2003 to make way for more housing.

MURPHYS Henley in Arden

Irish style wine bar (!) which opened in the 1990's, renamed HENLEYS in 2002. It became an Italian restaurant in 2006.

Oak Hotel Hockley Heath

Large pub just outside Hockley Heath, it replaced the original OLD ROYAL OAK which was situated closer to the road. It had a spell as a Greek restaurant bar called the TAVERNA before reverting back to a pub in 1996. In 2006 it closed to become a French-style food shop & restaurant called ORO The Market Place.

Old Colonial, Damsonwood

The Old Colonial was a modern pub on the edge of Damsonwood. It closed in 2009 to become a Bardello Health and fitness club.
The Old Colonial

The Old Colonial

OLD TOM Chadwick End

Listed in a Warwickshire Directory of 1874. NB NOT the same pub as the TOM O'BEDLAM which is listed as well.

OLIVERS REAL ALE BAR Station Road, Solihull

A short-lived pub which opened on Station Road in 1993, formerly SHADES WINE BAR. It was renamed HOOTERS in 1994 before becoming a restaurant in 1995.

OLTON Tavern Lode Lane, Olton

Originally known as the OLTON Hall, it became the NEWPORT DINER in 1983. For a time between 1987 & 1989 it was also called the BALTIMORE DINER. It was renamed the Olton Tavern following a refurbishment in 2015

O'Neills, Solihull

It was originally named the Limerick Castle before being renamed the Barley Mow. It is now O'Neills

PAVILION Stratford Road, Monkspath

A separately run bar next to the Regency Hotel opened in 1986. When sold in the 1990's it became an Irish theme pub called MORRISSEYS. In 2004 the bar & hotel were acquired by the Corus Hotel chain. It is now the REGENCY HOTEL BAR used for functions.

Ramada Hotel, New Road, Solihull

As known from 1693 to 1715. Renamed the BELL until 1738 when it's name was changed to the GEORGE HOTEL. It was then renamed the JARVIS INTERNATIONAL HOTEL and now the Ramada Hotel, a sad state of affairs for what was once a prominent local coaching inn, although the original oak beamed bar still exists.

RED LION, Claverdon

Originally called the Lion it was subsequently renamed the Red Lion

RED LION, Henley in Arden

Closed to become a private dwelling in 1992.

RED LION, Knowle

Known as the RED LION for most of it's 600 year history, but was known as the Felon and Firkin from 1995 to 2001 when it was part of the Firkin chain of pubs.

Red Lion

RING O' BELLS Hampton in Arden

Closed in 1939, now a garage.

ROYAL OAK Drury Lane, Solihull

On the corner of High Street & Drury Lane, where the travel agent is now, it appears in the Warwickshire Directory of 1874. It was demolished in 1963 when Mell Square was built.

The Royal Oak courtesy Solihull News

SWAN INN Station Road, Solihull

This pub stood on the corner of Poplar Road & Station Road, before becoming a private house in the 19th century. The nearby Wetherspoons adopted the name WHITE SWAN in tribute when it opened in 2004.

TALBOT Ullenhall

Long since disappeared.

TOM O'BEDLAM Chadwick End

A pub that no longer exists, though it was listed in a Warwickshire Directory of 1874. One anecdote from the pub survives. A local man was drinking at the Tom O'Bedlam, a man who had previously been a patient in a Warwickshire asylum. Another drinker called him a lunatic. The former patient replied "No I am not and I have a certificate to prove it". The pub was used as an Ansells Brewery training centre for a time, before being re-invented as a bar called CUDDLES in 1985. After a short spell as GREGORY'S RESTAURANT & BAR, it became the LION ROCK before being demolished for housing in the 1990's.

TOM O'THE WOOD, Rowington

This pub dates back to the 17th Century when it was named TOM O'THE WOOD after a local corn mill. A change in image resulted in it becoming THE WOOD AT ROWINGTON in 2005. However by the end of 2006, common sense had prevailed and the new owners restored the original name Tom o'the Wood

UNION Shirley

A beer house on the corner of Stratford Road & Union Road. In 1936 the licence was surrendered in favour of the nearby THREE MAYPOLES. The UNION was demolished in the 1950's after a spell as a sweet factory and store.

VINE INN Knowle

Listed in the Warwickshire Directory of 1874.

WARWICKSHIRE LAD Wood End

Originally called the OLD ROYAL OAK it changed its name to the Warwickshire Lad only to change back to the OLD ROYAL OAK in 1992. The name has now changed back to Warwickshire Lad

Wharf Tavern, Hockley Heath

Originally called the White Lion it was renamed Wharf Tavern

WHEATSHEAF Lapworth

Was on Lapworth Hill, it is now a farm. There is a Wheatsheaf Lane near Lapworth Church.

WHITE SWAN Knowle

Called the SWAN in the 1874 Warwickshire Directory and located on the site of the NatWest Bank on Knowle High Street (if you look closely there is a carved Swan on the front of the bank), it was probably of 15th century origin. It was bought by Ansells Brewery from Lucas's of Leamington Spa in 1935, along with the RED LION. Not wanting two pubs so close together, they closed the WHITE SWAN & transferred the licence to the RED LION. The WHITE SWAN was demolished in 1938.

Wilson Arms, Knowle

Originally called RISING SUN it was renamed the WILSON ARMS in 1838. The change in name was probably in honour of Jane Anne Eleanor Wilson, the joint Lord of the Manor with her cousin Henry Greswolde Lewis who owned the nearby GRESWOLDE ARMS. Wilson Arms

Winged Spur, Ullenhall

Originally called CATHERLOUGH ARMS, it became the SPUR in the 1870's and is now called the Winged Spur. It is now closed and up for sale. For a detailed history see http://www.ullenhallhistory.org.uk/blog/index.php/the-winged-spur/88-wingedspur

Yates

Originally the Solihull Yates bar was in Station road before it closed. The current Yates in Poplar road opened in July 2017. It was originally The Assembly Rooms which was a Wetherspoons' Lloyds No 1 bar before being bought by Stonegate and converted to Yates in June 2017. The building was formerly the Solihull Council House.