Lost Pubs of Boston

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

An external black and white image of the  Peacock and Royal Inn.This week's blog focuses on lost pubs of Boston and follows some of the changes to the town's built environment during the 1960s. This included the introduction of the inner relief road known as John Adams Way. I also want to mention three pubs which closed during this period; the Peacock and Royal Hotel, Loggerheads Inn and the Red Lion Hotel.

An image of a poster for The Peacock and Royal Inn.Once Boston's most prestigious Inn, the Peacock and Royal was located at 25 Market Place (now occupied by retail giants Boots). The Old Peacock Inn was demolished in the mid 18th Century and rebuilt in a recognisable Georgian style. For over 200 years, the Inn was a busy coaching house with regular services to London and elsewhere with some coaching services owned by the Hotel. At the rear of the premises this busy enterprise was served by a series of buildings. These included a brewery, stables, trap sheds, blacksmiths and saddlers. An advertisement from the period tells us there was also a pavilion and bowling green operating from within the grounds of the hotel. In 1880, Queen Victoria's son, HRH Alfred Ernest Albert Duke of Edinburgh, stayed the night and the inn became known as the Peacock and Royal. During this period, the business was owned and operated by the Jackson Family (c.1819-1887). Later it was owned by Henry Clemow before the whole site was put up for auction in 1917. After WWII, the Hotel opened again but closed its doors for the final time in 1962 and was demolished.

A black and white image of South Street in Boston.The Three Loggerheads Inn was sited on the Pack House Quay, South Street (now part of the outside seating area for the Folly Bar and Kitchen). The inn was Licensed in 1784 as a beerhouse but was probably operating before this date. Loggerheads was a modest two-storey quayside house, complete with bar, taproom and two kitchens. It also had a large dining room which doubled as a dancing room (attracting complaints about noise and prostitution from the premises). Loggerheads was often used as a meeting place for several societies and clubs. The United Ancient Order of Druids held their monthly meetings there, as did the Victoria Benefit Society who helped those in financial difficulty. The pub also had ties with Boston United (before they moved to York Street). The teams changed at the pub and ran down Shodfriars in their kit! Loggerheads was demolished in the 1960s.

Another pub demolished during this era was the Red Lion Hotel situated at 22 Strait Bargate. It was one of the oldest Inns in Boston, dating back to 1515 during the reign of Henry the VIII. Despite the Inn's narrow looking frontage, the Red Lion was popular with stagecoaches for many years. A map of the Inn reveals a coach house, brewery, tap house and large field at the rear of the property. In 1848, locals witnessed a 'Grand Ballon Ascent and Parachute Descent in the Red Lion Field', admission one shilling. Inflated by gas supplied by the Boston Gaslight and Coke Company, the balloon was called 'Rainbow'. In 1962 the Inn was closed and demolished to make way for the Woolworths high street retail chain (a local supermarket now occupies the site).

An external black and white image of The Queen's Head Inn on Bargate Bridge.Further out of the town was the Queen's Head Inn on Bargate Bridge. This Inn stood on the far side of Bargate bridge along the main route to the town and marketplace from the north. It was a large Georgian building built at the beginning of the 1800s. The Inn had a brewhouse and in 1894 the Boston Guardian recorded the Hotel and brewery sold for £2,500 (around £350,000 today) to Messrs Mowbray and Co. brewers of Grantham. In 1963, the Queen's Head Inn permanently closed and was demolished to make way for the Inner Relief Road (John Adams Way).

An external black and white image of The Lord Nelson.Another casualty of the new inner ring road was The Lord Nelson, 69 High Street. First licensed in 1805, and named after Admiral Lord Nelson who lost his life at the Battle of Trafalgar that same year. This was a large house with brewhouse and stabling accommodation at the rear. Two classical statues, possibly representing Victory and Britannia, were positioned above the main entrance with figures of Lord Nelson in a gas lamp over the doorway. During the 1890s, the annual Boston Cycle Sports were held in Lord Nelson Field (the paddock and field behind the pub). Championship races were in front of a large crowd of up to 1500 spectators. During this period, bicycles were a popular mode of transport, especially for the working classes. Still, competitive cycling was a relatively novel sport – one can almost imagine the excitement that must have surrounded this unusual event!

An external black and white image of The Royal Oak.Next door to the Lord Nelson was the Royal Oak. Records show that an Inn existed on this site before 1784 but the entire structure was rebuilt around the same time as the Lord Nelson. An old photograph of both Inns shows several design similarities between them, such as splayed lintels to both floors with coaches entering on the right beneath comparable archways. Like the Lord Nelson, the Inn had a large yard at the rear to accommodate horse travel in addition to buildings needed to support its brewery named after the Inn. Located near the foot of the new Haven Bridge, the Royal Oak was demolished together with the Lord Nelson to make way for the new ring road.

Engagement has concluded

<span class="translation_missing" title="translation missing: en.projects.blog_posts.show.load_comment_text">Load Comment Text</span>