Paul Gibson’s Hull and East Yorkshire History

Lost pubs of Hull — T to Z

Theatre Tavern, Dock Street

The Theatre Tavern was originally known as the Norwegian Tavern, and is recorded from c.1806, when John Reed was the first known victualler at the pub. Its name was changed to the Theatre Tavern c.1893, to coincide with the opening of the Grand Theatre in nearby George Street.

Situated at the western end of Dock Street it was demolished in 1974, along with the equally famous Field’s Café in Savile Street, for the construction of the former Norwich Union Insurance building.

This photograph dates from the 1960s, and shows the close proximity of the Rugby Tavern – still open in 2011.

Three Tuns, Great Passage Street

Great Passage Street was originally a simple back way to the grand 18th Century houses of Marine Row, which faced south across the River Humber. Following large scale property development at the beginning of the 19th Century thousands of small, sub-standard cottages and courtyard houses were built in the area.The Three Tuns was erected at that time, but was not mentioned in trade directories until c.1826, when J Leake was recorded as the licensee, at no.16 Great Passage Street.

The pub thrived for many years amongst this densely populated working class area, but following large-scale demolition and the subsequent loss of trade, the Three Tuns closed in March 1936. Its name and licence, along with the licence of the Oxford beer-house in North Street, was transferred to a newly built 'road-house' style pub on the Boothferry Road, retaining the name Three Tuns, which has recently re-opened after a long closure.

The photograph here shows the original pub c.1926.

Tigress Inn, High Street

At No.7 High Street on the south-west corner of Blaydes Staithe, and diagonally opposite the Highland Laddie, was the Tigress Inn.

The inn is mentioned by name in deeds of 1734, when John Shields, a ship’s carpenter was the owner with others, and initially known as the Blue Ball. It had several name changes throughout its life, being known as the Ball, the Full Measure, the Corn Exchange Tavern, the New Exchange Tavern, and latterly the Tigress Inn around 1867.

Although it appeared from the outside to be a small one-roomed Inn, the Tigress also occupied property to the rear of No.8 High Street. The entry to the right of the pub led via a passage, to a small yard at the rear of the buildings.

The Tigress was a Moors’ & Robson’s pub, first tied to them in 1894, and was very popular tucked away in what is often referred to as Little High Street. It was demolished shortly after closure in 1971, and is shown herein the early 1960s.

Victoria Tavern, Chapman Street

The Victoria Tavern originated as a drinking booth, within pleasure gardens initially known as the Victoria Tea Gardens. It was not un-common for pubs to develop from premises used initially as pleasure gardens. Dating from c.1834, the first beer retailer there was William Collinson, a beer retailer and gardener in Sutton Row, Sutton Bank. Later named Albert Street, and renamed Chapman Street in 1862, Sutton Row was engulfed by the development of workers housing during the late 19th Century, and its gardens built upon.

Initially serving beer from a drinking booth – the gardens also featured a dancing booth, mentioned in the Hull Packet in the 1840s. The beer-house licence survived the closure of the gardens, and the Victoria Gardens was noted as a ‘public house’ by 1851, with rooms including a dram shop. By then simply known as the Victoria Tavern – a Linsley & Co house – it was rebuilt in 1900, in the style shown in this 1940s photograph.

The expansion of the Reckitt - Benckiser estate required the demolition of the Victoria Tavern in 2001, to create a car park entrance. 

Victoria Vaults, Anlaby Road

Immediately next door to one of Hull’s popular dance halls – The Circus, was a pub known as the Victoria Vaults, a beer-house connected to the business of bottler and wine & spirit merchant James Southam. The Vaults was built near the site of an older pub, the former Brown Cow, in the early 1860s, and redeveloped in 1898 to the designs of the architect J M Dossor. The Hull Brewery Company acquired the bottling business (but not the licence, or the pub) in 1948, and maintained the pub until closure. It received its first full licence in March 1953, when the licence of the Dock Arms, Dock Office Row, which had been in suspension since 1941, was transferred there. Shown here in the 1920s.

The area between Pease Street and Great Thornton Street is now dominated by two 15-storey tower-blocks, known as Cambridge Street Flats - Block One and Block Two. Building commenced in 1973. The Vaults were demolished in preparation for these works, and closed c.1970.

Waterloo Tavern, Harcourt Street

In 2011 the front doors of the former Waterloo Tavern (presently closed), still open onto the remains of Harcourt Street, which still has a section of granite-sett road, flagged footpath, and a Victorian tiled street name on the pub’s front wall. Known locally as the Bush, the Waterloo was established c.1815, the name possibly inspired by Wellington’s victory at Waterloo that year. The original pub is shown here, c.1926.

The pub was re-built in 1932, as we see it today, but what other buildings that remained in Harcourt Street were demolished following Blitz damage sustained during the Second World War. The street remained open to traffic following the war, until the Clarence Flour Mills (also Blitz damaged) were re-built in 1952, and extended across the site of the old street during the 1950s leaving the Bush in its present unusual position. 

West Dock Hotel, English Street

The West Dock Hotel, English Street was first recorded at the beginning of the 19th Century when it was known as the Baltic Tavern. In a sad report from the Hull Advertiser newspaper of 14 July 1804, an announcement for an auction noted: ‘at the house of the Widow Griffin known by the sign of the Ship and commonly called the Baltic Tavern’. Mr John Griffin, her late husband was the first known victualler at the pub c.1803.

As plans were made for the construction of Albert Dock during the 1860s the Baltic Tavern’s name was changed to the West Dock Hotel. Another pub that was once owned by Wilfords’ it was a Hull Brewery house for most of its life. Probably one of the Hessle Road area’s most popular pubs, it was known as ‘Pops’, after Thomas Poppleton a very popular licensee from the 1930s to the 1950s.

Shown here in the 1920s, the pub closed Friday 4 June 1976, due to structural faults that were not economically viable to repair, and was demolished a few years later (thanks to John Wyles for the closure information).

Western Tavern, Alfred Street

The Western Tavern began its life at the beginning of the 19th Century when it was known as the Gate Inn, and is mentioned from c.1810. Following re-fronting around 1860, the Gate Inn was re-named the Western Tavern, but seems to have suffered as a direct consequence of being immediately next door to the more popular Inkerman Tavern, which resulted in its closure on 12 February 1927.

The Hull Brewery Co, decided to close the Western and were paid £1000 in compensation for the extinguishment of the licence, the site was then sold to Moors' & Robson's, who owned the next door Inkerman Tavern, which can just be seen on the left of this c.1926 photograph. Both houses were demolished and a new building was erected on the site, taking in the whole corner of Alfred Street and Edgar Street, this new building retained the name Inkerman Tavern, which it does to this day.

Wheatsheaf Hotel, King Edward Street

In the 18th Century a windmill stood at the corner of what is now King Edward Street and Waltham Street, known as Waltham’s Mill – giving Waltham Street its name. An 1803 directory listed William Johnson as victualler at the Mill, in Beverley Street – an old name for this section of Prospect Street – and it is very likely that an inn – almost within mill buildings would be named the Mill Inn. By 1822 the Mill Inn became known as the Wheatsheaf Inn; a sheaf of wheat was popular as an inn sign, and was commonly associated with the baking trade, although also linked with agricultural trades. Around 1840 Charles Searby, a bricklayer and builder took charge, and the name changed to the Wheelrights Arms, changing back to the Wheatsheaf Inn c.1851.

Around 1882 William Henry Moorhouse became victualler, and his family were in charge throughout the biggest period of change in the history of the pub. During the 1880s Hull much of the low quality buildings in the town were demolished, and new streets laid-out. One of the new streets was King Edward Street, built 1899-1901, linking Prospect Street with the new Victoria Square. The old street where the Wheatsheaf was located, was redeveloped as part of the new street, which it remains – the opposite side of the street to this remaining as Prospect Street.

J.G. MOORHOUSE, (Jane Gibson-Moorhouse), marked on the wall and gas lamp, was in charge from c.1892 the widow of the late landlord. In the breakdown of the Hull Brewery Company’s assets in 1890 the Wheatsheaf was valued at £4,000. The Wheatsheaf was rebuilt in 1901, and plans show that the building underwent dramatic change and in keeping with the grand image of King Edward Street was re-fronted with an artificial storey at attic level giving the impression of a complete rebuild. All the property south of the Wheatsheaf was demolished, and the Wheatsheaf was the only building to remain open throughout the works.

In this c.1900 photograph shows the original pub, possibly just about to be re-fronted, and in a later 1960s image. The new pub survived both wars, narrowly escaping bombing in 1941, and the late historian Chris Ketchell recalled it was not popular with his generation in the early 1970s, being quiet and dull, with oil paintings, and was very old fashioned (Chris later gave me a rescued tile from the ornate tilework outside the pub). Today we would probably regard these as marks of excellence. Sadly the Wheatsheaf closed in 1972, and was demolished in February 1973 for no apparent reason.

Roy France recalls:- it was very popular meeting place of the Merchant Navy radio officers, when in town, who called it - unofficially - The 2182 Bar. This was a reference to the radio-telephone calling frequency of 2182 kilocycles.

White Lion, Collier Street

The old White Lion had stood on Collier Street since the 1830s, and was demolished in 1930 to make way for a new Bus Station. The replacement White Lion was built in 1934 in the newly created Lombard Street. The old pub is shown here prior to demolition c.1928.

The new building - latterly known as The Gingerman - was demolished in April 2004, for another new Bus Station, as part of the St Stephen’s development, which also required the demolition of another old pub – the Providence Inn in Spring Street.

Windsor Hotel, Waterworks Street

Built in the late 1700s, no.1 Waterworks Street, at the corner of Chariot Street, was first mentioned in Clayton’s directory of 1803 as the Tiger public house, with Mrs Sarah Mercer as victualler. The following is an advertisement from the Hull Advertiser 26 August 1815:

‘To be sold by auction, the lease of that well accustomed public house, wine vault and spirit warehouse situated on the corner of Waterworks St and Chariot St. Hull, now in the occupation of Mr Richardson. Also the whole of his Stock in trade consisting of Foreign and British spirits, port, sherry-wine and 1,400 gallons of ale. All brewing utensil. All in a compact brewery. Immediate possession may be had of the public house as well as the brewery’ (sic). 

Around 1826 the Tiger became known as The March of Intellect (and locally as The Sweeps due to its unusual inn-sign), and was taken over by Worthington’s c.1900 and rebuilt, or at least re-fronted and became known as the Windsor. It was damaged in the blitz of the Second World War, and closed 8 May 1941, the landlord at that time was Mr William Park-Hutchinson. It is shown here in a poor but very rare 1920s photograph. 

 Zoological Hotel, Beverley Road

It seems like everyone I talk to about the old Zoological pub, seen here in the 1940s, was present on its last night of opening. I think some of you must be fibbing however, as you can see from the pictures here that it was quite a small pub. Things get mixed up in our memories and we often remember stories told to us by others as if we were actually there, and then they get mixed in with our own memories. Needless to say, some of you will now be chuntering away to yourselves as you read this - declaring you supported the pub as man and boy, and through thick and thin - and that was just the (mostly) awful Hull Brewery ale!

The building that later became the Zoological Hotel was mentioned in the Hull Advertiser newspaper in July 1815 as ‘the house of Mrs Dunn - known by the sign of the Ship’. The trade directory (a sort of telephone directory before telephones were invented) of 1814 confirms Mr John Dunn was the victualler (landlord) of the Ship Inn, no.3 Beverley Road, and was obviously another family member. In 1840 the Ship was re-named as the Zoological Hotel, taking its name as many pubs in the area did at that time, from the short-lived Zoological Gardens on the north side of Spring Bank that opened that year, or the earlier Zoological collections held in the original Botanical Gardens on the south side of the Anlaby Road.   

Many will still refer to this part of the Beverley Road as ‘Blundell’s Corner, and the Hull Daily Mail retains this old title as its current address. Henry Blundell established his paint and colour works here in 1817, taking over a mill that had been established since at least 1788. In 1874 property that included the Zoological was sold to Henry Blundell for £4500; part of the estate of William Bromby a retired master brewer.

Shown, right, in 1983, the tired old pub with its sloping shelves, was still a strong favourite of some of Hull’s more dedicated drinkers, and had been a Hull Brewery house for most of the 20th Century. The Zoological finally closed its doors on 2nd March 1985. A newer pub on Prince’s Avenue corner revived the old  ‘Zooey’ name in 1994. I bet you were there on the last night - did you see me? I was ...

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