Hinckley Historian Magazine

Hinckley Historian Magazine No.48 - The Pubs of Hinckley old and new

The Union Hotel in The Borough
The Union Hotel in The Borough

A variety of people over the years have made special references to the pubs in Hinckley. In the early 1800s George Canning, when staying at the Bull's Head, said he was in, "the vilest inn" and in the 1840s Rev George Dealtry, the Vicar of Hinckley, said that there were forty public houses in the town, "many very disorderly". Others have been better disposed to local licensed premises and the late Fred Warren wrote an article for the Hinckley Historian - No 22, which was published in the autumn of 1988, in which he listed particular premises in the town.

Castle Street was once the proud possessor of thirteen pubs but only the Castle Tavern remains today. Fred mentioned the other twelve which were as follows; Cross Keys, Crown, Crown and Anchor, Dun Cow, King's Head, Nag's Head, Spread Eagle, The Ram, New Inn, Victoria Hotel, Red Lion, Rose and Crown.

Other local pubs which Fred listed were the Black Horse, Blue Bell, Duke of Rutland, Fox and Grapes, Lord Nelson, Barley Sheaf (previously the Barley Mow) and the Queen's Head. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries a number of pubs were also coaching inns where stage and mail coaches called and conveyed passengers for destinations as far distant as London or Holyhead, The George, now rebuilt as the Bounty, was the premier coaching inn and was also the post office and undertakers. The infamous Bull's Head was also a coaching inn as was the White Hart.

The following list contains pubs which remain active and some that have long since vanished such as the Boot, Lichfield Tavern, White Bear, Prince of Wales and Wharf Inn. Stockwell Head was once a centre for serious drinking but not so today. Older readers will perhaps remember some of the following Stockwell Head pubs such as Britannic, Star, Plough, Sun, Half Moon, Three Tuns, Horse and Jockey and Wood boy. On Leicester Road the New Plough still plies its trade but other pubs have disappeared such as the Dolphin. The Jolly Bacchus has disappeared from the Borough but the Union Hotel, much restored and the Dog and Gun still remain. New pubs such as the Litten Tree and the Baron of Hinckley have added to the facilities for those wishing to slake their thirst in Regent Street in the year 2000, Another more recent pub is the Milestone and a little older is the Flintlock.

The Hollybush and Ashby Tavern (previously the Mineral Baths and then the Kiwi) take a route out of town. Not to be forgotten is the Greyhound on New Buildings and the Weavers Arms in Derby Road and the Holywell Inn, its older version being a meeting place for protestors in the nineteenth century. The Station Hotel and the Middlefield Inn and also the Flintlock are for drinkers in the more far flung parts of Hinckley, I apologise for the premises I have omitted but there are only so many pubs one can visit for a swift half in an evening and I have listed over fifty, past and present!

The Editor

Author: Hugh Beavin

Written for: Hinckley Historian Magazine