Craven Arms, High Street
|Alternative Addresses:||Earl Street|
|These premises have been known by different names during their history:||FROM||TO||NAME|
The name of this pub comes from the Earls of Craven, who were local landowners, their seat being the nearby Coombe Abbey.
Until 1811 this was the White Bear, an Elizabethan building and a coaching inn, that is one of the places where Mails, Stage Coaches etc., changed horses. On 11th September that year, C. Handasyd and H. Wakefield advertised in the Coventry Herald that they had taken over and completely rebuilt what was previously the White Bear. To quote: 'families of the neighbourhood and others who have been absolutely driven from the house by the miserable manner in which the business has been done are respectfully informed the house is now conducted in a very superior style'. In changing the name the new proprietors were distancing themselves from the previous ones.
The hotel was the centre of many election conflicts as it was the Whig headquarters. Coventry's elections were conducted with such violence that ultimately it forfeited its status as a county.
In 1838 the will of Jacob Hart, who was H. M. Consul to the Court of Savoy, gave this property to his son, Davis Hart, to hold in trust for his son, Simon Hart. In 1876 the Craven Arms was the meeting place of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire (Freemasons). Although the hotel was rebuilt in 1811, the stable block to the rear survived; it could accommodate up to forty horses. They remained until the whole site was remodelled in 1913. In c1870 Walter Dan Claridge became the owner at what would have been the relatively young age of 24. Dan Claridge was the landlord for forty years. In that time he tried to revive coach travel with coaches called 'The Good Old Days' and 'Perseverance' but by that time it had become a novelty. He was the last person to drive a coach from Coventry to London. In 1912 he left the Craven Arms in High Street to move to the Craven Arms at Binley. Carriers also used the accommodation here. By 1915 the site had been rebuilt on modern lines. Ironically, the building that replaced the original was a mock Tudor one. The Craven Arms survived the blitz to be renamed THE BEAR in 1970 and demolished later. The oak panelling and oak Jacobean fire surround in The Prince's Chamber, St. Mary's Hall, are said to have come from the Craven Arms.
High Street looking towards Broadgate. The Craven Arms was on the left hand side.
LICENSEES:1838 - 1841 Thomas Cheadle 1850 - 1861 William East 1868 Mrs. M. A. East c1870 - 1912 Walter Dan Claridge 1919 - 1924 T. J. Kelly 1926 - 1934 A. Ireland 1935 - 1936 H. B. Chapman 1960 Roy C. Baker 1961 Reg A. Suffolk (see also City Arms, Earlsdon and Rose and Crown, High Street) 1962 Roy C. Baker
OWNERS:to 1838 Jacob Hart from 1838 Davis Hart 14.7.1871 Wallter Dan Claridge