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Half Moon Tavern, Half Moon Yard

Alternative Addresses:Earl Street, High Street
I can only imagine that the half moon was a simple, easily recognised, pictorial sign. This pub was built in 1728 to replace the mediaeval Drapery. It was built opposite St Michael's Church and, having take the place of the drapery, the linen, flannel and cloth fair was moved to St Mary's Hall. For many years the cloth manufacturers of Yorkshire attended the annual Coventry fair and held sales both in the courtyard of St Mary's Hall and in the large room at the tavern. In 1756 six soldiers were billeted here. In accordance with the entertainment of the day, in 1780 the Irish giant, O'Brien, was exhibited at the Half Moon, along with a baboon called the 'Ethiopian Savage', and a cassowary. In a similar vein the City's freemen also had meetings here. It seems that the Half Moon stood in its own yard, where a row of tenements also stood. It was referred to as 'a principal tavern in the city', which would correspond to its use by the freemen for meetings. On the north side of the tavern was a stone bearing the letters MGP and the date 1728, which commemorated the end of the old drapery. In 1771 a post chaise service was set up from the Half Moon. In c1861 the tavern was taken down to make way for St Mary's Street, which still exists running alongside the present Council House. Erected on the site of the tavern were the dwelling for the Superintendent of Police and the fire engine house. Earl St pre-war
Earl Street pre-war featuring St. Mary's Street on the left. Photo courtesy of David McGrory.


1822 - 1823 Robert Allen 1835 John Horsfall 1841 John Soden 1850 William Thornback


c1861 Coventry Corporation
Half Moon Tavern
Street plan of 1851
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