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Recruiting Sergeant, 14 Spon Street

Alternative Addresses:24 Or 15 Spon Street
These premises have been known by different names during their history:FROMTONAME
Recruiting Sergeant 14 Spon St The Recruiting Sergeant was the man who would tour the country, setting up an office at a tavern, to induce local men to join the army. The men bound themselves by accepting the King's shilling. There was a barracks in Coventry. The earliest record of the pub that John Ashby has found is 1808 and it closed in 1929, whilst Coventry Barracks opened in Smithford Street in 1793 and closed in 1922. In 1835 the Recruiting Sergeant was recorded as being a BEERHOUSE. The building in fact is much older than this, dating to the mid-to-late 15th century. It was one of the higher quality houses in Spon Street, originally being a four-bay open hall house with a two-bay open hall in the centre and jettied bays on either side. It was restored in 1977 and 1985. The building was split in two with the pub being No14 and No 15 housing a succession of retail businesses. It was not until 1919 that the two premises became one and the pub occupied the whole building. The remarkable thing is that from the first recorded licensee in 1841 until the closure of the pub in 1929 it was kept by just two families - the Smiths and the Athersuchs. Note the prevalence of female licensees amongst the Smiths - four of them. All of this time, the pub also brewed. The licensee was not always the brewer. I can remember in the early 1970s the only sign that this had been a pub was an exposed barge-board that proclaimed 'Fine Home-Brewed Ales'. It has in recent years gained the name 'Tudor House' and following restoration now bears little resemblance to the Recruiting Sergeant of all those years ago.


1841 Edmond Smith 1850 - 1868 Mary Smith 1868 Sarah Smith 1871 Harriett Smith 1874 - 1886 William Smith 1890 - 1896 Mrs. Mary Smith 1903 - 1905 John Smith 1909 - 1913 Sidney G. Athersuch 1919 - 1924 John Athersuch 1926 - 1932 Mrs. Sarah Jane Athersuch BREWERS: to 1887 William Smith 1887 - 1895 Mrs. Mary Smith 1895 - 1902 John Smith 1902 - 1906 Harry Smith 1906 - 1914 Sidney G. Athersuch 1914 - 1923 John Athersuch 1923 - 1926 Mrs. Sarah Jane Athersuch
Recruiting Sergeant
Street plan of 1851
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