The following hotels, public houses, and gin palaces existed in 1888.
The Anchor was on the north side of Freeman Street where the Co- operative
Black Horse was halfway up Black Horse Yard between Freeman Street and Theatre
The Brig was on the south side of Freeman Street and a few yards west of
its junction with Glebe Road.
The Bushel and Strike. The site of this has not been located.
The Bowling Green is on the south side of Church Street opposite the south
east corner of the churchyard. In the 1856 Survey and Maps of the Copyhold
land of the Manor of Wells, late the Dukes, Church Street is called Workhouse
The Crown is a residential hotel at the south east corner
of the Buttlands, It was built on the site of an old private school by Mr.
Ellis after he gave up the Ostrich Inn. Its bowling green and large garden
were great attractions at one time.
The Crown and Anchor. In 1856 this was the name of a public house in Staithe
Street on the north corner with Anchor Lane.
Within living memory this name was given to a public house close to and to
the north east of the railway station.
The Dogger was in Freeman Street at the north end of Dogger Lane. Its sign
was a single-masted ship of about 80 tons with an open hold, or possibly
a well, in which to bring fish alive to the shore.
The Eight Ringers is on the west side of Church Plain. In the Wells and Warham
Award of 1813 following the Enclosure Act of 1811, it is listed as "The Six
The Edinburgh, formerly The Fighting Cocks, is on the south
side of Station Road, opposite to Staithe Street.
The Exchange was on the south side of Freeman Street, not far west of its
junction with The Glebe.
The Freeholders was in High Street.
The Fleece or Golden Fleece is on the west corner of Staithe
Street and the quay. Part of the building dates from the days of the Tudors,
but it has been much altered since then. Tradition has it that part of the
frontage to the quay was once an open arcade with the first floor supported
on pillars. At one time part of the ground floor was a butcher's shop. Tradition
also has it that part of the building was once a Wool Exchange patronized
by Flemish merchants. Be that as it may, there is on the first floor a large
room 37 feet long by 161 feet broad, with an external balcony facing the
quay. About 1900 the two old fireplaces at either end of this room, surrounded
by Dutch tiles, were replaced by modern fireplaces. Over each fireplace is
a large plaster plaque in low relief on a black background. Each is set in
a plaster frame with an open-work cable pattern. One represents St. Blaise
blessing a sheep fold. The other represents Jason and his Argonauts sailing
away with the Golden Fleece. St. Blaise holds in one hand a sheep-comb.
Sheepcombs had become identified with the instruments with which St. Blaise
was tortured and for this reason he had been adopted as the Patron Saint
of wool workers. Antiquaries date these plaques as not earlier than 1700.
This room was used at one time for Quarter Sessions and other large assemblies.
The Globe is on the east side of the Buttlands. In 1883
it was a posting house.
The Grapes or The Star was in Star Yard at the back of No. 76 Staithe Street.
The Green Dragon was in High Street from at least 1836-49 at which latter
date it is mentioned in the Minutes of the Town Improvement Commissioners.(North
side of Green Dragon Lane)
The Holkham Arms was on the south side of Freeman Street (or Burnham Road)
and was the first to be met on entering Wells from Holkham. At the present
day it is a double-fronted dwelling house with a wide lawn between it and
The Jolly Sailor was on the south side of the road leading eastwards from
the quay and in the Wells and Warham Award of 1813 is described as the eastern
starting point of Burnham Road. It was about 300 yards east of the northern
end of Staithe Street and close to the ship building yard.
The King's Arms was on the quay from at least 1836 to 1893 when John Harman
records in his memoirs that shipwrecked mariners were taken there.
The Leicester Arms was on the east side of Staithe Street at No. 54 . Not
many years ago, the ground floor collapsed and revealed a cellar with bricked-up
arches on the side facing the Street.
The Lord Nelson was on the quayside between Staithe Street and Standard Road.
Later used as a private dwelling house; it was demolished about 1962 and
a bingo hall built in its place.
The Ostrich on the north side of Burnt Street about half way between Church
Plain and Two Furlong Hill. Quennells, in his History of Everyday Things
in England, depicts the building and dates it as having been built in the
seventeenth century. Coaches ran from here regularly to Lynn. In 1937 a Mr.
Baker, then aged about 76, told the Rev. Donald E. Brown that an ancestor
of his had once owned the Ostrich and that on leaving it, he built the Crown
on the Buttlands. There is a considerable area of land to the south and west
of the house and here in 1888 was established a market for the sale of horses,
cattle, sheep, pigs, etc. These sales were held on alternate Mondays under
the management of Mr. George Andrews, Auctioneer.
The Park Tavern was on the west side of Park Road.
The Prince of Wales (formerly the Tewkesbury) was at the south east corner
of Staithe Street where it joins Station Road.
The Queen Adelaide was on the north side of Freeman Street, near its western
end, and next door to where a bakery now works. It is marked as a P.H. on
the Ordance Survey Maps of 1928.
The Queen's Head.
The Railway Hotel (Since called The Tinkers and Now The Lifeboat ) is at
the north west corner of the junction of Station Road and Standard Road.
The Red Lion was on he quay, at the foot of Lion Yard , between The Glebe
and Staithe Street, with the Ship to the west of it and the Sun and the Fleece
to the east of it.
The Rose and Crown was where the branch of the County library now stands
in Station Road. In 1808 it was converted into a Wesleyan Chapel and then
in 1949 it was bought by the County Council and converted into a library.
On the inside of the cast wall is embedded a stone with the inscription carved
into it "E.G. 1759"
The Royal Oak.
The Sailors' Home was at one time near the Adelaide in Freeman Street. Later,
it was up a "yard" almost immediately opposite the Shipwrights Arms and about
30 yards south of it.
The Ship was at the eastern corner where The Glebe enters the quayside.
The Shipwrights Arms was the only pub of which the walls are lapped by the
tides. It lay about 270 yards east of the foot of Staithe Street, in a district
where many fishermen still live.(Recently converted into 2 houses)
The Standard lay at the north east corner of the junction of Standard Road
- formerly Standard Yard - with the quayside road - once known as the Burnham
The Star. See under The Grapes.
The Sun was in the Sun Yard and close to the quay between the Red Lion and
The Tewksbury. See Prince of Wales.
The Three Tuns was on the west corner of the junction of The Glebe and Freeman
Street, at the foot of Tuns Yard.
The Vine was on the east side of High Street. (Now Angus House)
The Wagon and Horses adjoined the west wall of the Rectory garden on the
south side of Church Street and is marked as a P.H. on the Ordnance Survey
Maps of 1928. In 1962 it was converted into a high class residence and named
The Wain after being an indifferent cottage for a number of years.
In addition to the foregoing, Whites Directory of 1836 records the following
names of public houses:
The Hall Moon, on the quay;
TheLugger, in Glebe Road;
The King's Arms, on the quay;
The King William 1V, in High Street;
The Norfolk Freeholders, in Staithe Street;
The Royal Standard, on the quay.
These names may, of course, have been given at that date to buildings already
located above under changed names.
Additionally the records of 35 Staithe St show that the premises was called
"The Dukes Head" public house throughout the 17th and 18th century.
The ARK ROYAL is of course a newly built public house.