Discovering the history of Barrow Upon Soar......

Inns of Barrow upon Soar

The green pointers indicate Inns still open the purple are no longer there.

Click on the ID to see the details.

“Inns of the Village

…………………in 1846 with a smaller population there were no less than eight. These were the King's Head, Bishop Blaise, The Fox, The Navigation, Three Crowns, The Ram, The Royal Oak, Blacksmiths Arms and KingWilliam IV. At the same time there were other establishments known as Beer houses but did not have a name. Nine in number.*

Information regarding the Inns of Barrow was compiled by Mr B C Sharman from the County Records Office, New Walk, Leicester"

Extract from "This is your Village: Barrow upon Soar" compiled by Barrow Scouts

I wonder if these were:*

"1846 – In addition to the public houses we now have, there was one kept by Mrs Ward on Sileby Road. There was also the "Red Cow" kept by George Lindsey Hull, on Sileby Road, the "King's Head" kept by John Johnson opposite the shop of Mr Casterton; the Ram Inn, kept by John Bonser (parish clerk) the house now occupied by Mr Holland; the New Inn, kept by William Hubbard, the house now occupied by Mr Ryder; the "Cherry Tree" kept by Mrs Ball, near the *Mount " (which is on High Street)

"Extract from "A Short History of Barrow upon Soar" by R H Bennett

Information and photographs taken from "Guided Walks around Barrow upon Soar (Vol. 1 the Village Centre)" "Bygone Barrow upon Soar Vols 1 and 2" by John and Barry Wilford, "Barrow upon Soar in Photographs Vols 1 and 2" by F Kevon Thompson, "Barrow Voice", "This is your Village: Barrow upon Soar" and "Barrow upon Soar 2002 - 350 Points of View: A complete Pictorial Survey" by Kevon Thompson - Available to view at

Street Photos of Barrow by Kevon Thompson

along with various other information.


The Soar Bridge

The Soar Bridge Inn

Formerly the Railway Inn Bridge Street

It was originally a hostel for boatmen. The inn was once distinguished by a well rendered
painting on the gable end of a railway engine, and was known as the Railway Inn. When extensive alterations were made to the interior it was re-named the Soar Bridge Inn.

In 1880, William Hall was publican at the Railway Inn.  His son was George Hall, and his grandson-William Hall was also born in Barrow in 1879.   *This information is provided by Jacqeline Hall whose husband is the great-great-grandson of William, the publican.

Extract from “A Short History of Barrow upon Soar“by R H Bennett

"1838 – 1840 The Railway built through Barrow was opened on 5th May 1840 with a double track. It was then know as the Midland Counties Railway, afterwards re-named the Midland Railway in 1844. It then became possible to journey by train to London. In 1868 the Railway through Barrow was widened to four lines under the direction of John Crossley, chief engineer. Mr Crossley built Barrow House and lived there for many years.

John Ellis was the chairman of the railway at this time and Thomas Brassey the contractor for this section of the track. The cost was £15,000 per mile. Great difficulty was experienced in building the bridge over the River Soar, known as "Cast Iron Bridge" for no footing could be found owing the great depth of soft earth. Mr Crossley brought several old wide canal boats from Nottingham which he loaded with stones and iron and sank to the bottom, thus keeping back the earth and running sand and making possible a firm foundation. When the first track was laid through Barrow the metals were placed on stone sleepers, but it was found that wooden sleepers were an improvement. The stones were sold and the houses in Freestone Square and the Cliffe houses on Sileby Road were built of them."


The King William IV

High Street

 Closed in 1942 having been in existence from 1850 and situated at the junction of High Street/Cotes Road


The Kings Head

The King's Head

Now The Cottage, South Street

A public house in 1847. In 1940 it was the home of the Prestons (of Wilson's fruit merchants of Loughborough). The father and eldest son both contracted polio, Mr Preston died but the son survived. He was educated at Loughborough Grammar School and went on to become President of Oxford Students Union and editor of the Guardian newspaper.



The Bishop Blaise

South Street

Opposite to The Cottage this photo dates from 1902.
The pub closed in 1950 and is now a private residence of the same name. It was for many years the headquarters of the local football and cricket teams. It ceased trading in the early 1950s the licence being transferred to the Lodge Hotel (now the Hunting Lodge.)

Bishop Blaise (or Blaize) lived in Armenia. He was martyred by some sort of hook which left comb marks on his back like those made by a wool comb in a sheep's fleece. The wool combers trade took Bishop Blaise as their patron saint, hence the use of the pub name in sheep country. Its existence in Barrow upon Soar is a reminder of the former importance of sheep in the local agriculture and of framework knitting which used the wool.
Traditionally, the wife did the spinning (hence the term spinster) and the husband did the knitting.

The Bishop Blaise
The Bishop Blaise


The Trap

Formerly the Lime Kiln
North Street

Although officially called the Lime Kiln this was always known locally as the Trap because it used to "trap" the men on their way home from the lime workings on payday into spending their money in the pub before going home to their wives and children.

Now after being refurbished it has reverted to officially being called the Trap but the brewery (in it's wisdom) has put up a sign showing a pony and trap!!

Now a day nursery called Lime Tree Nursery.

The Trap
The Trap


The Fox Inn

The Fox Inn

North Street

Closed in the 1950s and converted into flats but now three private residences. All that indicates that this was a pub is the faded name painted on the sides and the iron bracket that held the pub sign. It had facilities for coaches and, given the name, may well have been used by those coming to the Quorn Hunt.

It is reported that, in the middle of the last century, the landlady of the Fox used to buy a dress-piece of material and hang it on a flagpole out of an upstairs window on the second Monday in July. The "Women's Club" had a tea in the pub and then played skittles to see who would win the dress-piece.


The Ram

Bridge Street (or High Street)

Originally called the Black Swan this was an inn some 400 years ago – Now a private residence known as "Falstaff", the house can just be seen behind the Village Sign

The Ram


The Royal Oak

North Street

The Royal Oak
The Royal Oak

Closed around 1922 situated adjacent to the caretaker's cottage of the Methodist Chapel in North Street and demolished in the late 1960s. The site is now the Methodist Church new Entrance Foyer and car park entrance


The Hammers and Pincers

North Street

Before 1753 the building was used by Joseph Hull as a Blacksmiths. The blacksmith's business there was shown by having tools of the trade fixed to the outside wall - a hammer and a pair of pincers. When Joseph Hull died, Mrs Hull was unable to continue with the blacksmith's work and ran the inn, at that time named the Blacksmith's Arms; the name changed to the Hammer and Pincers in 1846. The building has changed over the years. The lounge was previously cottages and was used for brewery staff for accommodation until the late 1950s. This is the oldest part of the pub and was thatched until the end of the 19th century. The Rose Room, the upstairs entertainment room was previously three letting rooms. It has a claim to fame! The Leicester based singer Jerry Dorsey was often booked and he later became known as Englebert Humperdinck.

In the part of the building that fronts North Street was a butcher's shop. The outbuildings were used as a slaughterhouse. To the right of the arch off North Street are stables and a coach house stood on what is now the car park. There were two wells in the yard. The wide pavement area running by the side door of the pub is common land and was used a market place. It is easy to imagine how this inn was used – a market on the doorstep, stabling, a coach house, food and drink available and, perhaps, overnight lodgings would have made this a thriving business; bring produce to sell at the market, have the horses re-shod while you have some food and drink in the pub.

Landlords & Dates


1754 – 1757 Joseph Hull

1757 – 1758 Frances Hull

1758 – 1776 William Branston

1778 – 1779 Stephen Squire

1780 – 1789 Frances Branston

1790 – 1792 Thomas Hull

1793 – 1794 Jane Hull

1794 – 1809 Joseph Shepherd

1809 – 1814 Thomas Underwood

1815 – 1827 Joseph Priestly

1827 – 1883 mostly unknown
(Edward Voce 1846)

1883 – 1884 Thomas King

1884 – 1886 William Millett

1886 – 1887 Albert Lord

1887 – 1889 William Clifford

1889 – 1890 Walton Goodwin

1890 – 1897 Thomas Thorneycroft

1898 – 1902 Harry Lewis

1902 – 1904 Henry Simpson

1904 – 1906 Harry Thorneycroft

1906 – 1907 Ernest Hickman

1907 – 1911 Joseph Page

1911 – 1915 John Mayes

1915 – 1930 Walter Smith

1930 – 1958 Walter Lockwood

1958 – 1984 Maurice Hewitt

1984 - Present Glynn Hewitt

The Hammer & Pincers
The Hammer & Pincers
The Hammer & Pincers
The Hammer & Pincers


The Navigation

Mill Lane

Known locally as the Navvy, it was built soon after the opening of the canal in 1794. It provided beverage for the barges and stabling for the horses. This photo taken at the turn of the century advertises the "Celebrated Sileby Ales" of Sharpe and Sons which were sold by many of the local inns of the time.

The Navigation
The Navigation
The Navigation
The Navigation


The Three Crowns

The Three Crowns

Cotes Road

Opened in 1642 - A big house stood on the corner infront of the Three Crowns, where the present pub garden is, and beside it was an alley paved with large gravel setts which led into a yard (the present pub car park) where the publican ran a horse and cart transport business as a sideline to the pub.




The Hunting Lodge

Formerly The Lodge
South Street

This was a private residence until the 1950s when it took the name of the "Lodge Hotel". To do so, the licences of the "Fox Inn", and the "Bishop Blaise" had to be surrendered.

It was built by the Martin family who owned the Mountsorrel Granite Company. Hence the use of much of this stone in its construction, together with many of the walls and other property within the vicinity. The lodge estate initially comprised a vast area of land including that bounded by South Street,Bridge Street, the canal and Mill Lane. During the Second World War the house, like many others in the village was commandeered for officer's quarters.

A fading memory

In 1945 /46 just before my father was demobbed I remember him taking me to the Lodge I must have been around 7 -8 years old at the time, my father was an army driver and just come home from spending six years in India and Burma. We lived in Syston and during this time his Jeep was parked outside our house, my friends were always asking for a ride but never managed to get one so my trip to the Lodge was something special not sure of the reason but I assume to pickup an officer. I remember sitting in what is now the restaurant the wood wall panelling was much the same as today but the atmosphere was much different it felt very military with uniformed men sitting around. This was my only trip in the Jeep has not long after my father was demobbed. I have been to the Lodge a few times since and sitting in the restaurant brings back those memory's. (John Nurse)

The Hunting Lodge
The Hunting Lodge


The Riverside

The Riverside

Formerly the Boathouse Cafe
Bridge Street

This only became a public house in the 1980s. It started life as a coal wharf following the opening of the canal in 1794. The railway age of the late 1800s saw a rapid decline in boat haulage and the premises became a boat hire centre during the latter part of the 19th century. This photograph shows the newly erected boat house café in 1933. Mr Finson, the owner also had a small workshop where he built and restored rowing boats.

The photograph below was taken in 1911 when the building was decorated for the Coronation of King George V but one of the banners says "God bless the Queen"

Coronation Prize Winner 1911.

The Riverside
The Riverside



Previous menu page: 19. Pastors
Next page: Leicestershire & Rutland Historic Environment Record

Last Updated. 06-January-2021 By admin