Carlisle Pubs

  > The number of beer houses, inns, hotels and public houses, per head of population, in bygone days, would seem astonishing nowadays. It should be borne in mind however, that many of these establishments were run as a second business, so that directory entries of the sort "saddler and innkeeper" are not uncommon. The number of inns was drastically reduced in Carlisle during the First World War, when the city's brewing and alcohol selling were brought under state control, in an effort to reduce the incidence of drunkenness and violence among the immigrant workers from the Gretna munitions factories, who would descend on the city with money a-plenty, and a terrific thirst. Unfortunately, many arrived by the last train, just five minutes before the pubs closed for the night, and the stampede for drink can scarcely be imagined.

The Minister responsible for munitions, David LLoyd George (with an admittedly puritanical background) decided upon an "experiment" (an expression also used later in America for the more draconian Prohibition) whereby the production, distribution and sale of alcoholic drinks would be controlled by the state. Almost all of the city's pubs were bought, and many subsequently closed, and those which remained open did so under a strict code of rules. The aim was to encourage moderate drinking in pleasant, clean surroundings, preferably as an accompaniment to meals. One rule, and probably one in which Carlisle was a pioneer, was the introduction of a ban on the sale of beer to under-eighteens; in previous times, beer had been the normal drink for all - an altogether safer drink than water.

The "experiment," usually known as "The State Management Scheme," subsequently conducted in a more relaxed fashion, continued for another 55 years, in which time the people of Carlisle came to be very fond of their "state" beer, and from which the State itself earned a tidy profit. And sufficient money had been re-invested that Carlisle could boast of some architecturally distinctive public houses, many the work of the architect Harry Redfern, one of which was named after him (The Redfern). When the government announced the sell-off of the brewery and pubs, most local drinkers were devastated - they knew that the mass produced beers of other areas, where the beer was "brewed by accountants", bore no comparison with the beers they had grown up with. However, the tide of reform could not be stopped, and the city's pubs were all sold in 19711, and are now largely in the hands of the national brewers. It's sad that an experiment which came to be enjoyed by the inhabitants should be brought to an end against the wishes of the only people it really affected.

In the following tables are listed the pubs, inns, beer houses and breweries from directories dated 1847 and 1901.


Andrew Marvel, 21 Botchergate
Angel Inn & London Tavern, 77 English St.
Barley Stack, 14 Rickergate
Bird In Hand, 4 Castle St.
Black Lion, 2 Irishgate Brow
Black Swan, 57 Castle St.
Blue Bell Inn, 49 Scotch St.
Blue Bell, 36 Rickergate
Bowling Green Inn, Spring Gardens
Bull & Dog, Peascod's Lane
Bush Hotel, English St.
Captain Cook, Scotch St.
Carlisle Cross, 30 Fisher St.
City Arms, St. Cuthbert's Lane
Coach & Horses, 6 Blackfriar's St.
Coachmaker's Arms, 9 Rickergate
Cross Keys, Peascod's Lane
Crown, 11 Henry St.
Crown, 105 Botchergate
Crown & Anchor, Crown & Anchor Yd.
Crown & Mitre Hotel
Cumberland Ranger, Shambles
Dog & Duck, Peascod's Lane
Drover, Bridge End
Duke's Head, Scotch St.
Duke of York, Ferguson's Lane
Duke of Wellington, St. Cuthbert's Ln.
Earl Grey, London Road
Fish, Ferguson's Lane
Fish & Dolphin, St. Cuthbert's Lane
Fox & Grapes, Irish Dam Side
Fox & Hounds, 8 Rickergate
Free Mason's Arms, 7 Annetwell St.
George & Dragon, 18 Rickergate
Gleaner, Old Grapes Lane
Globe Inn, 28 English Street
Globe, Caldew Bridge
Golden Lion, St. Cuthbert's Lane
Grapes, Scotch Street
Green Dragon, 45 Scotch Street
Green Dragon, Newtown
Gray Coat, 66 English St.
Half Moon, 15 fisher Street
Hare & Hounds, St. Cuthbert's Lane
Hare & Hounds, 145 Botchergate
Highland Laddie, 11 Rickergate
Horse & Farrier, Raffles
Horse & Farrier, Bridge-end
Joiners' Arms, Church Street
Joiners' Arms, 53 Scotch Street
Jolly Butcher, 30 Botchergate
Jolly Guardsman, Pack Horse Lane
Jovial Butcher, Botchergate
Jovial Hatters, Caldew Brow
Kings' Arms, 71 English Street
Kings' Head, 19 Fisher Street
Lancer Inn, Gallow Hill
Letters, St. Alban's Row
Light Horseman, Rickergate
Lion & Lamb, Scotch Street
Lord Brougham, 8 Henry Street
Lowther's Arms, Head's Lane
Malt Shovel, 40 Rickergate
Mason's Arms, 26 Blackfriar's Street
Mason's Arms, Junction Street
Minerva, Shaddongate
Moulders' Arms, 150 Botchergate
New Inn, Backhouse Walk
Odd Fellows' Arms, 8 Irishgate Brow
Odd Fellows' Arms, 26 Fisher Street
Old Anchor, 18 Bridge Street
Old Black Bull, 16 Annetwell Street
Old Bush, 31 Scotch Street
Old Queen's Head, Caldewgate
Old Queen's Head, 4 St. Alban's Row
Old SHip, Irishgate Brow
Ordnance Arms, Finkle Street
Pack Horse, New Town
Pack Horse, Water Street
Pine Apple, 43 English Street
Plume of Feathers, Scotch Street
Quarter of Mutton, Brown's Lane
Queen's Head, Bridge Street
Railway Hotel, London Road
Red Lion, 7 Botchergate
Rose & Castle, 1 Finkle Street
Rose & Crown, Lowthian Lane
Royal Hotel, 19 English Street~
Royal Oak, 27 Bridge Street
Sailor, Caldcoats
Saddle, Bridge Lane
Saracen's Head, 13 Annetwell Street
Scotch Arms, 30 Rickergate
Shakespeare Tavern, St. Cuth. Lane
Ship, 2 Rickergate
Spread Eagle, 84 English Street
Sportsman, 35 Bridge Street
String of Horses, 51 English Street
Sun, 2 Bridge Street
Three Cannons, 12 Scotch Street
Three Crowns, 36 English Street
Three Horse Shoes, 148 Botchergate
Turf Hotel, The Swifts
Victoria Steamer, Irishgate Brow
Waggon & Horses, 157 Botchergate
Waggon & Horses, Caldew Bridge
Weavers' Arms, Shaddongate
Wellington Inn, 37 English Street
Wheat Sheaf, 24 Rickergate
White Hart, 18 English Street
White Horse, 44 English Street
White Lion, 16 English Street
White Swan, 55 English Street
William James, Bridge Lane
Wool Pack, 70 English Street

In addition, there were (un-named) beer houses in Annetwell Street (4), Botchergate (3), Caldcoates(2), Corporation Road, Damside, East Tower Street (2), John Street, King Street (2), London Road, Rickergate, Shaddongate, Water Street, and West Walls.

The breweries were

Hodgson, Sir Rd. & Co., Old Brewery, Caldew Bridge
Iredale, Joseph, 2 Water Street,
"New Brewery Co.", Denton Holme
Peattie & Hendrie, West Walls Brewery





1. More accurately, the decision to sell was taken in 1971, with the actual sale in 1973. Thanks to M. Eden Irving for the correction.


19 June 2015

Steve Bulman