1. : Coaching Houses
These formed the Premier League of pubs,
when they were known as Inns.
In later times, often described as Hotels.
Invariably, there was a large marshalling yard
beside or behind the Inn, for the vehicles
and the horses.
We should remember that, in the coaching era,
accommodation and food were more important
than alcoholic refreshment !!.
Coaching Inns had the ground cut from under
their feet in the mid-19th C. - by the railways -
but they have shown remarkable resilience.
A surprisingly high proportion made it well into
the 20th Century. A few, such as
The Bell and
Maid's Head, are still focal-points
for the whole community.
In the earliest extant printed records
(directories) of 1783 and 1802, the authors
only dealt with the comparatively tiny list of
such Inns - which is a very great shame
for the researcher.
In 1783, what we would now call pubs
(see below) were listed, along with shops
and other trades, merely in the form :
"Joe Bloggs, victualler, Anystreet".
Sometimes, for victualler, read innkeeper.
2. : Taverns etc.
Taverns and Ale-houses were older names for
simple pubs : those not keen to get into the
market for accommodating travellers.
It is not clear [to me] when or why
the term 'tavern' fell into disuse.
Later published lists directories
tended to lump
Inns and Taverns together; sometimes under the
omnibus heading : "Hotels, Inns, Taverns etc.".
Beer-houses, specifically Beer Retailers,
form a more esoteric category. Lists of these
appear alongside the lists of taverns, but
usually without any pub-name ("inn-sign");
indicating an inferior status, similar to a shop.
The heyday of (unregulated) beer-houses 
was between 1828 and 1840; although they
(apparently) reached a peak of over 100 around
1859, and some persisted well into the second
half of the 20th Century.
 See the
However, many a famous pub began life as a
mere, anonymous beer-house; and the status of
others seemed, unhelpfully, to vary from one
Directory List to another.
3. : Pretensions
Over a very long period, some run-of-the-mill
pubs (taverns) have tried to enhance their
"image" by styling pubs as "Inns".
Perhaps one spare bedroom, and a sandwich
was considered enough to qualify!.
Unless these "inns" survived until recent times,
it is difficult to validate their claims to having a
higher status than that of a mere "boozer".
Clearly, this is an early example of marketing
techniques; of which we now have far too many.
Another example of 'one-upmanship' relates to
"stores" (para. 4) : where a
General Store, wanted to upgrade by
selling alcohol; but not necessarily in
vastly impressive quantities.
4. : Stores
So our next odd category is the "store"; almost
invariably taking its name from the location (i.e. street-name).
In many cases, e.g.
West Pottergate Stores,
it became indistinguishable from any other pub.
We must presume, however, that the older
premises with this title originally had more of
a bulk-supply function - than just serving
individual pints of ale.
If so, the analogy with modern "off-licences"
would seem even stronger than for beer-houses
(see 2 above). This point is confirmed by the
number of ". . . Wine and Spirits Stores";
there being little doubt that they would sell
bottled beers as well.
However, around the turn of the 20th C.,
the word 'Stores' was sometimes added to
the pub name as a fashion-statement.
Para. 8 below notes the subtle difference
between an individual store and the operations
of merchants - i.e. importers; who may
possess their own retail outlet(s).
5. : Minimalism ?Older readers will be familiar with the way
in which most 20th C. pubs underwent a marked
decline (from the days of "real" inns), regarding
the provision of food; or indeed anything
comestible other than beer or spirits and crisps
(or pickled eggs??).
Roger Cawdron, landlord of the Ribs of Beef,
celebrated 40 years in the trade in 2010.
When he began :-
food in pubs was virtually unheard of and
you were lucky to get a packet of crisps.
It is little wonder that the term 'victualler'
gradually went out of fashion too; at least
among drinkers and the general public !!.
The licensees' professional body was, until quite
recently, the L.V.A. This subject is pursued at
the Trade heading in
Demise : Section D.
The exact opposite of 'minimal' describes
our final category of traditional pubs :
This is where a larger concern, not necessarily
fully open to the public, maximises its income by
"attaching" a smaller premises and using it as
a pseudo-regular public house.
The two possibilities are : A brewery or hotel
The latter is essentially private
- as far as the residents are concerned.
The names are generally "The X Brewery Tap"
or "The X Hotel Tap" or perhaps
At one time the Maid's Head Hotel
two such ancillary outlets !.
6. : Modernism
Allied to the rampant marketing notion of
changing the pub name
is the fashionable creation of "Theme Pubs";
often with an Irish slant.
(Why? - are stouts at last back in fashion??).
The demarcation-lines are being further blurred,
not just by night-clubs, but by specialist bars :
majoring in space-age decor and alcoholic
offerings far removed from common ale
(e.g. Bacardi Breezers and cocktails).
These establishments invariably cater for the
younger and more "trendy" customers.
In this City, most are being set-up
in brand-new buildings.
Older, or smaller, buildings are also being
used as plain "bars" (or 'café-bars' ) : with an
equal emphasis on coffee and other drinks,
plus various types of food.
This is, of course, a throwback to much earlier
times; when coffee-houses and pubs were
regarded as two sides of the same coin.
Sadly, today's cafés usually only have
Real Ale (if any) in bottled form.
 These have been around for ages and are,
of course, still proliferating.
Also see notes re newly-opened premises.
7. : Exclusions
There have to be some limits to this part of the
website; or I might need to use more than one
Internet Service Provider, for a spillover-site !.
Despite recent relaxations in opening hours,
I have excluded all 'genuine'
except those taking over former pub premises.
which are either self-declared
"Temperance" or Private do not qualify as pubs.
Off-licences : now more numerous than ever.
Almost every supermarket/general store is -
in effect - such an outlet. Therefore "offies"
launched in recent times can be excluded.
However, bearing in mind remarks in para. 4,
we may need to refer to any stores which
(over time) transformed themselves into pubs;
and, for completeness, refer to a few which
were likewise "down-graded".
Licensed restaurants are another class of
business currently proliferating. It would be
futile to try to include all past or present ones;
despite (or because of) the fact that most
contemporary pubs seem to have ambitions to
"overlap" into the
But also see notes re newly-opened
Some pubs have long since deserted the
Mere Drinker and gone up-market as plain
Restaurants, or - to use a much older term -
8. : Merchants
The select ranks of Wine & Spirits Merchants,
also mentioned in 4. above, were a perennial
and very important part of the local scene.
Usually they also imported bottled beers
from other parts of the country.
Although their premises might have looked
very different from a standard pub, they often
seemed to cater for drinking on the premises -
in as much as there was an "inn-sign".
The chosen sign was commonly associated
with the trade itself : e.g. The Tunns,
The Grapes or The Vine.
Some well-known firms have had a significant
impact on the Licensed Trade of the City.
Therefore separate lists
have been devoted
to them, including many of the smaller fish.