17 Northumberland Place

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 Coeur de Lion - Bath 

Situated in Northumberland Place which leads off the High Street, is Bath's smallest pub The Coeur de Lion, originally known as Marchants Court, it was described by John Wood as "entirely new" in 1749.

A woodcarver called William Batt acquired a license to sell beer around 1860, at number 4 Northumberland Place (across the road from the Coeur de Lion). A few years later, he named his beer house the Avondale Stores and we assume he bought his beer from the Avondale Brewery at Batheaston.

Around 1880 after many changes of licensee the name was changed to the Coeur de Lion a very unusual choice which has baffled many. To the best of our knowledge, it is the only pub named as such in the country, possibly the whole of the UK.

In 1886, Stoffel and Co. grocers owned most of Northumberland Place, and the company decided it made more sense to move the Coeur across the road, to where it is now situated.

Many years later, the Devenish brewery owned the Coeur which now held a full license. However, if they'd had their way, it would be another one of the famous lost pubs. In 1987, on the retirement of licensee Dennis Thomas, and in light of the high prices that property in Bath was fetching, Devenish announced that they were investigating a possible disposal.

However, a new landlord was appointed, and all seemed well under Stephen Shearing, until Devenish announced three years later that the Coeur was to close.

A large petition from the regulars, support from local MP Chris Patten, the Preservation Society, and the Georgian Trust resulted in the council's plans to turn it into a shop being rejected. Described as a gem, Bath's smallest pub is now open all day, good quality pub food (including Steak & Bellringer Pie) is served daily, and the pub features in Camra's Good Beer Guide.

One of the striking features of the Victorian pub, is a stained glass front window, and ironically, Devenish who were thwarted in their attempt to shut the pub- are featured on it. The Coeur is now thriving again, under the ownership of Bath's only brewery, Abbey Ales and still going strong. Devenish's however have ceased to exist.

www.coeur-de-lion.co.uk www.star-inn-bath.co.uk www.theassemblyinn.co.uk


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