The Globe Hotel, a brief history
The Globe Hotel with Oscar Lancellotte’s confectionary and tea rooms to the left, and Smith & Millar’s drapers extreme left
Reproduced from The Inns and Roads of Kenilworth, Rob Steward, Odibourne Press, 2000)
Like many of Kenilworth’s public houses, the origins and early days of The Globe are unclear. In 1811 it was known as The Crown and Horseshoes, and Rob Steward (‘The Inns and Roads of Kenilworth’, Odibourne Press, 2000) provides licence holders back to 1753. Probably in 1845, 22-year-old Samuel Harding became licensee and it was he, by 1854, that renamed the inn The Globe. It was known over the years as The Globe Inn, The Globe Hotel and just plain, The Globe.
In 1878, Harding left for an inn in Warwick, and was replaced by former Earl of Clarendon licensee John Davis, whose son ran The Green Man. Davis was a popular man and was the only working-man to stand for election to the Local Board in 1880. In 1885, improvements were made to the inn’s facilities with the building of a new clubroom and stable block in grounds at the rear.
Between early 1891 and September 1892, the licence was transferred three times and there were suggestions that it should close, and indeed it did for a couple of weeks but the new owners, brewers Beard & Burton, managed to keep it going.
In 1896, a most interesting man had taken over, he was Frederick Kings and in the grounds at the rear he opened what was termed ‘Kenilworth Zoo’ and put on display, free of charge, his collection of birds, porcupines, racoons and other animals. His stay was brief and he became a wild animal dealer.
The pub was a popular place for young men, being the base for a cycling club and Kenilworth Town Football Club, and so it was perhaps no surprise that after the Great War it was where a branch of the National Federation of Discharged & Demobilised Soldiers & Sailors was formed in May 1919. They were soon looking for their own permanent premises, trying to take over the old Institute, but ended up in huts provided for them in School Lane in October 1920, officially opening in January the following year. At some point soon after, this became the British Legion club, but it was short lived, closing and selling off all assets in June 1926.
This photograph of the Globe Hotel in the 1920s is scanned from the Kenilworth Weekly News 7th February 1992
In June the following year, it was again The Globe that was chosen to start The Legion once more. Reports point out that it was ‘entirely new and distinct’ from the School Lane setup and that all ex-servicemen were welcome, perhaps suggesting that at the original club some were not. This new British Legion Club held its meetings at The Globe for some time, and of course continues to this day.
There was a new licensee at The Globe in October 1938, Elish Eggington being the name recorded by the KUDC, but in Janaury 1939 he was removed and it was suggested that an expected rebuilding of the inn was the reason; in July plans to rebuild The Globe were passed by the KUDC. The outbreak of war ended any chance of the rebuild taking place.
I have yet to discover what happened in the intervening months but on 15th October 1940, the KUDC minutes record that James Stanley, of 326 Walsgrave Road in Coventry, had just taken on the licence of The Globe. His stay was of course to last just weeks.
|The floor plan of The Globe. It was a typical pub of the era with a smoke room, snug, out-door and bar, none of which were any great size. The clubroom was above the stabling and garage on the left, and was reached by the external staircase. As close as can be estimated, the stone cairn memorial today sits at the yard garage entrance, close to the boundary wall.
(See also Photograph 3)
Six months after the bombing, on 2nd April 1941, Bass, Ratcliffe & Gretton submitted plans to rebuild The Globe as a temporary single storey building but were turned down. It was to be about 20 years until the KUDC finally had Government approval to rebuild the war-torn town centre and for all that time Bass retained the licence. They initially opposed the compulsory purchase order for the site of their inn, but came to an agreement to release it on condition they could use their licence for new premises elsewhere in Kenilworth. Soon after, two new pubs opened in Kenilworth, The Gauntlet and The Woodcock but I have yet to discover if either used the continuance of the Globe licence. Another pub was planned in Beauchamp Road but this was not built.
From the earliest of plans, the Abbey End rebuilding was to include a hotel, but it is perhaps stretching possibilities a little to suggest that the De Montfort was the replacement for The Globe.