Whittington History Society

A History of The Peel Arms

  • 1740 The buildings are thought to be dated from around 1740 because of the size of bricks used, and the angle of the wall adjacent to the canal towpath, the stable/barn may have been reduced in size when the canal was built, (completed about June 1790).
  • 1830 Sale particulars of “a valuable estate” in Whittington, including the Old Hall, a public house and wharf, together with sundry cottages and lands, advertise an auction to be held at the George Hotel in Lichfield on 6th of September.  Lot 7 is described as “A Well-accustomed Public House, Garden and Croft, desirably situate on the Road leading from Whittington to Elford, with Wharf adjoining the Coventry Canal Navigation, sundry Stables, Warehouse, and other outbuildings, lying contiguous thereto, and Pleck of Land, in the occupation of Mr. William Smith, 1 acre, 0 rods, 38 poles”.  The attached plan shows Lot 7 in the position of the current day Peel Farm with additional land on the opposite bank of the canal.
  • 1834 White’s Directory shows that the “Peel’s Arms” next to the junction of the canal and Fisherwick road, crossing over “Peel Bridge”,  was being run by John Hastelow, who was also a wharfinger, goods were probably delivered by barge or road, for distribution.
  • 1841 A William Johnson married Ann Smith on 5th April, and describes his occupation as “Inn Keeper”
  • 1851White’s directory shows that the “Peel Arms”, is now in the hands of William Johnson, who was also described as a Victualler and Wharfinger.
  • 1860 Now Kelly’s directory states that the Peel’s Arms is run by Richard Nevill.
  • 1868 PO directory states that John Boys was running the “Peel Arms” and was also a timber and coal merchant.
  • 1870 Harrod directory of Staffordshire shows John Boys was still running “Peel’s Arms”.
  • 1876 PO directory shows Thomas Nurse (Nourse), “Peel Arms” and coal dealer.
  • 1878 Similar entry to above.

 

1881 In the census of this year:

Thomas Nourse, age 42, head of household, married and was a licensed Victualler, born in Whittington.

His wife Emma,   age 39, born, Harnton, Oxford. Also there on census date were,

Son Frederick,     age 10, born Whittington,

Lizzie Claridge,   age 21, unmarried, barmaid born Chipping Norton,

Annie Milner,      age 18, unmarried, general servant, born Lichfield,

Samuel Hood,      age 17, unmarried, general servant, born Whittington,

Richard Neale,     age 44, unmarried, general servant, born Whittington,

Joseph Hall,         age 31, unmarried, handicapped blind lodger. Pianist / Inn servant, born in Wednesbury.

 

  • Meacham’s Original Lichfield Almanac carried the advert: - T Nourse – Peel’s Arms Inn, Prime Ale, Porter, Wines, Spirits & Cigars, Good Stabling, Horse and Trap  and Closed Carriage for Hire. A separate ad in the same Almanac :- T Nourse, Coal Merchant, Whittington, Lichfield Agent for Cannock Chase & Brownhills Coal Weighing Machine Office, Residence: Peel Arms Inn.
  • 1888 PO directory of Staffordshire, gives a Philip W Capon at the “Peel Arms”.

 

1891 Census shows:

 

  • Selina Capon aged 39 as Inn Keeper, also resident were daughter Ann E M Capon age 4, and son Henry C Capon age 2, There was also a general domestic servant Mary Bates age 13.
  • 1900 John Hughes is now in charge with his wife Ann.

 

1901 Census shows:

John Hughes age 68, head of household widower, born Tamworth.

Alice Stevens,                        age 32, daughter, married.

George Stevens,                     age 35, son in law, married.

Elsie Stevens,                         age 11, granddaughter,

George Stevens (Jun)             age   8, grandson.

 

  • 1912 Kelly’s directory shows that George Stevens has the “Peel Arms” with his wife Alice, who was the daughter of John and Ann Hughes.
  • 1916 Kelly’s directory now shows Alice Stevens, (the first lady to be mentioned,)

        (Was George too ill to run the pub)?

  • 1919 George Stevens died, and was buried on the 19th of April 1919; his last abode was the “Peel Arms”.
  • 1920 On the 15th of December, the previously mentioned John Hughes died; aged 88, his last abode was the “Peel Arms”.
  • 1921 Alice Stevens, the daughter of John Hughes and Ann,
  • 1924 Alice Stevens still lived there with a George Stevens according to electoral roll entries, but he was not her husband. As you can see, George Stevens died in 1919, but he also had a grandson George Stevens aged 8 in 1901 census. There was also a Randolph Swain who had married Elsie Stevens, the daughter of George and Alice Stevens. Alfred Rowney was also residing there at that time.
  • 1928 Alice Stevens is still named in “Kelly’s Directory of Staffordshire”.
  • 1930 Parish Council minutes, refer to the “Peel Arms” weighbridge, which no longer served a useful purpose, and the council agreed to dispose of it.
  • 1931 Alice is by now alone, according to Electoral Rolls. Randolph Swain, and Alice’s daughter, Elsie Annie Swain, lived at “Lewis House”.
  • 1932 A rating document states that Alice Stevens was at “Peel Farm” and so does 1932 Kelly’s directory.
  • 1934 (Bert) probably, Albert Nevill a keen cyclist despite having a wooden leg kept the “Peel Arms”.
  • 1936 Albert Nevill is now in charge of the “Peel Arms” accompanied by Catherine Nevill his wife, according to the Electoral Roll of this year, and also in Kelly’s directory of Staffordshire, it is not known when the pub changed back into “Peel Farm” which still stands today.  In this same year, Alice Stevens, her daughter Elsie Annie Swain and her husband, Randolph Swain were now all living at “Lewis House”, Relatives tell me that Frederick, or Edmund George Deakin? Once ran the pub, Daisy, Roma, and Doug were his children, but no dates are available.
  • 1937 The Peel Arms closes and is de-licenced by Lichfield Brewery Company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An advert in The Lichfield Mercury on Friday October 8th 1937.

 

 

 

Footnotes

Mr Brian Russell remembers that in the early 1940’s his friends George and Vernon Deakin lived there with their parents, Ted and Doll Deakin. Ted and Doll Deakin farmed it. (Their daughter Phyllis married a Baines and had 6 children).

 

In the 1951 electoral Roll “Bridge Farm”, was occupied by:

 

Francis Norman Baines,

Phyllis Baines

Dorothy Emma Deakin

Edmund George Deakin

Bernard Deakin

George Deakin.

 

  • Mr Harry Berks recalled that Mr Stevens kept the Peel arms and the village coal depot. Barges brought coal to the wharf, and villagers would go with a barrow on Saturday mornings to fetch one or two hundredweights of coal as required. The public weighbridge was also there so it would be quite busy.
  • Mrs Dorothy Foote remembered that Mrs Stevens lived with her daughter Mrs Swain, who was a teacher. (See 1936).
  • Mrs Elsie Cooper remembered that she and her husband James, moved here, (and it was called Bridge Farm at the time) in 1965 after they had sold Rock Farm to a private developer (To avoid being compulsorily purchased by Lichfield Council for council housing). There is another “Bridge Farm”, in Whittington (On Burton Road on the left beyond the railway bridge) and to avoid the sort of confusion they had suffered from with regard to there being more than one “Bridge Farm”, they changed the name back to “Peel Farm”.
  • James Cooper died in 1984; Elsie stayed on for a couple of years at “Peel Farm” and then moved to her present bungalow on 25 March 1986.
  • From then on Tony and Jenny Gray have occupied the farm.

 

 

 

 

Compiled by Philip James Wood

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