History Of The Golden Lion Inn, Bridgnorth
The Golden Lion Inn dates back to the 17th century when it was used as a coaching inn. The mounting block for customers to mount their horses is still in existence outside the front of the building. At one time the Golden Lion even had it's own brewery, at the rear, with the stables alongside. The stables were used by both the visiting horse drawn coaches and horses for the old historic racecourse that used to be at nearby Tasley.
The first known licensee was a Mary Hughes and at the time the pub consisted of a number of buildings including cottages, stables and a small brewery. All of this owned by local man Lord Acton. A Joseph Knight and Thomas Jones also took up tenancies in the 19th century before Charles Austin took over in 1840. Charles Austin was rather young to be a landlord at the time being only 30 years old, and he managed the pub with his wife Mary. Trade must have been good as it is recorded that they actually employed three servants! The Golden Lion was recognised as an Inn and this meant that the pub could open for 24 hours a day as long as a bed was available. It was during Charles Austin's tenancy that the 'Golden' was dropped from the name and the pub was simply known as the Lion.
However the pub regained it's 'Golden' name when Martha Andrews took over as landlord in 1866. This was the same year that Lord Acton sold the pub to a local chemist, Richard Smith. A princely sum of £995 was the price which compared to to-day's prices looks and absolute bargain. Richard Smith did not keep the property long, though, and in 1879 he sold it to Frank Marrion who promptly leased it to William Marner. It is reported that the rent was £35 a year.
Again the pub was to change hands as half way through a 10 year agreement Frank Marrion sold the Golden Lion to brewer John George Mackrill, who owned the Shropshire brewery. William Marner was succeeded by John Bullock and in 1912 the brewery William Butler bought the pub.
There was to be no further change in ownership until 1960 when M&B took over William Butler.
A lot of the history surrounding the pub can be seen in a collection of photographs that were taken in 1910 when the landlord was William Henry Ford. He was the landlord between 1904 and 1920.
When Jeffrey Watkins took over as landlord in 1991 M&B had been taken over by Bass and it was from them that Jeff bought the pub in 1992 and returned it to freehold status. Jeff has many years experience in the licensed trade having also run the New Inn in Bridgnorth.
The Golden Lion Inn