THE GOLDEN LION INN PAST & PRESENT
About Bridgnorth’s 17th Century Coach House & Inn
The Golden Lion Inn is a Traditional 17th century coaching inn situated on the High Street, near to the Northgate in Bridgnorth, Shropshire. The pub reopened on 29th September 2017 after a major refurbishment by new owners Holden’s Brewery.
New pub manager Jon Brown, the youngest Manager of the pub to date, says ‘Holdens Brewery has really pulled out all the stops with the renovations to the Golden Lion and we all can’t wait to see what the customers think about the new changes that have been made. Having previously worked here behind the bar, it’s incredible to be a part of the huge transformation that the Brewery have made’
The Golden Lion offers good quality Black Country ales from Holden’s Brewery and freshly prepared pub meals, sandwiches, cobs, and hot snacks. With FREE Wi-FI and BT Sports, all you need to relax and be social in a traditional English pub. Bed and breakfast accommodation will be available early 2018.
History Of The Golden Lion
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.
In 1901 the owners were Potters & Co. from Wellington and the manager was Wiliam Charles Rusling. It had 6 rooms upstairs, 4 downstairs and stabling for 15 horses.
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 in 1888 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.
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. It remained with Jeff until his passing in 2015 and then continued to trade as a freehouse until it closed in 2016. It was purchased by Holdens Brewery in 2017 and reopened under licensee Jon Brown on 29th September 2017.
The history of The Golden Lion & past photographs kindly supplied by Clive Gwilt.