Pubs & Inns of Retford

Pubs & Inns of Retford

It has been claimed that there were over 50 pubs in Retford in the past and proof of this can be found in James Roffey’s publication “The Book of Retford” (page 98) which lists 57 pubs and Inns in Retford, and in the publication by E L Ableson – “Retford in Times Past” (page 17) which states that in 1896 there were 56 Inn’s and 3 beer houses in Retford. This seems quite excessive for a small Market Town but I shall have to find out what population Retford had in previous times to evaluate this better. Here is a list of the pubs & inns I have collated so far, some of these are still ongoing businesses in Retford today, others have been demolished or converted for other uses:-

NB: Reference’s to RITP = Retford In Times Past.

* I have a series of small articles from one of the local free press showing some of the Retford Pub’s previous Innkeepers/Licensees but not enough room to give all information on this page (at the moment).

~ denotes Public houses still open in Retford today

Bridgegate ~The Galway Arms 1876 Robert Miles Trade Directory 1881 Robert Miles Census                1891 Ellen Miles Census (widow of Robert Miles)    Dec 1891 Marriage Ellen Miles & George Bonington

1895 George Bonington Trade Directory                                              1901 William Edwards Census

The Newcastle Arms RITP Pg16

*List of Innkeepers/Licensees from local paper article in 1987.

Pigots Directory states run by Rt (Robert?) Hardy, situated West Retford

1871 Benjamin Tallents Census        1876 Benjamin Tallents Trade Directory                                                1891 Benjamin Tallents Census                                                                              ( 2017/18 Now turned into Flats.

~The White Hart Hotel

The Herbalist

First License held in 1731, became more prominent when Great North Road changed and meant it ran through the town centre in 1776. Source RITP Pg15

1871 Joseph Dennett Census            1876 Joseph Dennett Trade Directory  1881 Joseph Dennett Census              1891 Arthur Dennett Census                    1895 Arthur Charles Dennett Trade Directory                                                1901 Arthur C Dennett Census

(Dec 2011 Currently boarded up)

Re-opened as The White Hart, this has since changed to be known as The Herbalist.

Chapelgate Crown Hotel


Pigots 1828-9 state run by Matth. Dawber on Lincoln Street

1841 John Howe Census                    1876 Sl. (Samuel) Richardson Smith  Trade Directory                                  1891 Walter Wilson Census             1895 Walter Wilson                          1901 Walter Wilson Census             1925 Fred Kilbourne                        1936 A E Branton

The Litten Tree


Opened 2002 in old premises of Halifax Building Society which were previously The Crown

Renamed Yates, which has since closed, currently empty (2018)

~Ye Olde Sun

1841 William Eyre Census               1861 Thomas Rogers Census                   1876 John Rowson Trade Directory       1881 Census Henry Broadberry  –        Innkeeper & provision dealer

Pigots 1828-9 states run by Wm Eyre on Lincoln Street

Black’s Head

RITP Pg17 – publican George Sugden

Pigots 1828-9 states run by Ann Green on Lincoln Street

1871 James Sharples Census            1876 James Sharples Trade Directory 1895 Henry Brown Trade Directory 1900 Henry Brown Trade Directory

Churchgate ~The Vine

Pigots 1828-9 states run by Thos & Geo Clark on Church Street

1876 Jas Thompson Trade Directory  1891 Tom H Aldridge Census              1895 John & Tom Aldridge Trade Directory

The Ram

Trade directory shows 1876 Edwin James Smeeton

1861 Thomas Watson Census          1881 Census Samuel H Bennett Innkeeper (see Sherwood Rangers)

Portland Arms

1876 Hy Stocks Trade Directory      1881 William Beaumont Census      1900 John Day Trade Directory              1925 Thomas Coulson Trade Directory 1936 Thomas Coulson Trade Directory

Now The Portland Veterinary Practice


Previously known as The Ram Inn

1895 Samuel A Marr Trade Directory  1900 Sarah Kirkby Trade Directory

Changed to Gabrielles, then changed back to The Sherwood Ranger (2018)

Now referred to as Sherwood (2022)

Ordsall Brewery Vaults
 The Comet
 White Lion  Pigots 1828-9 state run by Jno Gabbitass on Church Street
 Market Square  The Half Moon

The Angel

The Broadstone


1876 Wm & Knight Goodliffe  Trade Directory                                              1881 William Goodliff Census         1895 Herbert Grindle Trade Directory

Pigots 1828-9shows run by Sl (Samuel?) Cuckson Market Place

(Dec 2011 Currently closed) Turned into Ten Green Bottles – a coffee lounge.

Demolished 1904 replaced by Henry Spencer’s & Sons. (source: RITP Pg6.)

1876 Jane Gibbison Trade Directory 1881 Robert Park Census

The Broadstone closed and re-opened as Spencers

Carolgate The Marquis of Granby (Also known as The Granby or The Granby Inn.

Pigots 1828-9 shows The Granby run by Mary Barlow on Clumber Street

1861 William Caherall? Census       1876 Wm Webster Trade Directory 1881 Geo Lister Census                     1895 Geo Milner Trade Directory

Butchers Arms

Pigots 1828-9 show run by Jno Shaw on Clumber Street

1861 William Popple Census           1876 Richard Littlewood Trade Directory                                              1895 Fred Bothamley Trade Directory

Brewers Arms

1861 John Whiteman Census           1876 John Liversidge Trade Directory  1881 William Barthorpe Census

Imperial Crown

1861 Robt Colton Census                   1876 Saml Lacey Trade Directory  1881 Joseph Pratt Census                     1895 Samuel McMillan Trade Directory                                              1900 Samuel McMillan Trade Directory

Red Lion Pigots 1828-9 state run by Christopher Nicholson on Clumber Street

1861 Joseph Mottashed Census          1871 Charlotte Mottashed Census

Talbot  1895 James Lakeland Trade Directory   1900 Lizzie Anderson Trade Directory
~White Swan

Pigots 1828-9 state run by Timothy Ogle on Clumber Street

Under “The Swan”                              1861 Benjamin Tallents Census      1876 William Storr Trade Directory 1895 Henry Anderson Trade Directory 1900 William Arrand Trade Directory 1925 John Alvey Beecroft Trade Directory

The Anchor

The Idle Valley Tap

Pigots Directory 1828-9 shows situated on “Clumber Street” run by Rd (Richard?) Johnson

1861 William Chapman Census      1871 Betsy Rose Census                            1876 John Thomas Brown Trade Directory                                                1881 John T Brown Census                1895 Thos Brown Trade Directory 1900 Joseph Crookes Trade Directory 1925 Sam Ashley Trade Directory

Bridge Inn 1871 William Savage Census           1876 William Savage  Trade Directory                                              1900 William Jacklin Trade Directory
The Pheasant Hotel

Pigots 1828-9 states run by Fras Smith on Clumber Street

1861 John Bingham Census             1876 John Wrigglesworth Trade Directory                                              1895 James Hand Trade Directory

Demolished to make way for supermarket.

Horse & Jockey Pigots 1828-9 state run by John Greassey on Clumber St
Grove Street ~ The Turks Head

~ The Dominie Cross

Pigots 1828-9 state run by Ann Clark     1876 Chas Nicholson Trade Directory  1900 William Henry Radcliffe Trade Directory

~The Packet Inn Rebuilt in 1913, source RITP Pg18
Redford Arms
The Royal Oak Pigots 1828-9 states run by John Whatmore on Moorgate

1876 Maria Briggs Trade Directory


Photo in RITP pg18

1876 Wm Shaw Trade Directory

Union Street The Robin Hood 1876 Ann Colbeck (Turks Head Yd Grove St) Trade Directory                1895 Jn Breddy Trade Directory     1900 Jn Breddy (Union St) Trade Directory
St John Street The Fox Inn
Spa Lane Durham Ox 1861 Richard Palmer Census           1876 William Brown Trade Directory
New Street Prince of Wales

1876 Wm Milner Trade Directory  1881 Thomas Littlewood Census    1895 Joseph Hurst Trade Directory 1900 Joseph Hurst Trade Directory

The Globe 1861 Mary Andrews Census            1876 William Anderson Trade Directory                                              1895 John Dawson Trade Directory 1900 Frank Hatton Trade directory
Spital Hill The Mason’s Arms 1895 William Burton Trade Directory 1900 Maria Burton Trade Directory
The Plough
The Sun

Pigots 1828-9 states run by Jane Walker.

1895 William Aldridge Trade Directory                                              1900 Tom & William Aldridge Trade directory                                              1925 James Edward Bedford Trade Directory                                              1936 Ernest Bogg Trade Directory

(Was known as The New Sun) then known as The Revolution Mill (2001, now changed into flats Dec 2011)

Canal Tavern
Albert Road ~The Albert 1895 George Fletcher Trade Directory 1900 George Fletcher Trade Directory 1925 George Hurst Trade Directory
Clinton Arms 1876 Chas Nicholson Trade Directory 1895 James Hopkinson Trade Directory                                              1900 William Charles Pike Trade Directory                                              1925 Harry Callandine Trade Directory

Now a carpet shop

Moulders Arms
Cobwell Road ~The Northern Inn  1895 Louisa Hinitt Trade directory       1900 William Aldridge Trade Directory                                              1936 Chas Wm Fox Trade Directory
London Road Railway Inn

Joiners Arms

Demolished in 1968, replaced by The Joiners Arms.

*List of Innkeepers/licensees from local paper article in 1987

Now a Spar shop (2021) Now replaced by Lidl (2022)

Oddfellows 1895 Charles Hibbert Trade Directory 1900 George Gotts Trade Directory
Nags Head Not mentioned by Roffey but in RITP pg19
~Whitehouses Not mentioned by Roffey but in RITP pg19
 Moorgate  Red Lion  1876 Charlotte Mottashed Trade Directory                                              1895 Mary Credland Trade Directory 1900 William Burnett & Charlotte Mottashed Trade Directory
George 1895 George Launders Trade Directory                                              1900 George Launders Trade Directory
~ The Blackboy 1895 James Cowley Trade Directory 1900 James Cowley Trade Directory 1925 Lilian Betson Trade Directory 1936 Frank Anderson Trade Directory
~Brick & Tile

Pigots 1828-9 ahows run by Rd (Richard?) Cobb.

1895 James Freeman Trade Directory 1900 George Bonnington Trade Directory                                              1925 Hugh McNearnie Trade Directory

Queens Head

1900 George Haughton Trade Directory                                              1925 Robert Hesslewood Trade Directory

Now changed to chinese restaurant (2001)

Black Bull Pigots directory 1828-9 shows run by Geo Ibbetson and situated on Moorgate. (Did this pub change its name?)
Black’s Head Pigots 1828-9 shows run by John Shay
Wharf Road ~Ship Inn

Pigots 1828-9 states run by Thomas Foster on York Street

1876 David Worsley Frecknall Trade Directory                                              1895 David Worsley Frecknall Trade Directory                                              1900 Joseph Freeman Trade Directory

Change of name to The Rum Runner 2000/2001

Change back to The Ship Inn (2018?)


1881 Robert Chadwick Census        1895 John Crossland Trade Directory 1900 John Crossland Trade directory

Hospital Road Boat Inn

Pigots 1828-9 state run by Bilby Dixon at West Town Wharf

Trade directories have …… Thomas Woodcock

 Queens Road  Queens Hotel

1900 Geo Ganer Trade Directory    1925 Walter Lockwood Trade Directory

Building now being used by a computer company (2001)

 Thrumpton  ~New Inn

*List of Innkeepers/Licensees from local paper article in 1987

 1895 John Batty Trade Directory    1900 Frederick Blagg Trade Directory

Was known as Sloanes, then Ma Hubbards (2001) Now known as The Birches? Dec 2011

 Rifleman’s Arms 1895 Wm Ledger Trade Directory  1900 Wm Ledger
 The Square
 West Street  ~The White Lion
 North Road  ~The King & Miller

*List of Innkeepers/Licensees from local paper article in 1987

Not mentioned in Roffey’s list.

 Welham Road  ~The Hop Pole

*List of Innkeepers/Licensees from local paper article in 1987.

1900 Walter Carlidge Trade Directory

Not mentioned in Roffey’s list.

Ordsall ~The Market Hotel

*List of Innkeepers/Licensees from local paper article in 1987

Not mentioned in Roffey’s list.

~The Clumber Inn

*List of Innkeepers/Licensees from local paper article in 1987

Not mentioned in Roffey’s list.

White Horse Pigots 1828-9 state run by Jno Sherratt
Hallcroft ~The Flying Scotsman Now closed and being converted into flats (2022)
West Retford Wagon & Horses Pigots 1828-9 state run by Jas Rayner
Mermaid Pigots 1828-9 state run by Francis C Lamb
not known The Criterion Trade directory 1900 George Lowe 1925 Thomas Jones
Railway Station? 1925 William Greathead
Temperance Hotel 1925 Geo Halford
Osbourne 1895 Walter Kirkby
Barnby Moor White Horse Pigots1828-9 state run by Ann Scott
Clarborough Gate Pigots 1828-9 state run by John Footitt


Off Bridgegate Originally named “The Mayflower” now named ” The Phoenix”  (Now Closed from about 2015)

I have now added some details from some trade directories – mainly Kelly’s and Pigots. Pigots in particular has some different street names from those we know today, some fit in with what we already know. Updated 23rd August 2002.

Updated 05/10/2018