FBJoin the Exeter Memories Group Page

Exeter Pub List    

Last update 19th March 2014  

Page 1 -  A to D       Page 2 - E to L      Page 3 -  M to R      Page 4 - S to Z

Pub - Hotel Name previous names

Street and area

Evidence of existence, notes and date closed

Eagle House
Le Egle Inn

High Street, opposite the Guildhall

First recorded in a will of 1420, a grant of 1432, and lease records between 1481 and 1527. It was formerly the town house of the Wilford family. Between 1472 and 1555, the Eagle was the home of the Cloth Market in the city. Fate unknown. The Eagle is a heraldic device.

Eagle Tavern

Howell Road

See Eagle Tavern for a full history.

Early Bird

Pancras Lane (Guildhall Centre)

Existed mid 18th Century. Dymond speculates that it was popular with artizans on their way to work in the early morning. Fate unknown.

Elephant and Castle Inn

Summerland Street

First listed in 1878 1942 - blitzed. Elephant and Castle is the sign of the Cutler's Company.

Elephant Inn

North Street

 See Elephant Inn for a full history.

Era Hotel
King's Arms

Sidwell Street

site of the acorn innSituated close to the present day Force and Sons. Previously known as the Kings Arms (see entry lower down). From 1889 it was listed as the Era Hotel with Robert Williamson the landlord. The last landlord, Archibal Oliver saw the hotel close in 1918. From 1919 it as listed as Freeth's Toffee.

Jo Jo's

Fore Street

ZephyrPlanning permission first sought in 1998 according to the Express & Echo. Opened with the name Jo Jo's in the old Pine Shop and Electrosure premises. In 2009, it was announced by the owner, Ali Anvari, that it was to open as a lap dancing club with up to 10 girls providing entertainment — including private naked shows on the top floor. There were many protests that this historic building inan area that has a surfeit of bars and clubs should be given consent. The City Council could not turn the proposal down on the basis of taste, and consent was given.

Exeter Hotel

Sidwell Street

Only listing 1894/5. It was listed as a greengrocer in 1878, and in 1897 a builder.

Exeter Inn

High Street, Topsham

Exeter InnFirst listed in 1897, it was last listed in Kelly's in 1972. It has the only thatched roof still surviving in Topsham. Photographs from before the First World War show the inn with a plain name board - the modern inn sign has a picture of HMS Exeter. Two early landlords were Pring and Turner.

Exeter Motel


First listed in 1967 and still trading.

Exeter Tavern


Its only listing was in 1844. There is a 'to let' advert in the Flying Post during 1781 for an Exeter Inn - this maybe the same establishment.

Exmouth Arms

Coombe Street - aka Rock's Lane

Mentioned in the Flying Post in 1824, it was listed in 1830 existed. It was listed in the City Brewery inventory of 1833 with Richard Gould in residence and a 1000 year lease.

Exmouth Inn

Holloway Street

Recorded in Trewman's Exeter Flying Post during 1844. This is the only known reference.

Exmouth ph

South Street

Origin unknown - the only evidence of its existence is a reference in 1909 to the inn by J P Rippon, the son of the City Herald as recorded by A E Richardson.

Exonia Vaults

8 South Street

First listed in 1878 at 8 South with James Dunsford as the victualler. It replaced theCollege Kitchen/Bear Inn at 9 South Street, which had been demolished in 1871. Managed by Mrs Dunsford who left when she married  William Hexter of the Mint. The house was threatened with closure in 1923. The newspaper reported the case thus:

"Messrs Starkey, Knight and Ford of Tiverton are the owners of the Exonia Vaults, South Street, formerly known as the Bear Inn, and one of the oldest in Exeter.
The police stated that it was a good house, well conducted by Mr Laskey the landlord. Within a radius of three hundred yards there were 32 fully-licenced houses, but the licencee said the house was frequented by working classes, and in six months his takings were £1,203 gross. Some “toffs” however went there.
Chairman: “What are “toffs”?
“Well a bit swanky, sir. There is one on the Bench” (Laughter)
Edward Crease, manager for the owners, said his firm originally had seven houses in Exeter, but three had been taken away. The Exonia was, perhaps, their best house, and they took pride in it.
Lee Wright, surveyor, said the house ought not to be closed. It was in good order, well constructed, and had a good tenant.
Subsequently Mr McGahey remarked: “I don’t know what weigh with magistrates.”
The Chairman: “I don’t think that anybody does.” (Laughter)
The licence was renewed.

Lost in the 1942 blitzed.

Falcon Inn

Lower North Street - adjoining North Gate

There are deeds dating from 1752 for the Falcon Inn and another reference to it in 1756 (ref AER). It was listed in a directory in 1796. Jenkins, in his 1805 History of Exeter stated that the Falcon stood "near the scite of the ancient North Gate" where there was a cold bath, supplied by a fine spring thatissued "from under  the City walls". The Falcon was mentioned in the plans proposed by the Improvement Commission for the new Iron Bridge in 1834. The last listing I have traced is for 1851 when the landlord was one Thomas Dare. It was situated at what is now 11 Lower North Street. The Falcon is a sign of the House of York.

Fat Pig
Coachmakers' Arms

Smythen Street

John Street

See Coachmakers' Arms for a history.

Farmers Union
Fermat's Number
It's a Scream
Osborne Hotel
Osborne Commercial Hotel

St Davids Hill

Osborne HotelA postcard of the opening of the electric tram in 1905, shows the Osborne Commercial Hotel in the background. After the Second War it was used as offices for the Ministry of Agriculture for a time. Before the change in licensing laws of the 1980s it had become the "Farmers Club" with the main part of the building used as offices for the National Farmers Union. The Club kept going because by a quirk of the licensing law they did not open until 2.30p.m. Along with the R A O B club in Cowick Street it was the only place you could lawfully drink in the afternoon.

After being empty for several years, it was opened as O'Neills by Barry McGuigan, the boxer in September 1996. In 1998, the same brewery renamed and refurbished it as a student Its a Scream bar. The current name is Farmers Union. 

The Ferry


No history at present known.

Fireman's Arms
Duke of Clarence

Preston Street - West Street corner

An advert in September 1828 for the Duke of Clarence appeared in the Flying Post with Mr Cross in occupation. In 1850 an inquest mentioned a former landlord named Samuel Hexter. It was renamed Firemans' Arms and Frank Shooter, the hero of the Exe was landlord for a time. See Frank Shooter for more.

First & Last
Falmouth Inn

Cowick Street

First and LastFirst listed in 1822, it was rebuilt in 1913 as the Falmouth Inn. It was late in the 20th century that it was named the First and Last. There were plans to demolish it, in 1993, for a new roundabout - still trading. The terminus of the tram line was here, hence the First and Last pub on the line. Opposite was the site of the turnpike gate which was removed in 1884.

Five Sealers


Apart from its existance, nothing else known at present.

Fizgig & Firkin

Lower North Street

Originally St Annes brewery - it has had a variable history in the last few years and is now trading as Starz.


Goldsmith's Lane

A reference dated 1756 has been recorded by A E Richardson, fate unknown.


North Gate

Apart from its existence, nothing is known about this establishment.

Fleur de Luce
Old Flower de Luce 1756

Guinea Street

1756 "by which is a passage into the butcherow" Sherborne paper. In 1791 Robert Wreford purchased the inn from Sophia de Vial - her name may reflect the French name of the inn. A fleur de luce is a perennial herb. The inn may have also been known as the Golden Lion (see entry) and Staggs.

Flying Horse
Country House Inn

Dryden Road

Flying HorseFirst listed in 1878, listed in 1911 in the Norman & Pring inventory, enlarged 1936 when two cottages incorporated into original house. Up until the 1930's, when the Burnthouse Lane Estate was built, it was a sleepy, country pub. It was named the Flying Horse in 1963. The Flying Horse was originally an animal associated with the Knights Templar.

Follett's Arms Tavern

St Davids Hill

A case came up at the court regarding the passing of a counterfeit coint at the Follett Arms, in St David's parish October 1836. Only listing in a directory was 1844. There are no other mentions of the establishment.

Foresters' Arms

Red Cow Village

The only mention in the Flying Post was in May 1893 when the six bedroomed, beer house known as 'The Foresters' Arms' Red Cow Village was auctioned. Included in the sale was an adjoining cottage which had a side entrance and right-of-way leading to the yard of the Red Cow Inn. The property also had a frontage of 47ft on the main road. From the description, this would place the beer house in the same row as the Red Cow. Listed in 1894/5, and again in 1906 as a refreshment house run by Mrs Bessie Delaney. It could possibly be the modern cycle shop CycVibes.

Foresters' Arms
nicknamed the Drum and Monkey

Sidwell Street

The freehold beerhouse and premises known as the Foresters' Arms Inn, in the occupation of Mr T Edmunds, was for sale in September 1874. It was first listed as a beerhouse in 1878, listed again in 1911 with William West and 1918 with W H Lee after a succession of landlords through the war years. It was listed in 1919 without a landlords name. It took its name from Forester's Court, to which it was adjacent. Situated at number 78, close to where the present Odeon Cinema is located. It was the headquarters for St Sidwells United who went on to form Exeter City.

Foresters' Arms

Commercial Road

First listed in a directory in 1822. Mr Wyatt, the landlord was granted a spirits licence in 1865. The next year, the property was up for sale along with two workshops, a warehouse and five tenements in Commercial Road. In 1873, the licence was transferred from James Wyatt to Robert Baker. In January 1879, the brewhouse caught fire, which spread along the roof of the attached skittle alley and set alight the tenements of Ware's Buildings and Odger's Row, on each side. Many residents escaped in their night clothes into the bitterly cold, January night. Fifteen tenements, belonging to Mr G Sercombe a seed merchant, were badly damaged in the blaze. A committee was formed to help the destitute families, as they had also lost all their possessions. 

In October 1879, Robert Carlisle from St Austell, attempted to wheel a barrow, on foot, from Land's End to John O'Groats. When he arrived in Exeter, he was escorted to Baker's Forester's Arms where he stayed the night. He resumed his journey at 7am. The last listing in a directory was in 1912. The site became the entrance to the Commercial Road Pleasure Ground.

Fortune of War

Old Exe Bridge

In December 1775, the Flying Post reported that nine vagrant lodgers died in a fire which may have been caused by their manufacturing matches made of 15 cm lengths of deal - they would dip the points into a pot of melted brimstone over a fire. The brimstone boiled over and caught aflame on the fire causing the disaster. The vagrants would lodge at the Fortune of War for a penny a night; it is thought that most were suffocated by the fumes, but two managed to reach the roof, before it collapsed in flames. The newspaper reported that nine bodies had been found, but it was feared more were still missing.

Fuller's Arms

Coombe Street aka Rock's Lane and Roch's Lane

First listed in a directory of 1816. The only mention in the Flying Post was in August 1819, when an inquest was held on the body of a sailor named Joseph Seely of the William and Mary from London. He fell from a plank on the vessel into the quay and drowned, while drunk. This house was last listed in 1830.

John Gandy
Vines 2001

Gandy Street

John GandyOrigin is unknown. According to the Express and Echo it was sold in 1983 and again 1985. Its predecessor, Vines gained a reputation as a music venue in the city. Still trading as a wine bar.

Gardeners' Arms

Coronation Road South Wonford

This public house was offered for sale in April 1860, along with Prince's Terrace, Church Street., and 2 acres of Garden. In 18658, the Gardener's Arms was the venue for a sale of grass, a heap of dung, material for a cowshed and two cows. The Exeter Working Men's Conservative Union held their annual supper at Newberry's Gardeners Arms, during February 1872. The NCO's of the Exeter Rifles used the inn for dinner, after a shooting match in 1875. First listed in a directory in 1878. John Bradford was the landlord in 1880 and the last mention during the 19th-Century was for an inquest into the death of a 15 day old child in 1894. Closed in 1998, and demolished in 2000 for housing.

General Buller

Cowick Street

See Longbrooke on this page, below.

George Inn

North Street

Mentioned in a 1578 deed, also mentioned in 1759 ref AER, and first listed in 1796. Last listed in 1844. However, the Besley map of 1850 shows the George Inn, and the building is still marked on the 1881 OS map. According to Peter Thomas, the Gaumont Cinema occupies the site of the inn and the yard, and some early maps confirm this. Rocques map of 1744 places the George Inn on the site of Tiger Bill's, North Street.

George and Vulture Tavern


Mention June 19 1851 Flying Post, ref AER, fate unknown.

George's Meeting House

South Street

See George's Meeting House for a full history.

Gifford's Hotel
Adelphi Hotel from 1896

High Street

In 1878, Samuel Lemon Gifford ran a confectioners shop and boarding house at 235 High Street. Gifford became the manager of the newly rebuilt Theatre Royal for a short time after 1887. In 1890 he was running Gifford's Hotel at 253 High Street, on the Corner of Castle Street. Again listed in 1894/5 Samuel Gifford died in January 1896, and in May 1896 Mr Clements, the new owner sold the equipment so that he could open a "dining and grill room on the most improved principle" when it became the Adelphi Hotel. In 1898 at a sale of the freehold it was withdrawn at £5,450. Curiously in April 1899, the auctioneers claimed against Clements for non payment of the auction charges, while Clements counter claimed, stating that the hotel was not sold because the auctioneer, Arthur Thompson, was intoxicated and the "auction became a farce and abortive".

Globe Alehouse

Smith Street

Mentioned in a 1781 Flying Post, ref AER, fate unknown.

Globe Hotel


See Globe, Topsham for a full history.

Globe Hotel

Cathedral Yard

See Globe Hotel for a full history.

Globe Inn

Clifton Road

See Globe, Newtown for a full history.

Golden Ball Tavern
New Golden Ball Tavern

Mary Arches Street

First listed in 1816. Listed as New Golden Ball in 1850, last listed in 1897 - sold at auction 1909. The name is associated with silk merchants. See Butlers.

Golden Eagle /Tavern
All Hallows New Inn

Bartholomew Street

A deed of 1851 refers to this inn as formerly the All Hallows New Inn. First listed as the Golden Eagle in 1844. In 1871 the licence transferred from William Strong to Michael Thorns. The owner of the inn must have wanted to close his business, for in August 1904 he offered the Council the inn for the sum of £400, for road widening. They refused the offer and in September 1904, he again offred the inn, this time for £350 - they again refused, on the basis that they did not require the whole of the premises. The matter didn't end there, for in May 1906, the Council Minutes note that the inn had been purchased for the sum of £380.

Golden Fleece Tavern

Smythen Street

A fire broke out in the cellar of the Golden Fleece on 3 November 1826. The landlord, Mr Thomas Hart and his family along with Mr Heard and his wife escaped, but the premises were destroyed, despite the efforts of the military and fire engines. It was first listed in a directory in 1828 and an early landlord was Thomas Hart. A case of theft was linked to the Golden Fleece in 1863, followed by a number of other cases involving the Golden Fleece over the next few years. In February 1870, the house was for let, and in May, the licence transferred from Thomas Taverner to Francis Tucker. Name derived from woollen drapers.

Golden Lion
aka New Golden Lion
Country House Inn 1833

Clifton Road

See Golden Lion for a history.

Golden Lion

Guinea Street

This may have been the Fleur de Luce in the late 18th century. Destroyed by fire in the May 1942 blitz.

Golden Lion

Magdalen Street

Origin unknown, fate unknown.

Grapes Inn

South Street

Dymond claims William Langham became landlord from the Mitre in 1721 - The City Brewery purchased it in June 1879 for £1,250. It was lost in the 1942 blitz. Compensation was paid of £2,755 in 1951 and the site sold to ECC for £700 in 1955. The licence was transferred to the Chevalier, now the Hogs Head in 1955.

Great Western Hotel 1923
Railway /Hotel 1848

Red Cow
St David's Station

See Great Western Hotel for a full history.

Green Dragon
Dragon 1728

High Street/Bedford Street corner (then Bedford Lane) opposite Half Moon, "just above the New"

Known as the Dragon in the 17th century, it appeared in a Brice's Weekly, August 1728 advert, and was marked on a 1734 map by Rocque. The building was demolished in 1878, although it had closed years before. The sign of the Green Dragon is associated with the Earls of Pembroke.

Green Gables
King's Arms

Buddle Lane

See Green Gables for a history.

Greyhound Inn

Paris Street

Situated next to the Bude Hotel, the inn had good stabling in the 19th century and a brewhouse. In 1898, £120 was paid for brewing plant by the City Brewery. First listed in 1850, its freehold was purchased by the City Brewery for £2,700 in 1898. It was lost in 1942 in the blitz. £5,365 war compensation was paid in 1950 and the site sold to ECC for £2,400 in 1955. The licence was transferred to the new Greyhound Hotel in Sidwell Street in 1958. A Greyhound is a traditional heraldic device associated with the Tudors.

Grocers' Arms


Token from 1659, Richard Freke and 1663, John Maber, fate unknown.

Haberdashers' Arms


Token from 1663, John Pearce, fate unknown.

Half Moon Hotel

High Street/Bedford Street

See Half Moon Hotel for a full history.

Half Moon Inn


No 22 High Street , was recorded as the Half Moon Inn in 1787. In 1830, according to Pigots, Robert Drake was in residece. It became the Sun Inn circa 1850.

Half Moon ph

Waterbeer Street - possibly corner of North Street

Mentioned in North Street 1791 ref AER - only listing 1850. The landlady Mrs Stocker was fined £5 in December 1851 for keeping a disorderly house. In June 1853, it was for let with immediate possession.

Half Moon Tap
part of Half Moon High Street

Catherine Street

A standing only bar at the back of the Half Moon. Only listing 1889 listed 1897 - demolished in 1912 to be replaced by Lloyds Bank and Dellers Cafe.

Half-Way House

Tiverton Road Crediton Road

First listed in 1850 listed 1856. I'm not able to place this establishmenty.

Tiger Bills
Golden Hart 1973
Porter Black
Hexter's Vaults - Long Bar

See George Inn above.

North Street

Porter BlackThe premises are listed as Richard Henry Dawson and Co, wine merchants in 1878. First listed in a directory of 1923, and last listed in 1972 as Hexter's Vaults, this establishment has been through many changes and has just reopened after a period of closure, as Tiger Bills, a bar and a wok grill. During the 1920's and 30s it was frequented by the workers from the Garton and King foundry in Waterbeer Street. 

In the 1960s it was run by Harold Garnsworthy whose family also ran the Globe, Newtown and the Prince Albert Cowick Street. The bar on the first floor was known as Bar Acuda and gained a reputation as the centre of the red light district. It had a six day licence and was closed on Sundays. Harold Garnsworthy resisted the move to keg beer and continued to serve from a traditional beer engine. He employed a bar woman known as Mata Hari who wore a floor length black apron and collected glasses by pushing through the crowd with a couple of metal milk bottle crates. They stopped serving at 10.15pm and started hosing down the floor at 10.30 - an altogether colourful bar, in the heart of the city.  See Lady in Red for a memory of the Long Bar.

Heart of Oak

Main Road Pinhoe

Heart of OakThis pub was originally a coaching house. It was first listed in a trade directory in 1889. The property, along with a meadow, was sold in June 1892 for the sum of £600. It was described as a 'Good Roadside Public House with Stabling, Outhouses, Garden and 3 Cottages.'  In 1986 the Sun offered the lease of the pub as a prize in a competition. It was renamed, A Place in the Sun and careful publicity shots made it seem like a quiet, rose covered pub, hiding the busy road out front. Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins, Eric Bristow the darts player, and several page 3 girls including Linda Lusardi visited to generate even more publicity. A rival newspaper endeavoured to put the record straight by referring to a paint peeling local. The lucky winner turned down the lease and opted for a cash prize.



The name given to a dark and dingy drinking room in the Northgate, ref AER, fate unknown.

Henry's Bar 1997
Mount Pleasant Inn

Blackboy Road

Henry's BarFirst listed in a directory in 1851. William Coles, the landlord in September 1859, gave evidence regarding the ill treatment of a horse. Coles was declared bankrupt in 1866. Joseph Baker was the landlord in 1885. It was refurbished and renamed in 1997.

Hog's Head
Winston's/Humphrey B's
Chevalier Inn 1929
Fountain Tavern 1765

Fore Street

See Chevalier Inn for a full history.

Hole in the Wall

John Street

Mentioned in an 1816 Flying Post as 'Hole-in-the-Wall, St John's-street, West-quarter'. Existed early 19th C, fate unknown. Hole in the Wall derives from a small retreat - it can also derive from a literal hole in the wall for serving drinks..

Hole in the Wall

Little Castle Street

Hole in the WallAldo Berni ran Berni's Cafe's at 7 High Street and at Plymouth in 1939. After the war, Frank and Aldo Berni ran the Berni Restaurant at 98 Fore Street which had become the Silver Grill by 1956. Meanwhile, in 1955, the brothers moved to Bristol and opened the Rummer Inn as the nation's first Berni Inn. They opened the Hole in the Wall as a Berni Inn sometime around 1964, that being the first year that the business appears in a directory. The building had several tenants before it opened as the Hole in the Wall, including chartered accountants and insurance brokers. It is a Duchy of Cornwall property.

Hole in the Wall

Rock Lane

The Post-master or Loyal Mercury in 1723 was stated as dwelling house on the corner by James Meeting House.

Honest John

Lower Shapter Street, Topsham

No 29, Lower Shapter Street is thought to have once been the Honest John Inn. There is evidence that the Drill Hall off Lower Shapter Street may have been a brew and malt house for the Honest John, circa 1826.

Honiton Inn/Tavern

Paris Street

See Honiton Inn for  history.

Horse and Dray 1989
George and Dragon
The Temeraire

Blackboy Road

See Horse and Dray for a history.

Heavitree 2006
Horse and Groom
Horse and Jockey1825
Buffalo's Head 1742

Fore Street, Heavitree

See The Heavitree for a history

Horse and Groom

Salutary Mount, Heavitree

Only listing 1850, fate unknown.

Horse and Groom

St Sidwell Street

Only listing 1816, fate unknown - probably King Billy's in Longbrook Street.

Hour Glass Inn

Melbourne Street

See Hour Glass for a history.

Hub - 2006
Three Fat Fish
The Exchange
London Ale House
David's Ale House 1744

Mary Arches Street / Bartholomew St

See Mama Stone's for a history 

Imperial Hotel

New North Road

See Imperial for a history.

Ironmongers' Arms


Evidence for its existence comes from a token from 1657, enscribed on the reverse Thos. Gloyne and 1659, Edward Hickman.

The Ivy

North Street

The IvyThis bar restaurant existed in 2001 next to Garton and King. It is now a bistro named the Conservatory. No other history is known. Photo by Sean Creech

Joan Goldsmyth tavern


Circa 1377, innkeeper accused of running a brothel, fate unknown. Found in city records.

John Bull Tavern

Exwick (Exweeke)

William Wood is listed in the census at the John Bull in 1841. Its only listing is in the 1844 Pigot's, with John Alfred Cullum as the landlord. The census record suggest it was on the Foxhayes side of the village. 

John Piers Tavern


Circa 1377, was also a wine importer, fate unknown. Found in the city records.

John Splot Hosteler


Circa 1377, innkeeper was also a cordwainer, alderman and leather worker, fate unknown. Found in the city records.

Jolly Porter 1957
George's Drink and Food Factory 1988
The Elmfield Hotel 1870

St Davids Hill

See Jolly Porter for a history.

Jolly Sailor / Tavern

Quay Hill - on city wall

Probably built 1750, listed 1830 listed 1878 - license lapsed. It was located immediately behind the Custom House, wedged against Quay Hill.

Branch Office
Judge Jefferies
Branch Office
Acorn Inn

Magdalen Street, carpark

Judge JefferiesThis pub, as the Acorn Inn, dates from May 1966 when it was built in the carpark in the middle of the road junction at the bottom of South Street, Western Way. See the Acorn Inn for details of its predecessor. This Acorn was nicknamed the Gaycorn during the 1980's. It has gone through three name changes to Tiggas (2008) becoming a venue for many gigs - an ideal pub in the middle of a roundabout - that no doubt pleased the locals worried about the noise. By 2009, Tiggas closed. In December 2009, arsonists set the empty building on fire, and, according to the fire service, left 'booby-traps' to hinder dousing the flames. Squatters had moved into the building in late November, and evidence of their presence was found in the building. In January 2010, the building appears to have been repaired and was up for let.

King Alfred Inn

150 Fore Street

This inn was mentioned by James Cossins as existing circa 1827, when he placed it on the corner of Friernhay Street. The earliest advert was in July 1842 when a sale was held of the publicans stock of beer, spirits, store casks, copper boiler, brewing utensils four-pull beer engine etc. The inn was listed in an 1844 street directory.

In celebration of the wedding of the Prince of Wales, in March 1863, businesses lining the High Street and Fore Street put up decorations and lighting including the King Alfred Inn, which hung Chinese lanterns. There was a case of a stolen umbrella, in August 1863, at the inn. Ellen O'Donougue and Mary Sanders were each found guilty of taking it and were sentenced to one months hard labour.  It is not known when the inn closed and the premises became a wine, spirit and ale house, but in December 1893 a notice appeared for the business which stated it was formerly the King Alfred Tavern.

King Billy 2006
Strikers 1997
Threepenny Bit
Horse & Groom

Longbrook Street

King BillyDates from 1740. It was rebuilt and opened June 1967. Listed in the 1972 Kelly's as the Coach & Horses although by 1976 it was named the Dunkirk, when it was a popular meeting place for the ABC Cinema. When named the Threepenny Bit, it was sold in 1997, still trading as King Billy. The corner of Longbrook Street was removed when Debenhams was buyilt and the pub rebuilt, making it the first building on the right - previously it was the 12th down the terrace from Sidwell Street. Now demolished (2023).

King John's Tavern

South Street, in the serge market opposite Little Stile

See King John's Tavern for a history.

King William

West Quarter

First listed in 1844, last listed in 1856, fate unknown.

King William

Paul Street

Only listing 1850, last listed in 1856, fate unknown.

King's Arms P.H./Tavern

West Street

First listed in 1822, last listed in 1823, closed 1936 ref GP. Named after the Royal coat of arms.

King's Arms Tavern

Sidwell Street

Era HotelIt was recorded in 1772 tht the King's Arms had "stabling for 100 horses" ref AER - first listed in 1816 with J Owen in charge. Major Bond was landlord in 1839, according to Robson's Deirectory of Devon. It is thought that the Kings Arms was the last inn in Exeter to stage a play in its back yard by a travelling troupe of players. It also had at its entrance, the last mounting block in Exeter, for folk to mount their packhorses, after a drinking session. John Martin in 1859 was the landlord to see it closed. The premises became the Era Hotel in 1889 - see the separate entry above.

King's Arms Tavern

Coombe Street

First listed in 1844, last listed in 1897, fate unknown. George Lee was the Innkeeper between 2 Apr 1871 and his death in 6 May 1878. William Henry Westcott ran the Kings Arms Inn, Coombe Street, in 1901.

King's Head Tavern

Sidwell Street

First listed in 1816.The freehold was purchased by the City Brewery in 1909 for £1,400. Lost in the blitz. The sum of £3,117 was paid in 1951 for war damage and in 1957, the site was sold to ECC for £1,600. The names Pope's Head and Abbot's Head were popular for inns up to the Reformation. Landlords quickly changed the name to King's Head so as not to incur the wrath of Henry VIII.

King's Head

Fore Street

Mentioned 1755 ref Western Flying Post, fate unknown.

King's Head

Spillers Lane

Unknown origin, fate unknown.

King's Head

Shapter Street, Topsham

Kings Head, TopshamFirst listed in the 1830 edition of Pigot's Directory with John Please in residence. The present pub is next to Shapter House which some speculate was the original inn. The present premises contain Dutch bricks and were modernised in the 1930s. In former times it was a favoured drinking hole for the many shipwrights of Topsham. The photo by Alan H Mazonowicz was taken in the 1960s.

The King's
King's Arms Hotel

Cowick Street

See The Kings for a history.

Knave of Clubs

Larkbear, on the Waterside

Knave of ClubsThere was an advert in Brice's Weekly for a large, "new built brick house by the water side", on 11 February 1725, close by to where the Sutbrook (Southbrook) flowed into the river, on the bottom left corner of Colleton Hill. It was marked on Rocque's map of 1744. 

The grandfather of Robert Dymond, the 19th-Century Exeter historian lived in the house, possibly after it ceased as an inn. Demolished in the mid 19th Century when Larkbear House was built by Charles Bowring, and incorporated into the garden. The print shows the house in the centre with Colleton Hill between the two buildings - a line drawn between the north tower of the Cathedral and King's Sluice lines up precisely on the site of the Knave of Clubs in the print.

Labour in Vain aka
Brewers Arms

First Back Lane aka
Preston Street

In August 1845 the Brewers Arms (aka Labour in Vain) had Loveys William as landlord. Mentioned in the Flying Post in 1846 according to A E Richardson the last editor. Lawton, the landlord was summoned by Mr Fildew a bookseller for the nuisance of drunkenness and prostitution. Lawton was fined 20 s and 17s 6d expenses.

In November 1849 a case involving the house was reported as "The Labour in Vain Beer House Once More." The report went on "This beer house has become celebrated in police annals." It was kept at the time by Joshua Lawton who defended it against alleged fighting and prostitution. He was found guilty, fined £10 and he forfeited his licence. One known derivation of this name is displayed on the sign - it shows a black-boy being washed to make him white - they weren't so politically correct in former times.

It would appear that the house was also known as the Brewers Arms for in October 1849. Lawton was mentioned as the keeper of the Brewer's Arms who had been imprisoned for keeping a disorderly house. His wife was prosecuted for attempting to smuggle tobacco into the prison, for which she was sent to prison for fourteen days.


Clifton Road

Only listing 1923, it is probable that this is a reference to the Globe Inn, Newtown. Harry Lamacraft is one of a long line of Lamacrafts who ran pubs across the city in the 19th century. Harry Lamacraft ran the Globe Inn, Newtown from 1889 to 1919 before appearing as the last Lamacraft in the directories, running this place. It is possible that this establishment is the Globe. See Globe Inn, Newtown.

Lamb and Flag

South Street

First listed in 1816, last listed as the Lamb & Flag in 1828. It was renamed the Dove (see entry Dove).. Lamb and Flag is a Templars sign.

Lamb Inn

Southgate Street

A document of 1721 records its purchase for conversion to a private house and the landlord John Legg moving to the Black Lyons.

Lamb Inn


This inn is known through lease from Abraham Gibbs, gentlemen dated 1717.

Lazy Landlord
Princess Alexandra

Bonhay Road

Lazy LandlordDaniel Hooper applied for a spirit license for his beer house, The Princess Alexandra in September 1863. The application was opposed by the local church wardens, and despite the provision of accommodation for people, horses and carts, now using the newly opened, and busier, Bonhay Road, it was turned down. Permission was granted in September 1864. The landlord, Samuel Mitchelmore was prosecuted in 1876 for opening before 12.30pm on a Sunday.

In 1879, the torso of 6 month old Reginald Hyde was found in the leat of Powhay Mill by Edward Stookes. The child's head, hands, and feet were also found close by and all were taken to the Princess Alexandra Inn to be examined by a surgeon. Annie Tooke was convicted of his murder and hanged at Exeter Gaol. In June 1920, there was a char-a-banc disaster on Dunsford Hill, when one of the three victims, William Coombe, 77 years old, of the Princess Alexandra Inn, died some two months after the accident due to his injuries.

The Princess Alexandra Inn was taken over by Austin Outside Caterers when they moved from their Bartholomew Street base in 1969. The move gave them a license to sell alcohol which they could use for outside catering events. It was closed by the brewery in May 1982 before re-opening as the Lazy Landlord. In 2000 the Princess Alexandra was finally closed, and in 2002 demolished and replaced with apartments. Photo courtesy of Clive Thompson.

Lighter Inn

Topsham Quay/Fore Street

See the Lighter for a history.

Locomotive Inn
South Western Hotel

New North Road

See Locomotive for a history.

London and South Western
South Western Hotel, name alternated

Paul Street, north side

First listed in 1878, last listed in 1923, closed September 1924 according to Geoffrey Pring. The area was demolished for road widening and the Paul Street bus station created. This hotel was approximately where the entrance to Harlequins is today.

General Buller
The Longbrooke 2000
Valiant Soldier
Devenish Valiant Soldier

Cowick Street

LongbrookeAppears in the 1972 Kelly's directory as the Devenish Valiant Soldier, it quickly became the Valiant Soldier. Renamed in 2000, the Longbrooke. Looking like it's surrounded by a used car lot, it was renamed the General Buller in 2010.

Lord Cornwallis ph

Mary Arches Street

Mentioned in 1796 ref AER, fate unknown.

Lord Nelson Inn

High Street Topsham

Lord NelsonThe building dates from the early 19th Century, with some modern additions. The earliest directory listing was in Pigot's from 1830, with Thomas Marshall in residence. There used to be a trough and pump at the front for the many horse and carts that drew up alongside. Local boys would pump the water into the trough, to be rewarded with a few pennies by the animals owner for their trouble. Behind are several limestone buildings that were formerly used as a brewhouse. The Inn is next to Nelson Close, which was formerly Davy's timber field. Earliest listing I have found was in 1878.

Lord Nelson

Paul Street

First listed in 1816, last listed in 1830, fate unknown.

Lord Nelson

Russell Street

Only listing 1889, fate unknown.

Lord Nelson

Spillers Lane

First listed in 1856, last listed in 1894/5, fate unknown.

Lord Nelson

Coombe Street

Origin unknown, fate unknown. There are several pubs in the West Quarter that appeared and quickly disappeared, probably due to the introduction of the Beerhouses Act of 1830.

Page 1 -  A to D       Page 2 - E to L      Page 3 -  M to R      Page 4 - S to Z

This list is as complete as I can make it - new establishments and data will be added when found. All dates are the earliest or latest that I have seen - many pubs are older than indicated by the trade directories or the date I have researched. Current pub count 470. Some pubs may be duplicates - it is not always possible to trace name changes.

If you know any other information or have a photo of a pub please email me. This list has been compiled from hundreds of hours of research - use of small extracts in other websites and publications is prohibited unless there is a clear acknowledgement to Exeter Memories and David Cornforth of the material.

Note on sources - the sources for this section are the various trade directories, plus books by Robert Dymond, W G Hoskins, Maryanne Kowaleski, Robert Newton, Todd Gray, Hazel Harvey, Thomas/Warren, Stanton and Todd, Andrews, Elston and Shiel, John Willing, Chips Barber and the Exeter City Council history website. The Express & Echo, Exeter Gazette  and Trewman's Exeter Flying Post archives at the West Country Studies Library including notes of A E Richards, and maps including tithe and insurance at the Records Office were all invaluable. Geoffrey Prings History of the Exe Island and City Brewery. With thanks to Robin Quant.

Top of Page