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The Historic Pubs of Sidwell Street

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Map of Sidwell Street Move the pointer over the beer mugs for the names.

In the modern Sidwell Street there can be found two pubs for the thirsty to drop into - one, the Amber Rooms dates from 1958 while the Duke of York is all that is left of the more than two dozen historic pubs that have at one time or other, lined the pavements of Sidwell Street.

The oldest pub that can be traced in Sidwell Street was the Bude Hotel, which was demolished in 1933; the origins of this coaching inn stretched back to 1358 when it was opened as the Londonsyn by the Courtenay's. It became the Old London Inn and then the Bude Haven Hotel, because it was the terminus for the Bude stage coach. The Bishop Blaize was open in 1790, the Bristol Inn in 1844 while the Antelope dated from at least the 1730's.

There have been some interesting names for pubs in Sidwell Street. The radically sounding Morning Star was trading before Marx's Das Capital had become known, and neither was it named after a steam engine. What's more, the Morning Star was trading in the premises of the former Talbot, Eagle Tavern and Antelope Inn. The Acland Arms was named after the Acland's of Killerton House, although it had been known as the Turk's Head. Its end came in the May 1942 blitz, along with six other pubs. The short lived Centrifugal Hotel conjures up a picture of a futuristic ride at a World Fair and one wonders why it was so named. The Red Lion Inn was next to Red Lion Court - which was named after which? And supporters of Exeter City will be interested to know that the Forester's Arms was where it was agreed to merge the Exeter United and St Sidwell's United football teams to form Exeter City FC. The Forester's Arms was for some unknown reason, nicknamed the Drum & Monkey.The following list gives all the known pubs of Sidwell Street, along with the street number, where known.

North side
3 Bristol Inn - blitzed
7 White Lion - blitzed
11 Grosvenor
14 Era Hotel, King's Arms Tavern
17 Morning Star, Talbot Inn, Eagle Tavern, Antelope
45 Old Coach & Horses - blitzed
57 Acland Arms - blitzed
58 Duke of York
78 Forester's Arms, started as William West, beer retailer
90 White Horse

South Side
117 Red Lion Inn - blitzed
136 King's Head Inn - blitzed
146 New Coach & Horses - blitzed
161 Amber Rooms, Greyhound, Printer's Pie and Pi.
167 Poltimore Inn - was purchased to become a cinema, but it didn't open.
169 Centrifugal Hotel
178 Buller's Arms
180 Exeter Hotel
182 Victory Inn
188 Bude Hotel

Location uncertain
Royal Mail Coach - possibly the Acland Arms
Red Cow
Seven Stars
Bishop Blaize

Source: Trade directories, OS 1876, Exeter Burning by Peter Thomas.

Duke of York
The Duke of York
Devonport Arms
The Amber Rooms
Bude Hotel
The Bude Hotel
Era Hotel
The Era Hotel formerly the King's Arms.
The New London Inn
The New London Inn.

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