By Jim McIntosh

Pictures from

One of the earliest records of licensed premises in Clowne dates from 1753 in the form of Licensed Victualler records. Since the mid-16th Century inn keepers were required to be licensed by Justices of the Peace at Quarter Sessions and place a bond to ensure their place of business was not a nuisance. From 1753 written records were kept with the name of the licensee, their location and the name of the surety pledging a bond. These early records do not identify the name of the pub that the licence was held for but we do know that the eight licence holders recorded in 1753 included John Littlewood, William Webster and John Cuts (or Cutt). A certain George Wragg was the surety for four of the licences issued in that year. The number of licences could vary from year to year- only six were issued in 1760 and seven in 1764.Moving forward another 50 years or so and by the early 1820s there were five pubs that can be identified in early trade directories by name, these being the Anchor, Angel, Nag’s Head, Old Lion and Buck. By 1835 the Old Lion had disappeared (or been re-named) and whilst a short-lived pub called the Odd Fellow’s Arms had appeared along with three beerhouses. The latter were not allowed to sell wine or spirits.Accordingly the Anchor and Nag’s Head are the two oldest surviving pubs in their original premises, both being at least 200 years old. As will be seen, the Angel was rebuilt in the 20th Century.Brief details of the pubs known to have existed at one time or another in Clowne as documented below.


Anchor Mill Street

The Anchor is most likely the oldest surviving pub in Clowne with the premises believed to date from the 16th Century. Given its proximity to the old cross, it is likely that the Anchor was one of the alehouses recorded in the 1753 survey. Pigot’s Directory of 1821/2 lists the licensee as Abel Littlewood, who was also a blacksmith. In the 1851 census the pub was occupied by George Coupe, whose occupations were listed as ‘innkeeper and farmer of 30 acres’, along with his wife Eliza and their three children. The pub grounds also hosted a stud farm and a fortnightly livestock market in the late 19th Century. A spring runs through the pub’s cellar and this would no doubt have helped to keep the beer cool in the early days. Previous owners have included both Chesterfield and Shipstone Breweries. When the pub was listed in the 1977 CAMRA Good Beer Guide it offered Shipstone’s Bitter and the description was brief and to the point – “Friendly, central pub”. As at 2018 it is in private ownership.


Angel High Street

First recorded in Pigot’s Directory of 1821/2. The licensee at the time of the 1851 census was Samuel Jepson who was also a ‘farmer of 20 acres’. The original pub building stood came right up to the Mansfield Road/ High Street road junction. The current building which is set back from the road dates from 1959. The pub was tied to Mansfield Brewery for many years and offered their beers when included in the CAMRA Guide to Derbyshire published in 1990. The description mentions a lounge bar and bar/games room, either side of a central servery and that the pub supports two Rugby League teams as well as the round ball equivalent (the actual teams were not recorded). As of 2018 it is owned by Marston’s Brewery.


Bowdon Arms Mill Street

First recorded in 1848 and run by the Roberts family for many years in the 19th Century. George Roberts was the licensee at the time of the 1851 census and in addition he was also a butcher and farmer of 38 acres.The Bowdons (or Bowdens) were a prominent local family and it is likely that they built the pub. The Bowdons were principle landowners in the area and lived at Southgate House (now the Van Dyk Hotel). There is a local tale that ‘Monkey Joe’ who was the landlord during the 1972 Miner’s Strike made dinners for the miners, presumably at a reduced or no charge. The pub closed later in the 1970s and is now a Takeaway. The pub’s name used to be visible on the floor in the entrance.


Coach & Horses Church Street

These substantial premises (see picture above) used to stand on land that is now occupied by a veterinary surgery. The first probable evidence of the Coach & Horses was in an 1835 Trade Directory when it was one of three beerhouses in Clowne. As the names of beerhouses were not recorded in these early trade directories it is not possible to be certain but it is likely that John Woodhead was the licensee and indeed would continue to be so until 1879. Woodhead, is recorded in the 1841 census as a publican when he was 45-years and in the 1851 census as a Beerhouse keeper although he had aged 12 years and was recorded as being 57-years old!Moving forward one hundred years and the pub’s cellar was used as an air-raid shelter in the Second World War. A full licence was granted shortly after in 1948. The Coach & Horses closed in the 1970s and the premises demolished in 1976. Council offices were then built on the land and when the council moved out, the vets moved in.


Nags Head North Road

Listed in the first Trade Directory for the area (Pigot’s 1821/2 Directory) when the licensee was Hannah Tompkin. Its exact age is uncertain but the pub pre-dates the former railway that passed nearby. For many years the pub was owned and supplied by Worksop & Retford Brewery. A former licensee was Norma Evans, along with her husband Jack. Norma was once a member of the ‘Squadronaires’, an RAF musical group who performed during and after the Second World War. She died in the early 21st Century. The pub, now owned by owned by Ei Group (formerly Enterprise Inns) remains open as at July 2018.

Was an Inn for many years till it was bought a few years ago & converted to a house.

Crown Crown Street

The buildings that housed the Crown were originally a tollbar premises and would have been used as offices/accommodation by those collecting tolls from travellers along Mansfield Road. It was first recorded as a beerhouse in Harrod’s 1870 Trade Directory when the licensee was Henry West. A full licence was eventually granted in 1949 and it was also one of several pubs in Clowne owned by Worksop and Retford Brewery. The Crown closed, apparently for good in 2010. However following renovation it re-opened in December 2018 as ‘Salvaged Bar & Kitchen’ specialising in offering good quality food. The name is undoubtedly a pun on the fact that the building was derelict and unloved for much of the time that the pub was closed and was in definite need of salvaging.

Van Dyk Hotel Worksop Road

The property that is now the Van Dyk Hotel has a considerable history.The premises were originally the family seat of the Bowdon (or Bowden) family when it was known as ‘Southgate House’. During the Second World War it was used as both an army camp and a prisoner of war (POW) camp for German and Italian POWs.Moving forward a further 20 years and in December 1966 it opened as a licensed premises and hotel, known as the ‘Southgate Hotel’, by the Van Dyk brothers.By 1975 it was known as the Van Dyk Hotel after the two brothers and from the late 1970s to late 1990s was owned by Mansfield Brewery. As of 2018 it is under private ownership.


White Hart/Hart High Street

The first evidence of the White Hart can be found in an 1846 Trade Directory when the licensee was James Brunt. However this gentleman was previously listed as running the Buck, also on High Street, in 1835. However Brunt isn’t listed at all in the 1851 Census so the link, if any, between the two pubs is not clear but one explanation is that although the name changed, they occupied the same premises. According to research carried out by Bolsover District Council as part of the 2006‘Clowne Conservation Area appraisal and management plan’ the building was originally a farmstead. Hewitt’s Brewery were owners in the early 20th Century. As late as 1925, Kelly’s Directory listed it as a ‘beer retailer’ on High Street with no formal name run by Albert Orrell. A full licence was eventually issued in 1949. Folklore also has it that the pub hosted the first disco in Clowne! The pub was known as The Hart when it closed in 2009. It is now a private residence.


Buck High Street

First recorded in Pigot’s Directory (1821/2) when the licensee was Joseph Woodhead. The pub was last listed in 1835 when James Brunt was the landlord. The ‘Buck’ disappears after that but Brunt is then recorded at the White Hart also on High Street in 1846. The link, if any, between the two pubs is not clear but one explanation is that although the name changed, they occupied the same premises.

Please refer to the entry for the ‘White Hart’ for more information about the building.


Traveller’s Rest Creswell Road

The Traveller’s Rest initially was a beerhouse and the earliest known licensee was William Womble (or Wombwell) who ran it for at least 30 years at the end of the 19th Century. It was described as a hotel in the 1881 census. By 1925 a full licence had been granted and the licensee was one William Woodhead. Owners of the pub have included Worksop & Retford Brewery. It is now owned by Ei Group (formerly Enterprise Inns).

John Street (monkey Park)

Un-named Beer Retailers/Beerhouses

At any point in time there have been two or three, and sometime up to four, beerhouses listed in trade directories. The Coach & Horses, Crown, Travellers Rest and White Hart all first appeared as beerhouses but in the 1830s and 1840s beerhouses are also mentioned at Brookhill and Harlesthorpe. And there is also a ‘beer retailer’ listed as being at 16 John Street, off Cliff Hill, which was part of a row of terraced houses. The licensee for the period 1925-32 was a John Ashley. Any further information about this business would be welcomed.

Constitutional Club Rock Side (Kons Klub)

This used to be a gents only club'social club'then some years later became a disco but closed and burned down now demolished and wilkinsons is built on the site.


Oddfellows’ Arms Brookhill

A pub that only appeared in records for the period 1835—1842. The 1841 census records the location of the pub as Brookhill. The only known licensee was James Taylor who was recorded in the 1841 census as a 55-year old publican.


Old Lion Location not known

A pub that was listed in trade directories for 1821/2 and 1827. The only licensee was George Baker.

Not sure if bulding on right is a pub its in the location that The Bodon Arms is in later picture above.


History of Clowne – J A Buckley (1977) (categorisation 942.51)

Numerous Trade Directories – available in the Local Studies section, Chesterfield Library

Census records – available in the Local Studies section, Chesterfield Library

Licensed Victualler Records available in Derbyshire Records Office, Matlock (ref Q/RA/1/1 to 5)

Clowne Conservation Area appraisal and management plan, Supplementary Planning Document – Bolsover District Council (2006) available at

2009 Discussion with Mr. Terry Richardson