|Status:||Open as a pub|
Very much open for business today the Stingray has an interesting and perhaps surprising history. As well as being a popular bar the pub also has bed and breakfast facilities for those seeking a longer stay in the old town.
We can trace the Stingray's history back to 1921 when it was built as a replacement for the London Tavern public House which stood across the road at no. 21 Church Street. The London Tavern was a pub in 1870 owned by the trustees of John Pattrick, a businessman from Dovercourt, but it was later purchased by the Co-operative Society, their first ever pub acquisition.
The powers that be at the Co-op obviously thought that the London Tavern was enough of a success to plan a new building and in 1919 they closed the old London Tavern – converting it into a shop. They had a few planning issues (the first application was refused) but eventually the new pub was built in 1921. In fact the new building was a bit more than a pub as it featured a tea and reading room and accommodation and whilst people called it the “Co-op Tavern” or the “New London Tavern” it was actually named the Wheatsheaf.
The pub was built in the mock-Tudor style and cost over £3500 which was a lot of money in 1921. It occupied the site of two ancient dwellings at nos. 55 and 56 Church Street which may well have been the reason for its controversial plans.
The pub was certainly well-appointed – beer was served from beer engines with beautiful Wedgewood pump handles and you got your “divvy” which a lot of local people saved up to buy their bottles at Christmas.
In 1976 the Co-op sold the pub and it was renamed the Stingray.
Notable Facts, Things to Look Out For
- The pub was built in a revivalist era when architects were being asked to recreate the taverns of old – hence the mock-Tudor style.