Tutbury Pub Names

Inns, Taverns & Pubs

In the early Middle Ages, travellers usually found accommodation in monasteries, but later, because of the Crusades and the popularity of pilgrimages, lodging houses (inns) were built by monasteries, guilds, and private entrepreneurs. By the late 16th century there were about 6,000 inns. The English inns of the Middle Ages were sanctuaries of wayfaring strangers, cutthroats, thieves, and political malcontents.

The tavern, the predecessor of the modern restaurant, originated the custom of providing a daily meal at a fixed time, where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises. By the middle of the 16th century the dining-out habit was well established and most taverns offered a good dinner for less than a shilling, with wine and ales as extras. Tobacco was also sold after its introduction into England in 1565. Taverns also offered companionship and some of the better ones became regular meeting places.

Early on, English law imposed social responsibilities for the well-being of travellers upon the inns and taverns, declaring them to be public houses which must receive all travellers in reasonable condition who were willing to pay the price for food, drink, and lodging.

In Tudor England, selected innkeepers were required by a royal act to maintain stables and some acted as unofficial postmasters and kept stables for the royal post. In the mid-1600s, some public houses even issued unofficial coins which the innkeepers guaranteed to redeem in the realm's currency. By the 1800s, many of these establishments were divided internally to segregate the various classes of customers. Public houses were considered socially superior to alehouses, beerhouses, and ginshops.

The early inns or taverns were identified by simple signs, such as lions, dolphins, or black swans. Many colourful pub names (e.g., Bag o'Nails, Goat and Compass, and Elephant and Castle) are actually corrupted phrases and titles (e.g. "Bacchanals," "Great God Encompassing," and "Infanta de Castile").

In the 18th century, the word Arms was added to many pub names, indicating that the establishment was under the protection of a particular noble family, although some heraldic signs were references to the original ownership of the land on which the building stood. Although public houses were traditionally owned and operated by licensed publicans, by the early part of the 20th century many of them were owned or connected to a small number of brewery companies.

There used to be 17 inns in Tutbury but now there are just 5:

Dog and Partridge - High St

Dog and Partridge


Built in the 14th century, in the days of John of Gaunt. It was a rich man’s house - probably the Steward of the Castle.

The name was associated with hunting in the forest.

Most current buildings are 16th & 17th century with additions in the 18th century for coaches:

The Red Rover ran from Liverpool to London at 4am and returned at 8pm.

The Vine, Ludgate St

The Vine


There was a vineyard near the castle in 1374.

It is a very old building near to the site of the glassworks.


Cross Keys, Burton St

Cross Keys


Near to a footpath to the mill - the Baulk.

The sign bears a very old sign - the Papal coat-of-arms, being the emblem of St. Peter

Leopard – Monk St



The black leopard was on the coat of arms of the Mosley family who lived in Rolleston

New Inn - Ludgate St


Fairly modern and still licenced


New Inn


The following are no more:

The Old Cock - Lower High St

formally Cheapside

The Cock was supposed to be an illustration of St. Peter.

Or the name may be a result of cock fighting.


Queen’s Head – High St

The sign probably carried a portrait of Elizabeth l, who was the Duke of Lancaster and Lady of the manor.

In 1851, Thomas Mayer was also the carrier between Burton, Tutbury, Uttoxeter and Derby.

Stabling was at the rear of the property


Rose & Crown – Burton St

The name was directly connected to the House of Tudor

Closed in 1910

Shoulder of Mutton – High St

A fairly prosperous inn in the 1850s with part of the premises being a cooper's shop.

Originally used for accommodation by the Priory and for a monthly Court

Closed and now a chemist shop and adjoining house.

Woolpack – Duck St


The woolpack was a train of pack-horses tied head to tail with sheeted bales of wool slung over the wooden pack saddle.

They would stop here for the night, mainly from Lancashire. Can still be seen as a large pair of double doors in Silk Mill Lane - formally Duck St

Once the home of Tutbury's first bus station.

Delicenced in 1916. Now a private dwelling.

Farriers Arms – High St

Probably a branch of the old Guild of Blacksmith’s


Joiners Arms – Cornmill Lane

Now a private dwelling

Wheel – High St

Believed to have been a corruption of the Catherine Wheel, the badge of the Knights of St. Catherine of Mount Sinai. They protected travelling pilgrims.
Formally a farm as well as an inn, on the corner of Lower High Street.

Pulled down in 1961

Spotted Leopard – Burton St


Now a private dwelling

Castle Inn - Bridge St


A fairly modern inn, in full view of the castle.

Closed in the 1990s

Hope & Anchor – Monk St

Closed in 1968

Royal Oak – 15 Monk St

Closed in 1913