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Pub histories: top five discoveries about our pubs

The pub history project has taken us across the UK, with 100 history pages now live. Here, we explore five of our favourite stories.

Many of our pubs are restored from interesting and, in several cases, unique buildings. We’ve travelled up and down the country to major city centres, collating the history of the buildings and local area and uploading it to the pub histories section of our website.

Wetherspoon’s chairman and founder, Tim Martin, said: “We take immense pride in the restoration and refurbishment of wonderful buildings into Wetherspoon pubs. We feel that it is right to celebrate the history of the buildings.”

Below are our top five discoveries so far…

1. The nightclub name

Our Lloyds No.1 bars were given their name after the first one in Nottingham opened. 

It was an old Lloyds bank, on the corner of two adjoining streets – where the address was no.1 on both. 

Now, there’s a fact to discuss over your cocktail pitchers.

2. The secret hot tub

The Coronation Hall, in Surbiton, used to be a gentlemen’s club. It’s still possible to see the old Jacuzzi in the cellar. We’re looking into potential expansion of the Wether-Spa brand…


3. The sinking of the Titanic

The Admiral Sir Lucius Curtis, in Southampton, is situated next to the Canute Chambers, a building which had belonged to The White Star Shipping Company, owner of the Titanic. It was here that hundreds of local people waited for news of the missing people.


4. The haunted hotel

The Red Lion, in Doncaster, is believed to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who was jilted at the altar.

Many staff claim that they have witnessed or felt her presence. She’s been spotted on CCTV in the closed pub and they’ve had paranormal investigators in gathering evidence.

We hope that you have a pleasant overnight stay with us!

5. The high-security vault

The Standing Order, in Edinburgh, is a former bank and still has an original CHUBB vault inside. There are markings on the inside of the door which date from 5 February 1968.

..a whole new meaning to the term ‘lock-in’. 



For more local history and fascinating stories, explore the
pub histories page of our website. 


If you have information on the history of any of our pubs, then we’d like you to share it with us. Who knows – your local pub could be next! Please e-mail any information to:
pubhistories@jdwetherspoon.co.uk