A Virtual Stroll Around the Walls of Chester

The Vanished Pubs of Chester Gallery

the bear's paw

bears paw 1944Ye Olde Beare's Paw for centuries stood on the corner of Foregate and Frodsham Streets before its demolition in 1956.

As our illustrations show, the pub's appearance changed greatly over time.

The landlord in 1818-20 was John Lawson, in 1828 George Halley, 1840-50 Robert Bentley, in 1858 A Street, in 1880 John Taylor, in 1898 Fred Jones, in 1902-10 Edward Stanley Dawson, in 1914 John Frederick Davies, in 1934-5 T Ratcliffe, in 1936 Joseph Bond, in whose time the place was listed as Ye Olde Beare's Paw Inn.

Left: the Beare's Paw in 1944

This ancient establishment was demolished to make way for an exceedingly utilitarian building currently housing H Samuels' jeweller's shop. According to the staff who work there today, it has managed to retain its ghost, George, who, they say, is regularly to be seen wandering through walls in the first floor stockroom (and doubtlessly wondering what became of his local?) The staff, in fact, still refer to this as George's Room.

After demolition, the licence- and name- minus the final e and apostrophe- was transferred to a new pub in Dickson's Drive, Newton. You can see a photograph of the old pub under Frodsham Street....

This is the junction of two major Roman roads- Watling Street, today's Foregate Street- running all the way to the English Channel- and Frodsham Street, which originated in the start of the road to Warrington and beyond, via Gorse Stacks, Brook Street, and the Newton Hollows (which Lucian the Monk called the 'Valley of Demons') in Hoole.

Who knows how long there may have been some manner of tavern on the site?

bear's paw

foregate street and bears paw postcard
A postcard view of Foregate Street with the Beare's Paw on the right

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