A Virtual Stroll Around the Walls of Chester

The Vanished Pubs of Chester Gallery

white lion

white lionThe White Lion Hotel stood at 79 Foregate Street. It may have been in existence before 1781, possibly under a different name, but it was first recorded as The White Lion when a brewer and churchwarden of St. John's Church, John Peers, took it on in that year.

The landlord in 1818-23 was George Truss, between 1840 and 1860 Samuel Lloyd. His inn is listed in the 1840 directory as follows: "White Lion Inn ( Heart of Oak Lodge of Independent Odd Fellows)". What was this? In 1871 George Smith was the licencee, still there in 1880, and the landlady in 1898 was Mrs Mary Jane Nicolson. The licencee in 1902 was Thomas Reynolds, in 1910 Mrs Maria Reynolds and in 1914 Mrs Edward Partin. It was recorded as being used as a polling station in 1809.

Chester suffered very little damage during WW2 but the White Lion was unlucky, for it was bombed out of existence and a mundane retail premises later arose on its site. The last time we looked, it was occupied by New Look, a clothes retailer.

Our two photographs (top one 1920s, bottom unknown but probably earlier) show the old inn looking very different. The 'Chester' black & white continues on the adjoining building in both cases but is absent- yet to be added?- from the Lion's facade...

Below we see a fine, car-free, view of Foregate Street and The White Lion on an old postcard.

Another White Lion Hotel, once Chester's most luxurious coaching inn, for centuries stood in Market Square, where the Forum is now. Learn about it here...

view of white lion and foregate street

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