Real Ale

Real Ale

Mawdesley - Black Bull Inn

Name: The Black Bull Inn

Address: Hall Lane, Mawdesley



The Black Bull is reported to have been open since the 1580's and is situated on Hall Lane in Mawdesley, a part of the village known as "The City". Sadly, since 2013 it has been closed. The following extract about Mawdesley is taken from the village website Mawdesley Village.

The name Mawdesley is thought to have originated in the reign of Edward the First (1272 - 1308) with the use of the suffix 'ley' signifying a field, meadow or clearing - evidence of the village's rural origins. Discoveries of flints and stone implements indicate early settlements in the area and at the time of the Norman conquest, small hamlets and scattered farms typified the then settlement patterns of Lancashire. Records show that a Manor existed in 1250 AD on the site of the present Mawdesley Hall.

Mawdesley Hall itself stands in a commanding position on a sandstone outcrop. The black and white timber framed building dates back to the early 17th century when William Mawdesley lived there. The central hall is Tudor and some of the inner walls are made from wattle and daub. The south wing is of local red sandstone whilst the north wing is built of hand made bricks made at the old Bluestone Lane brickworks. The stone stairway leading up from the road was built about 1613. 

Close by the Hall is City Farm and City Cottage, parts of the red sandstone farmhouse are believed to have been built in 1591; certainly there is a stone bearing this date on the wall. The low roofed black and white cottage was built in 1623; it is timber framed with wattle and daub walls. The Black Bull Inn was built in the 1580's, the windows to the left of the entrance have been blocked off and 'windows' painted on, this was probably a consequence of the window tax which was levied between the late 17th and the mid 19th centuries. Manor courts were held here at the end of the 17th century. 

The pub's nickname is "Hell" or "Hell Hob" reputed to be named after the extremely large fire or Hob that was in one of the rooms when the Landlady was called Helen, hence Hell's Hob".  The original poker was mounted on the wall alongside a more modest fireplace added later....that's one theory anyway but it wasn't until the 19th century that it eventually changed its name to the Black Bull.



The below extract from the 1825 Directory and Gazeteer of the Pallatine of Lancaster shows the earliest landlord I can find, who was William Wilding.



Subsequent landlords at the Black Bull were W Monk (1711), James Finch (1729), George Glover (1794), Roger Wilding (1841-48), George Barton (1849-52), Mr T Blackburn (1859), Henry Hesketh (1861), William Rogerson (1865-71), James Stock (1870's), Margery Stock (1881), James Stock (1882-86), Ellen Stock (1886-93), James Bentham (1899-1926) and Thomas Kitching (1940).


1841 Census

Baptism: 21 Feb 1842 St Peter, Mawdesley with Bispham, Lancashire, England
Roger Wilding - son of Roger Wilding & Frances
    Born: 19 Feb 1842
    Abode: Mawdesley
    Occupation: Innkeeper
    Baptised by: M. Twiss Curate
    Register: Baptisms 1840 - 1921, Page 306, Entry 2446
    Source: LDS Film 1526409


1845 Map of Mawdesley

Baptism: 3 Feb 1846 St Peter, Mawdesley with Bispham, Lancashire, England
Frances Alice Katherine Wilding - daughter of Roger Wilding & Frances
    Abode: Mawdesley
    Occupation: Innkeeper
    Baptised by: Martin Twiss Incumbent
    Register: Baptisms 1840 - 1921, Page 324, Entry 2591
    Source: LDS Film 1526409


Preston Chronicle 20 May 1848


Preston Chronicle 04 August 1849

1851 Census

Preston Chronicle 28 February 1852


Preston Chronicle 19 March 1859

1861 Census


Liverpool Mercury 19 January 1865

1871 Census

Ormskirk Advertiser 09 November 1871

Ormskirk Advertiser 30 November 1871

The Stock family were in residence at the Inn through the 1870's to the mid 1890's although James Stock Snr. was the landlord of the Red Lion on New Street in 1871 living there with his wife Margery (Margaret) and their son James. James' marriage record to Ellen Alty in 1882 confirms he wasn't at the Black Bull then, but a year later he is recorded as an Innkeeper when his son was Baptised.


Marriage: 4 Jan 1882 St Peter, Mawdesley with Bispham, Lancashire, England
James Stock - full age, Corn buyer, Bachelor, Lathom
Ellen Alty - full age, Spinster, Mawdesley
    Groom's Father: James Stock, Innkeeper
    Bride's Father: Robert Alty, Farmer
    Witness: Henry Alty; Margaret Whitehead
    Married by License by: Martin Twiss D.D. Rector
    Register: Marriages 1843 - 1919, Page 123, Entry 246
    Source: LDS Film 1526409

Baptism: 8 Aug 1883 St Peter, Mawdesley with Bispham, Lancashire, England
James Stock - son of James Stock & Ellen
    Born: 1 Jul 1883
    Abode: Mawdesley
    Occupation: Innkeeper
    Baptised by: Martin Twiss Rector
    Register: Baptisms 1840 - 1921, Page 484, Entry 3872
    Source: LDS Film 1526409


1881 Census


Sadly, James died young leaving Ellen to run the business and by 1893 she had remarried a Brewer from Standish called Walter Heyes and they moved to the Blackpool area.


Burial: 10 Oct 1886 St Peter, Mawdesley with Bispham, Lancashire, England
James Stock - 
    Age: 28 years
    Abode: Mawdesley
    Buried by: Martin Twiss Rector
    Register: Burials 1841 - 1925, Page 101, Entry 805
    Source: LDS Film1849640

James Stock Probate

Marriage: 8 Feb 1893 St Peter, Mawdesley with Bispham, Lancashire, England
Walter Heyes - 31, Brewer, Bachelor, Standish
Ellen Stock - 34, Widow, Mawdesley
    Groom's Father: William Heyes, deceased, Brick setter
    Bride's Father: Robert Alty, Farmer
    Witness: Thomas Simm; Anne Alty
    Married by License by: Seymour Penzer
    Register: Marriages 1843 - 1919, Page 158, Entry 316
    Source: LDS Film 1526409


1891 Census


1901 Census


1911 Census

The last record I can find of James Bentham running the Black Bull dates back to the marriage of his daughter in 1926: -


Marriage: 6 Jan 1926 St Peter, Mawdesley with Bispham, Lancashire, England
Fred Taylor - 24, Motor Engineer, Bachelor, 24 Swinley Lane Wigan
Martha Bentham - 28, House duties, Spinster, Black Bull Inn Mawdesley
    Groom's Father: Fred Taylor, Dairy Manager
    Bride's Father: James Bentham, Innkeeper
    Witness: Hector Halsall; Doris Bentham
    Married by Banns by: C. David Rector
    Register: Marriages 1919 - 1933, Page 28, Entry 55
    Source: Original register held at Lancashire Archives


Lancashire Evening Post 04 December 1935


Lancashire Evening Post 28 January 1938


Ormskirk Advertiser 30 May 1940

Lancashire Evening Post 09 October 1940

The pub had struggled for years. Its obscure, socially isolated location didn't help. Nor did competition from nearby gastropubs that better catered to the rather snobbish local "countryside set" of which Mawdesley is infamous. In it's later years this pub was shut most evenings. It finally closed in 2013 and was put up for sale. The pub was bought by a company that (fittingly for Mawdesley) runs Retirement Homes. The original plan was to develop in to a gastro-pub but the company ran out of funds partway through the development. The pub has since been left derelict.
The enclave of Mawdesley has very lax/non existant planning restrictions. As the enclave is very isolated from the rest of society many things come to pass that would not happen else where. Although the Black Bull is a grade 2 listed building (and would be preserved in most other areas of England) the high demand (and profit margin) for luxury houses in the enclave is such that planning restrictions are normally flouted. Certainly other listed buildings in the enclave have in recent years been demolished or rebuilt to make for new large luxury houses/mansions. 
It appears likely that the Black Bull will go the same way as every other historic building in the enclave and be demolished (or at best gutted and essentially rebuilt) to make way for another mansion or a new gated luxury housing development.
Mawdesley Tractor (July 2016)


Lancashire Evening Post 06 September 1946


No comments:

Post a comment