The Druids Tavern
On the 18th August, 2009, if you walked to the end of High
Street near to the Arnold Leisure Centre you would see a new open patch of
ground. Until the week before this was where the Druids Tavern public house stood.
Built in 1828, this
public house opened in Arnold away from the many taverns that had been built
and thrived on Front Street. The new building was constructed on Back Street
(now called High Street) on land that had formally been open fields. The
building was a simple detached two story construction built near the road
leading to the old Mansfield turnpike.
There is very little known of the early years. The first
licensee was Robert Bean who ran 'the Druids' for four years until W. Spreckley took
over in 1832.
More detail survives
of the next known landlords, the Hearsons. John Hearson was born in 1801 and by
the 1841 census was a widower living in Folly Lane with his three daughters. He
married his second wife Alice in 1842 and the couple had a daughter, Eliza in
1843. The family took over the Druids Tavern in 1853 but unfortunately, within
a few years John died and in 1860 Alice now a 57 year-old widow took over
running the Druids with their daughter Eliza.
The Hearsons gave up
the licence in 1863 when it then passed to Samuel Oscroft who remained in
residence for 10 years. He then took over the Butchers Arms on Front Street in
1874. The address of the Druids at this time is recorded as 25 High Street.
One of the longest
running licensees was Sarah Loyn who took over from Sam Oscroft. Sarah was a
widow who ran the pub with the help of a 17 year-old servant, Marie Cartwright who
also helped look after Sarah’s 2 year-old granddaughter, Sarah Tweltridge. Sarah
Loyn remained resident landlady until 1890 by which time she was 75 years old.
In 1897, Joseph
Perkins, 51, became the new licensee. The address of the pub is now recorded as
67 High Street indicating that more of the fields were built on as the Arnold
By 1903, the Druids
was owned by W.B Spencer but was operated on license by Kimberley Brewery who
provided their own landlords.
Henry Stocks was in
charge from February, 1903 until June, 1915 when his son James took over. In
November Samuel Cottam was in charge.
In May, 1926,
Kimberley Brewery bought the Druids from W.B Spencer and Walter Barker became
the next landlord. He only held the license until December 1927 when Harold
Hopewell took over.
By 1932, William
Watson was in charge. During World War Two a Mr Robinson took over the running
of the pub; the license passing from Watson in 1936.
Many other landlords
passed through the Druids doors introducing many changes over the years. The
address also changed again to the final one, 109 High Street as the remaining
land was built on. The Druids experienced rapidly dropping custom so it was
decided in 2007, after 178 years of service to close. It eventually closed its doors
for the last time in 2008 and was demolished in 2009 to make way for a new
police station. After the demolition the police decided that the new station project was too expensive and the ground was sold to Gedling Borough Council who built
a hi-tech car park on the site.
All articles © Bob Massey