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uptoncx #390857 24th Feb 2010 12:16am
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Going back, the 1901 census lists the landlord again as John Allison, but 10 years earlier in 1891 he is listed as the landlord of the Meadows Hotel.

The 1891 census names the pub as the Grapes Hotel and the landlord as Joseph Wynn. 10 years before this, the 1881 census lists the landlord as William Oliver Gray.



Last edited by uptoncx; 24th Feb 2010 12:17am.
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uptoncx #390862 24th Feb 2010 12:27am
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I can"t find it on a 1909 ordnance map .could be when it was a morgue or was not built??

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from 1916 Wilmers Street Directory
167 Bridge Street Grapes Hotel

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Originally Posted by paranoidballoon
I can"t find it on a 1909 ordnance map .could be when it was a morgue or was not built??


Unlikely as it appears in the 1901, 1891 and 1881 censuses as a pub.

It also appears in the 1857 Post Office Directory (forerunner of Kelly) as the Grapes, with Mrs Margaret Jones as the victualer.

uptoncx #390888 24th Feb 2010 8:14am
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The 1864 Morris and Co Directory of Cheshire lists Mrs Margaret Jones still at the Grapes.

Putting all these together, we have the landlords as:

1857 Mrs Margaret Jones
1864 Mrs Margaret Jones
1878 William Oliver Gray
1881 William Oliver Gray
1891 Joseph Wynn
1901 John Allison
1911 John Allison
1916 Ernest Briscoe


uptoncx #390943 24th Feb 2010 1:12pm
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"I want my money back" the grapes is missing and another one at the bottom of Pool street I have high lighted thirty eight pubs up to now and Birkenhead Park takes up half the map "What are we like"?

uptoncx #390984 24th Feb 2010 5:56pm
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After spending a couple of hours in the archives centre of the cheshire lines building on canning street, I have found out alot of information about the pub. I will start be telling you of what Ive found out about the owners up to the 1911 entry the previous post stated, and I havent gone past there.

In the Mortimer and Harwoods directory dated 1843 I found an entry which stated that their was an owner of the Grapes Inn (what the colonial used to be called) called Thomas Jones.

From the 1841 census, I found that a Thomas Jones lived on Bridge street, he was aged 54 and was born around 1787. His occupation was a Liquor vendor, but the writing is hard to read. He had a wife, Margaret who was 40 years old and a daughter also called Margaret who was 6, another daughter called Mary who was 4, another daughter called Martha who was 2, and a son called Dan who was 5.

In the 1861 Wirral Hundred, there is a business posted as the Grapes Hotel, owned by a Margaret Jones. I might of been the wife who would of been around 60 or the daughter who would of been 26.

I then found a liscense book from 1880-81, which shows the pub, still called the Grapes Hotel, owned by a Margaret Jones, and the liscensee is a William Oliver Gray. It may of been the wife, she would of been 80, but it could be the daughter who would of been 46 by now.

Thats the owners history up to 1880, it would be nice if anybody else could trace the other family members or the other owners of the pub, but I didnt have enough time today to research it all.


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BennyBoy #390986 24th Feb 2010 6:09pm
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Now I can tell you a bit about the building.
There was no evidence of the building being registered as the records only go up to 1843, and it was already built by then. A map in 1824 shows no sign of the pub or streets surrounding it. One of the archives staff pointed out that Hamilton square wasn't built until 1825 or so and he doubted that anything around there would of been built then because Hamilton square was the birthplace really of Birkenhead. So we decided that the building was built between 1830-1843, possibly making it one of the oldest pubs in Birknhead.

There are maps from 1842 and 1858 which show the building to have an L shape, although I cant put them on here because of the poor quality, but the 1880 map shows that the building has changed slightly. If you look at the picture, at the top, this section of the pub has been built since 1858, origionally there was a gap, possibly a garden area. Also, if you look at the 1951 map which was posted earlier, you can see that the building is different from the 1880 map (below). The shape of the building in 1951 is more rectangular. We can see evidence of this extension in the pub today.
Also, if you look at the bottom of the picture, you can see a row of houses, which are part of the pub, these, we are lead to believe, are the inn houses where people stayed. Behind these buildings are we think, stables. To the left of the picture, are houses, these have been here since the first map in 1842, they are no longer here, but it may explain the large amount of housing brick we found under the car park which is where these houses used to be.

Thats the history of the building from the information ive gathered today, I have some other pieces of information to follow that may interest some of you

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BennyBoy #390988 24th Feb 2010 6:13pm
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One of the rumours I have heard is that it was bombed during the war. After researching this I can confirm that it was not bombed during the war. There is a book that has been written, cataloguing all the bombed buildings etc in Birkenhead, and the Grapes Hotel or the Old Colonial, is not mentioned in the book.

Another piece of interesting information I have found out is that when the Alabama was built in Cammel Lairds for the American Civil War, there was a march down Bridge Street, and there were reports that some of the crew had stayed in some of the inns by the shipyards. There could well be evidence of this or there may be pictures or information of the march.

In the next few days I will be visiting the Birkenhead Library to see if I can find any pictures of the pub and read up some more about the Alabama and the march on Bridge Street.

uptoncx #390990 24th Feb 2010 6:22pm
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It also appears in the 1857 Post Office Directory (forerunner of Kelly) as the Grapes, with Mrs Margaret Jones as the victualer. [/quote]

So from this it seems that Thomas Jones was the owner from 1843 until 1857 at the very latest. He must of died or something?

Also, the Margaret Jones in 1857 must be the wife, she would of been 56, the daughter would of only been 22? Would it of been right for a woman of that age to run a pub in those days? Interesting....

BennyBoy #390998 24th Feb 2010 7:32pm
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Adding yours, plus a few more I've found, to my origanl list, gives a list of landlords as follows:

1841 Thomas Jones ?
1843 Thomas Jones
1857 Mrs Margaret Jones
1861 Mrs Margaret Jones
1864 Mrs Margaret Jones
1878 William Oliver Gray
1881 William Oliver Gray
1891 Joseph Wynn
1894 Joseph William Wynn
1896 John Allison
1900 John Allison
1901 John Allison
1902 John Allison
1911 John Allison
1914 Ernest Briscoe
1916 Ernest Briscoe
1938 Laurence McCarthy

The pub was still called the Grapes in 1938.


uptoncx #391002 24th Feb 2010 7:42pm
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Before 1841, there is a gap of a few years, my guess is the Jones family bought and built the pub. It would be interesting to find out where Thomas Jones was born, the census information shows that he was not born in birkenhead. He must of been well of or had a good family to be able to undertake a project like this. Unfortuantely, he was born in around 1787 and I cant find any information that far back.
Also, if you look on the Wirral News archives, the landlords from 1997 were barry and gill mcdonaugh, followed by anne macdonaugh in 98.

BennyBoy #391040 24th Feb 2010 11:00pm
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Originally Posted by BennyBoy
One of the rumours I have heard is that it was bombed during the war. After researching this I can confirm that it was not bombed during the war.


The Liverpool Echo reviewed the Old Colonial in September 2002, and within their article they state:

Originally Posted by Liverpool Echo, 7th September 2002
And it wasn't just Liverpool that took a battering in the early 1940s as some are wont to forget - the one-eyed town across the Mersey had its own fair share of death and destruction to handle.

Sixty years on and it's hard to believe that the apparently thriving area of warehouses and light industry in which the Old Colonial takes centre stage, was literally flattened by the Luftwaffe assault.

In fact, so the pub posse was reliably informed, the Colonial has its own war-time tale of tragedy attached, the original building having taken a direct hit that killed the mother, father and five children inside.

Its present state gives no hint of this, the pub having been acquired by Cains in 1995 and in a fourmonth revamp given the Victorian feel that regulars to its other pubs will already be familiar with, genuine faded photographic prints and other paraphernalia being used for decoration.


uptoncx #391067 25th Feb 2010 8:58am
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There is a book in the archives which I can't remember the name of, the catalogues all the bomb damage to
buildings in the war.there is no mention of the colonial but other pubs that were hit ad caused fatalities where.you'd think if there was loss of life then there would be some sort of record of this???

BennyBoy #391079 25th Feb 2010 9:58am
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BennyBoy Uptonx
Would like your thoughts on this. The Grapes as was is not on 1909 ordnance so this fact in itself is part of the pubs History if it was found that it had the licence removed/ change of use burn down/rebuild this small fact could be missed. It could also be a clue to a chunk of the buildings History that could be overlooked. (could also be a case of some clerk should of gone to specsavers)You could just pencil it in for now and call me a wally later
With respect P

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