The need for a place to drink, whether humble or grand has always been part of the social life of any village, and hasn’t changed much over the last 600 years. Certainly the needs of Christleton has been no exception, with at least ten different licensed houses recorded since 1636, plus numerous others unnamed.
In the early days there were three main types of houses;
Ale Houses also known as Tippling Houses where homemade ale and beer was sold.
Taverns which sold wine as well as beer.
Inns which provided beds and stabling, in addition to food and drink.
By an act of 1753 an ale seller was required to enter annually into a recognizance for good behaviour and to provide two sureties. The surety, when not another Licensee was often a local farmer, and many local names appear in Christleton, Joseph Parsonage Farmer, Thomas Sadler Grocer and Thomas Pickering Farmer.
A typical recognizance is that of 1822, into which John Venables of the Red Lion in Village Road entered.
In which he agrees that he shall keep the true assize in uttering and selling bread and other victuals, beer, ale and other liquors in his house, and shall not fraudulently dilute or adulterate the same, and shall not use un uttering and selling thereof, any pots or other measure that are not full size, and shall not wilfully or knowingly, permit drunkenness or tippling, nor get drunk in his house, or other premises,
Nor knowingly suffer any gambling with cards, draughts, dice, bagatelle, or any other sedentary game, in his house, or any of the outhouses, appurtenances or easements therefore belonging to journeymen, labourers, servants or apprentices,
Nor knowingly introduce, permit,, suffer any bull or badger baiting, cock fighting or other such sport or amusement, in any part of his premises.
Nor knowingly or designedly, and with view to harbour and entertain such, permit or suffer any men or women of notoriously bad fame, or dissolute girls and boys to assemble and meet together in his house, or any of the premises thereto belonging.
Nor shall keep open his house, nor permit or suffer and drinking or tippling in any part of his house, during the hours of Divine Service on Sundays.
Nor shall keep open his house, or other premises, during late hours of night, or early in the morning, for any other purpose than the reception of travellers, but do keep good rule and order therein, according to the purport of a Licence granted for selling ale, beer or other liquors by retail, in the said house and premises for one whole year, commencing on the tenth day of October next 1823. Then the recognizance to be void or else to remain in full force.
1817. October 23rd ( An invitation card from John Venables to potential customers).
Licensed to John Venables who invites friends to Dinner at 3.00 Clock.
1822. Licensed to John Venables
1844. The Red Lion was owned by John Brock Wood, a local landowner, who sold it to the Lion Brewery of Newgate Street, Chester. It was then resold to Bents, and then Bass Charrington. (Dates not recorded)
1860 Licensed to Elizabeth Venables (His widow in her 90th Year)
It then passed to Mary Dutton, followed by John Mosford who left in 1894 to open his Butchers Shop at the front of Rock House in Village Road.
1892. The Parish Magazine notes that The Red Lion was given a new skin, and being truly resplendent, with a bay window and a roof of red tiles.
1911. The Red Lion. Samuel Harding
1939. The Red Lion. Mary Evans
1940’s John G Dean
Other Landlords include; Alfred Testi; Peter Evans. Chris Deacon.
1970. The Red Lion was re named The Ring O Bells.
1986. A fire damaged the building, and extensive repairs took place.
2008+ Remodelling of the Ring O Bells as a Pub Restaurant. The current owner is Ian Wade.
Ring O' Bells, Christleton
Ian Wade - Owner of The Ring O Bells Christleton
Re-opening in 2008
A bowling green existed on the site, before and after WWII, and the activity enjoyed by all, especially the older residents of the village. Unfortunately it had to be dug up to make way for the present car park, and bowling ceased in the 1950's.
Joe Mosford who was Licensee during the 1880’s and 90’s is reputed to have had a Slaughter House at the back of the Red Lion, to provide meat for his Butchers Shop at Rock House.
1940’s Tom Owen a timber carter employed by Joseph Musgrave & Co would work all week at the Forest at Delamere. On Friday evening he would return to the yard in John Street Chester with a pole wagon loaded with tree trunks, and drawn by a team of four horses, with names like Dragon, Duke etc. On the way through Christleton he would stop at The Red Lion for a drink and “Cheese Butty” Mr Dean the Landlord remembers him well, and his horses too, which he says used to have moustaches!!. Duly refreshed Tom would drive his load on through Boughton and Foregate Street, back to his yard.A story retold in Christleton A Cheshire Village. Published 1978
1603. The Glass House Inn. John Witter
1636. Elizabeth Morris, William Phillips, Margaret Hansford. John Hare at Rowton.
1674. The Glass House Margaret Brown
1730. The Glass House Mr Witter
1760. The Plume of Feathers. Thomas Leigh
1768. The Plough Inn. Thomas Leigh
1773. The Old Trooper- Owned by Thomas Brock Wood Lord of the Manor. Sold to William Seller Brewer.
1780. The Glass House. Mr Witter
1783. The Plough Inn, Gibbet Heath, Thomas Leigh
1790. The Plough Inn. Daniel Johnson
1797. Rowton Hall House. (Became Rowton Hall Hotel in 1955 Quellyn Roberts).
1800. The Bottom of the Wood
1817. The Red Lion John Venables
1822. The Volunteer- George Roden
1823. The Plough Inn. Daniel Johnson (Nephew)
1834. The Four Ales. Edward Parry
1835. The Old Trooper Rebuilt
Bottom of the Wood, Christleton
The Old Glasshouse, Christleton
The Old Trooper Inn, Christleton
The Old Trooper Inn sign, Christleton
Glass House shown on John Ogilby's road map in 1675
1842. The Ring O Bells.Thomas Brown. Beer House Keeper & Overseer of the Poor.
1842. The Red Lion Inn. Elizabeth Venables. 72yrs. Licensed Victualler
1844. The Ring O Bells William J & Edward R Sellers
1860. The Red Lion. Elizabeth Venables.
1850. The Old Trooper. Samuel Seller & Edward R Seller, Brewers.
1870. The Ring O Bells. Thos Brown, Thos Johnson, James Parry
1874. The Old Trooper. Thomas Johnson, Ellen Partington
1875. The Plough Inn. Leased to Greenall’s
1881. The Plough Inn. Greenhall & Company
1884. The Ring O Bells was sold to the Parochial Church Council to enable a Boys School to be built. The Publican & Coachbuilder James Parry sold the land for £600.
1894. The Red Lion. Joe Mosford
1895. The Plough Inn. Purchased by Greenall Whitley.
1891. The Old Trooper. Sold to Albion Breweries, Wigan which became Threlfalls, then Whitbreads
1900. The Plough Inn. John Atkin.(Held License for 52years)
1900. The Abbotts Well Inn. (Formerly Christleton Bank House)
1911. The Red Lion. Samuel Harding.
1939. The Red Lion Mary Evans.
1971. The Plough Inn. Joseph Griffiths.
Circa 2000 The Cheshire Cat