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The pubs and breweries
of Barton upon Humber,
Barrow and New Holland...

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Black Bull Inn—Market Place

The Derby Mercury newspaper recorded a bankruptcy notice in 1775, when Robert Sowerby – a Tanner of Crowle in Lincolnshire – was to appear at ‘the house of Joseph Glentworth, the Black Bull, Barton upon Humber’. This is an example of how small legal hearings such as this were held in pubs or inns in the smaller country towns. A later notice in the Stamford Mercury in April 1866 described the Black Bull as follows:

‘To be Let, and entered upon at May-day next, All that free, commodious, & well accustomed INN, called the Black Bull, situate in the Market-place of BARTON UPON HUMBER, compromising 3 low rooms in front, excellent market room, 3 lodging rooms on the second floor, 6 other lodging rooms, kitchen, dairy, pantry, cellars, Brewhouse, various Out-buildings, good stabling for 40 horses, 2 Hay lofts, Straw loft, Granary, and other conveniences attached thereto. A very good Pig Market is held in the Yard weekly. The House has been established as an Inn upwards of 70 years, and the premises are well adapted for carrying on the business of Innkeeper and Wine and Spirit Merchant combined.

For rent and other particulars apply to Mr. William Hardy, Barton on Humber, the owner.’

The Black Bull c.1890, in the tenancy of James Allen, who is most probably standing at the door with his smartly dressed wife.

The Black Bull was located on the site of the present public conveniences and car park on south side of the Market Place, to the east of another of Barton’s large former pubs – the White Lion. The White Lion property has survived (see later) but the Black Bull closed in 1917, and was mostly demolished soon after the First World War. Its remains were finally cleared during the Second World War when the site was used for air-raid shelters. The pub is shown in old photographs to have been similar in appearance to the surviving White Lion property. Both had the traditional gallows-style posts protruding at first floor level, with inn signs hung from them. The Black Bull had a later oriel window added, probably at the end of the 19th century. The following newspaper extract from the Hull & Lincolnshire Times of 6 January 1917, gave some brief alleged details of the inn’s history:


The Black Bull Inn in Barton Market Place was closed with compensation last Saturday and so passes away another of ‘the former things’. In 1793 our records describe it as the Black Bull Inn, formerly two cottages, the owner Mary Glentworth, widow. She proved her claim to two rights of common, for which she received the field on Brigg Road containing 3 acres, 1 rod and 20 perches, now the estate of Mr R W Taylor. The place looks like a small farmstead, which no doubt it was, with the stack-yard on the ground eastward, where now stand houses and Mr Kirby’s mill. This ground in the sixteen hundreds was called King’s House or King’s Garth, no one exactly knows why, but some careful students of Barton history think the castle was probably built here. After Mary Glentworth’s death the house was occupied by other members of the family, or by the Hardy’s, with whom the Glentworth’s intermarried, and it appears to be still in the hands of those who held it in 1793. Perhaps the oldest owner and occupier within living memory is William Hardy, often colloquially styled ‘Billy’, who died in 1846, and was succeeded by his widow, Mary, who carried on the inn for 16 years longer. She was a member of the Wesleyan Society, took sittings at chapel, and provided the wine for the Lord’s Supper.

The Glentworth’s and Hardy’s were owners of considerable property at Barton, Barrow and Bonby. The Black Bull ‘dies’ with a good character, but the loss of Barton Market has made the house unnecessary, many people think several others could be well spared.’

Some references to the Black Bull:

1775 — John Glentworth
1791 — Mrs Glentworth, farmer & victualler, Black Bull
1793 — Mary Glentworth
1811 — Mr E Glentworth (licence transfer)
1822-1829 — Hannah Glentworth
1835-1842 — William Hardy, Black Bull
1846-1861 — Mrs Mary Hardy
1863 — William Spence, Bull Inn, Market Place
1868 — William Hardy
1871-72 — Mrs Ann Hardy
1876-1901 — James Allen
1905 — Herbert Pickering
1906 — W H Bellerby
1909-1912 — George Jack
1913 — Charles Major
1914 — G Major
1917 — W Guy

The site of the Black Bull as it appears today.

An Edwardian postcard photograph showing The Black Bull and the White Lion in close proximity; note the narrow entrance to Market Lane, long before the road was widened here.

A section of the 1887 Ordnance Survey of Barton, with pubs past and present in the Market Place area highlighted. The Black Bull is marked 5.

1 Wheatsheaf Inn
2 George Hotel
3 Queen Inn
4 White Lion Inn
5 Black Bull Inn
6 Old Mill
7 Corn Exchange Club

Paul Gibson’s Hull and East Yorkshire History

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