The Red Lion Inn had probably existed as an ale-house for many years prior to its first known listing in a trade directory of 1826. Situated on the west side of High Street, it was almost opposite the Methodist Chapel, just south of the former Papist Hall. Following the formation of Barrow’s Ancient Order of Foresters, the Red Lion was used predominantly as their meeting house.
The property is shown in 1920s photographs as a plain ale or beer-house with evidence of its age in its dentilled eaves course of bricks, small low entrance door and horizontal string course, all of which can be indicative of the late 17th or early 18th Century. Many of the early victuallers had other trades (farmer, corn miller etc.) and this may suggest that it had been a farm building at some point. The extensive buildings at the rear of the building, shown on 19th Century Ordnance Survey plans, would seem to confirm this.
An unusual oil painting of the Red Lion, dated 1837, shows the building as it was, with cart entrance to the left and the range of outbuildings stretching off behind (section shown below).
Unfortunately, the building was demolished after the Second World War, Frank Clayton being the last victualler in the late 1920s. Modern and very plain flats now occupy the site.
Some references to the Red Lion: -
1826 — Thomas Burton
1839-1842 — James Metham
1849-1858 — Charles Kirman, “& corn miller”
1851 — Charles Kirman (Census – licensed victualler, aged 46 years)
1861 — Charles Robinson (Census – inn keeper & farmer of 100 acres, High Street)
1863 — William Henry Giles, Red Lion Inn
1868-1872 — Joseph Clayton “& farmer and horse & gig letter”
1871 — Joseph Clayton (Census – inn keeper & farmer of 40 acres)
1876 — Robert Newham
1881 — (Robert Newham, Inn Keeper, High Street (Census, aged 49)
1882 — Robert Newham, “& horse & gig letter”
1885 — William Richardson
1889-1901 — Joseph Jackson, Red Lion P.H.
1901 — Joseph Jackson (Census – aged 40 years, also listed as a farmer)
1905-1913 — Francis Fussey
1919-1926 — Frank Ernest Clayton
1930 — Sidney Hewell
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