A nice stroll through Hedon from North to South can help visitors appreciate the town’s history – and also its pubs!
Start at The Station. Originally called the Governors House, The Sun and Durham Ox, this pub has been known as The Station (sometimes ‘Inn’, sometimes ‘Hotel’) since 1880. Just a little further north is the actual Hedon Station which formed part of the Hull to Withernsea Railway Line which closed down in the 1960’s.
Head South down Souttergate towards the town centre – not forgetting to take in Hedon’s oldest buildings the Painter’s Cottages on your right hand side.
The King’s Head stands at the end of Souttergate on the corner of Magdalen Gate. The pub is an ancient building dating from the time of King George III – but the picture on the current sign shows King William III. On the corner of the pub against the wall lies a large stone, which may have been placed there as a mounting block to assist people when mounting or dismounting a horse or coach.
Turn left and follow Magdalen Gate and you will find the Hedon British Legion Club. This “new kid on the block” has only been in existence as a club since 1938! The concert room was built in 1974.
Carry on South from the King’s Head across the Market Place and turn left down the full length of George Street. You will then find The Shakespeare Inn. The Shakey was once known as the Sir Charles Saunders, named after the man – a Hedon MP – who had once owned it. Rumour has it that he used the hospitality of the pub to ‘buy votes’ in the days when the town was a ‘rotten borough’ as far as Parliamentary elections went!
Leaving the Shakespeare and travelling South down Baxtergate will bring you to the main road. Turn right onto Fletchergate until you reach Iveson Close and you will see the rear of the Queen’s Head pub.
The Queen’s was once named the Euryalus after a warship that fought in the Battle of Trafalgar. It was re-named the Queen’s Head in 1837 in honour of the new Queen Victoria – although the current sign shows Queen Elizabeth I.
Leave the Queen’s by its front door and turn left. Cross the main road and continue southwards down Sheriff Highway for the long walk up to the Havenside. Turn right down this country lane until you find the Haven Arms.
Still known by many locals as the Borough Arms, the pub originally opened in 1825 as the Corporation Arms and a plaque above the door bears testament to this fact. The place was built to serve those who worked and visited the Haven – Hedon’s port amenity.
Hedon’s pub trail is introduced here – but the short journey takes in far more history than is possible to summarise here! Perhaps we need to produce a definitive guide and map to help visitors – and locals – discover the town through new eyes!