Explore our dynamic panoramas

No 8 East Street - The Victoria Hotel


Built in 1856, the Victoria Hotel was built on the site of a much older inn called sucessively 'The Pilot Boat', 'The Nag's Head' and 'The Star' . For much of its life the Victoria was notable as the only non-Adnams pub in Southwold. It was owned by the Norwich brewer, Bullards, which was bought by Watneys in 1963. From 1930 until 1956, the pub was managed by John and Elsie Adams. Their great grandaughter, Julieanne Steel and her mother, Rosanna, kindly provided us with the details of their tenure.

Widow Foster - Inn Keeper. This is the last year of her trading. The inn is taken over by Peter Palmer, a Trinity Pilot, and his wife, Sarah. (M)

Sarah Palmer - Inn Keeper, the wife of Peter Palmer, pilot

James Woodard - Inn Keeper - (W).James is married to Martha Chipperfield Woodard (nee Martin), the eldest daughter of James Martin, landlord of The Red Lion at No 2 South Green. They have three sons and three daughters

The building, now known as 'The Nag's Head', is demolished in July and rebuilt. The new tavern is opened in March the following year and initially signed 'The Star'. This is later changed to 'The Victoria Tavern'. While the work is proceeding, Maggs records that James Woodard moves - with his licence - to the butcher's shop in the Marketplace. (M)

James Woodard - Inn Keeper, dies on 3 November

Martha Woodard - Inn Keeper (C) At age 69, James' widow continues to run the inn

George Ellis Wright - Victualler (W 1874, C1891)

Joseph Jarvis (K 1896)

Walter Wigg (K 1908) Public House.

Arthur Mayhew (K 1916)
1924, 1926
George Barber (K 1924, PPP 1926)

1933, 1937
John Adams - Public House Tenant (K1933 and 1937). John Adams and his wife, Elsie have a married daughter, Florence May Gilbert and her three little girls, Rosanna, Jaqueline and Heather, all of whom also live in the pub.

John Adams dies and his widow Elsie takes over the pub. The same year her daughter Florence gives birth to her third baby girl, Rosanna.

Elsie makes it known that her aim is to run the Queen Victoria specifically as a pub for working men.

Elsie Adams - Public House tenant.

John and Elsie's daughter, Florence May (Gilbert), dies in the pub of TB aged just 32, leaving her mother, Elsie to look after the three small girls as well as running the pub


Elsie Adams dies after more than twenty years in the Queen Victoria
Walter and Phyllis Cook take on the lease of the pub and live on the premises. Walter has been running the wet fish shop across the road at No 5 East Street and continues to do so although, from 1958 onwards, he increasingly hands over its management to his son, Richard.

Behind the Victoria is a separate smokehouse which is used by the Cook's fishmonger business.

Walter & Phyllis Cook relinquish the lease this year and Mr & Mrs Cornelius o'Keeffe take it over. (LM)

David Endersby and his father, keen fishermen, frequently lodge at the Victoria on trips to Southwold during the 1960s. Read David's reminiscences here.


Moseley (LM)

John Illston takes over as landlord, offering cooked meals (SRB)

John Illston departs to run the The Lord Nelson

Theresa Hart - Hart's
Wine Bar (SST1994)

East Street Bar - (proprietor?)


'The Blue Lighthouse' Bistro.

'The Blue Lighthouse' Bistro closes this year


Do you have any memories or records about this address? Can you correct any of our information or fill in any of our blanks? If so, please email Barry Tolfree
Our forum facility has been withdrawn by the provider. Sorry for the inconvenience. We are looking for an alternative.

BSD - Bernard Segrave-Daly
BCS = Bygones & Characters of Southwold by Barrett Jenkins
C = Census
CP = Cinema Programme 1958
CSP = Coronation Souvenir Programme 1953
G = Gales Trade Directory
GRO = General Register Office
K = Kelly's Directory
LM = Local memory
M = James Maggs' Southwold Diary 1818-1876
MCG = Methodist Church Guide 1930
NA = National Archives
PP = Pantomime Programme 1933
PLR = Petrol Licence Records

POD = Post Office Directory
PPP = Pier Pavilion Programme 1924, 1926
RCE = Rotary Club Exhibition 1969
SCM = Southwold Catholic Magazine 1923
SCTG = Southwold Corporation Tourist Guide
SER = Southwold Electoral Register
SFP = Southwold Scouts Fete Programme 1947
SG = Southwold Guide
SGCH = Southwold Golf Club Handbook
SLHR = Southwold Local History Recorder 1980s 1990s (Mrs R. McDermot)
SMHS = Southwold Museum & Historical Society

SN = Southwold & Neighbourhood 1903
SPM = Southwold Parish Magazine 1895 -1954
SR = Southwold Recorder 1927, 1932, 1934, 1935
SRB = Southwold Rate Book
SRT = Southwold Railway Timetable 1915
SSAS = Southwold Sea Angling Society Handbook 1909
SST = Southwold Summer Theatre Programmes
SSW = Southwold Shopping Week Programme, June/July 1922
STG = Southwold Town Guide 1930
SVL = Southwold Visitors List 1907, 1930
SVCP = Southwold Victory Celebration Programme 1946
SWCG = Southwold Wesleyan Church Guide

TTR = 'The Town Revisited' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 2000
TTT = ''To The Town' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 1988
W = White’s History, Gazetteer and Directory of Suffolk 1874

Note on dates
Unless otherwise stated, dates given do not indicate the years in which the business started or finished but those for which there is firm evidence that it was trading at this address. Sources in brackets; key at bottom of page.

The Victoria in the 1980s
with thanks to Elizabeth Tydeman

Victoria pub sign 1960s
The Victoria pub sign in the 1960s. The building behind it is the WS Cook & Son Fishmongers shop, No 5 East Street.

Click to see the whole picture

With thanks to Richard and Helen Cook for this picture

1994 advertisement inthe Southwold Summer Theatre programme

1997 advertisement in the Southwold Summer Theatre programme