Angel, 137 High Street, Colchester

Colchester pub history index

Runwald Church - Angel in the background

A sketch of St.Runwald Church with the Angel shown in the background. ***

Angel, High Street, Colchester

Early history ***

16th century to 1951, an ancient inn, now council offices
The origin of the name of this ancient inn is almost certainly religious. It is traditionally said to have been built as a guest house for pilgrims for whom there was insufficient room at the famous Abbey of St John the Baptist, of which the magnificent gatehouse facing St John's Green is the only visible reminder of its former greatness.
The following is based on articles written by the late Gerald Rickword with some additions by the author.
The earliest reference to the house is found in the will of Matthew Rede, who died in 1517, and left to his daughter Joan, 'my lytell tenement sett next the Angel of the market place in Colchester.' Its importance a century later may be gauged by it being appointed in 1603 one of 'ye only three wine taverns' in the town 'being ancjent Innes and Taverns.' Certain entries in the Corporation accounts at the same period also tell of its reputation for good cheer.
Imprimis for the Bayliffe and Aldermen their dynner at the Angell the XXX of September 1600, 35 shillings
No small sum in those days! During the following year we find:
Item for a supp at the Angell the XII die of July iii li xs (£3 10s).
Other memories are of the meetings of the vestrymen of St Runwald's to settle parish accounts and problems, with an occasional special celebration as in March 1781, when after 'beating the bounds' an item 'Expense at the Angel on day of perambulation £1 18s 0d.' was duly passed and recorded.
But the most enduring memory of the inn is its long association with freemasonry, Angel Lodge, No 51, founded 1735, moving there after its inaugral meeting at the Three Cups, and making it its habitation for over a century at least. The Brethren met there on their hundredth anniversary and after performing their mystic rites, adjourned 'from labour to refreshment' and partook of 'an excellent dinner served up by Brother Strait,' then mine host.
Annual 'Auricula shews', first started in May 1769, when William Fowe succeeded Barker Holton in the tenancy and made the inn a convivial centre for all flower lovers for many years.
The coming and going of stage waggons - William Wellum of Needham Market, 'with a strong double cart,' drove in regularly as early as 1748, and 'put up at the Angel in the Fish Market' every Saturday, and returned on the following Mondays - and coaches - the 'New Colchester' and 'The Cambridge' - and postchaises contributed to the bustle and excitements of a typical market town inn, which in 1839 was included among the 'ten superior inns and hotels' in Colchester.

Angel, High Street, Colchester - 1907 advertising

An Advertisement from 1907 ***

Angel, 137 High Street, Colchester - in May 2010

Angel, 137 High Street, Colchester - in May 2010

Kindly provided by Stephen Harris

Residents at this address

1822/John Smith/../../../Pigot's**

1823-4/John Smith/../../../Pigot's

1828-9/John Smith/../../../Pigot's

1832-3/Peter Clark/../../../Pigot's

1839/Samuel Turner/../../../Pigot's

1845/Samuel Turner/../../../Post Office

1848/Samuel Turner/../../../White's

1851/Samuel Turner/Innkeeper/68/Tannington, Suffolk/Census*
1851/Ann Turner/Wife/50/Bocking, Essex/Census
1851/Susanna Secret/House Servant/19/Colchester, Essex/Census
1851/Sarah Denny/Cook/18/Fingringhoe, Essex/Census
1851/Samuel Brown/Ostler/36/Little Horkesley, Essex/Census
1851/John Joslin/Nephew, Scholar/9/Great Leigh, Essex/Census
1851/Thomas Farrington/Brother in Law, Tailor/51/Great Oakley, Essex/Census
1851/James Witaker/Visitor, Sargent in the Army/36/Godalming, Surrey/Census

1852/S. Turner/../../../Kelly's**

1855/J. Turner/../../../Kelly's**

1855/John Turner/../../../Post Office Directory **+

1862/George Allen/../../../Kelly's

1867/Charles Edward Wheable/../../../Post Office

1870/Charles Edward Wheable/../../../Kelly's

1871/Charles Edward Wheable/../../../Post Office

1874/William M. Middleton/../../../Kelly's

1878/Tom Creswell/../../../Kelly's

1881/Frederick H. Watt/Licensed Victuallar/29/Greenwich, Kent/Census
1881/Florence Watt/Wife/21/Ramsgate, Kent/Census
1881/Emily Watt/Daughter/3/Ramsgate, Kent/Census
1881/Frederick G. Watt/Son/2/Ramsgate, Kent/Census
1881/Earnest W. Watt/Son/1/Colchester, Essex/Census
1881/Margaret Salford/Cook/45/London, Middlesex/Census
1881/Alice K. Rodgers/Nurse/17/Thorrington, Essex/Census
1881/Fredrick Alden/Boots/42/Colchester, Essex/Census
1881/Rebecca Bird/Visitor, Independant Means/60/Brightlingsea, Essex/Census

1882/James John Hayter/../../../Kelly's

1894/James John Hayter/../../../Kelly's

1895/James John Hayter/../../../Kelly's

1898/Walter Bliss/../../../Kelly's

1899/Walter Bliss/../../../Kelly's

1902/William Stockley Houghton/../../../Kelly's

1908/William Stockley Houghton/../../../Kelly's

1912/Edward Wynne Harvey/../../../Kelly's

1914/Edward Wynne Harvey/../../../Kelly’s Directory **+

1917/Mrs. Septima Phillips/../../../Kelly's

1925/Joseph Albert Jones/../../../Kelly's

1933/Joseph Albert Jones/../../../Kelly's

1937/Ind Coope & Allsopp Ltd/../../../Kelly's

* Provided by CG

** Provided by the Pubs, Inns and Taverns Index for England, 1801-1900

**+ Provided by Stephen Harris

*** Information kindly provided by Jess Jephcott at

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  • And Last updated on: Thursday, 25-Jan-2024 15:43:31 GMT