187 Enville Street Stourbridge DY83TB Tel: 01384 374410

The History of Katie Fitzgerald's public house researched & written by John Richards


Originally known as the Golden Lion, Katie Fitzgerald's was a small one-roomed beerhouse, the property of Mary Faulkner. It was well positioned to attract travellers along the Stourbridge-Kinver turnpike road. The Duke of Wellington's Beer House Act, 1830, permitted a householder or ratepayer, on payment of two guineas to the Excise, to turn his private house into a public house. In an area then known as Mamble Square, the Golden Lion opened in competition to the Bridge Inn opposite. The first licensee was widow Mary Faulkner around 1844; she was recorded in the 1851 census aged 70, with her daughter Mary, 37, and son William, 32. They employed one servant. Victorian licensing hours were both long and demanding, 18 hours a day, 4 am to 10 pm, seven days a week. Closed only during Divine Service, Christmas Day, and Good Friday. Mary Faulkner's choice of sign is interesting; the Golden Lion was usually associated with either Henry I, or the dukes of Northumberland, the Percy's. She however, was Welsh, so her reasons were probably more pragmatic, as there were two Red Lions and two White Lions nearby.  Like the Bridge Inn, the Golden Lion was a homebrewed house. The popular Victorian Stourbridge drink was a form of malty mild: heavy, dark, sweet and strong - that usually varied considerably from brew to brew. The average Black Country gravity was 1060 - the second highest in England. By 1853 Mary Faulkner had passed on, and her daughter Mary had taken over. She remained single, then unusual for a landlady - selling the business to Thomas Whiston in 1865. Locally born Thomas Whiston was documented in the 1871 census aged 45, with his wife Elizabeth, 46, and one servant.  Stourbridge magistrates granted the Golden Lion inn status in the 1870's. This permitted the house to remain open as long as a bed was empty, offering basic accommodation, simple victuals, homebrewed ale, and stabling to the lawful traveller.  Rated at £28 0s 0d in 1900, the beerhouse was granted a full alehouse licence two years later. This permitted the retailing of wine and spirits in addition to beer, stout and porter. A status most beerhouse keepers sought but failed to achieve.

Brewing on the premises stopped when the Golden Lion was leased to Burton brewers Sidney Evershed Ltd, in 1902. In 1904, North Worcestershire Breweries Ltd, Stourbridge Brewery, Lower High Street, Stourbridge took the lease. Thomas Homer of Brierley Hill bought the Golden Lion in 1905, when brewing resumed. This continued through new owner John Auden until his death in 1924, when the Golden Lion became the property of Francis Joseph Matthews. Francis Joseph Matthews also owned the (Old) Crispin, in Windmill Street, now Church Street, Stourbridge. Son Francis John carried on the family tradition, brewing until 1947, when the family sold to Ansells Brewery in March 1961. Ansells closed the Golden Lion in 1984, and again in 1986, when it re-opened as the Stourbridge Lion, 4 August 1989.

Structurally unchanged, the old Golden Lion Inn continues to be a popular freehouse, and is now know as Katie Fitzgerald's, who was the grandmother of owner Trina Keane.




1844 Mary Faulkner 1853

1853 Mary Faulkner (daughter) 1865

1865 Thomas Whiston 1879

1879 Edward Hawkswood 1884

1884 Trevis Richards 1895

1895 Moses Hipkiss 1901

1901 William Bowen 1905

1905 John Homer 1905

1905 George Mountford 1906

1906 Zachariah Mills 1907

1907 William Henry Cooper 1908

1908 Joseph Jordan 1909

1909 William Edmonds 1910

1910 John Auden 1924

1924 Rhoda Auden 1924

1924 Charles Henry Waldron 1926

1926 Thomas Samuel Watkins 1929

1929 Arthur George Morris 1930

1930 Reginald Thomas Ellis 1934

1934 William Henry Skinner 1936

1936 Reginald Thomas Ellis 1939

1939 Francis John Matthews 1947

1947 Evelyn Beatrice Matthews 1954

1954 Sarah Elizabeth Matthews 1958

1958 Ethel Maria Denbury 1959

1959 Sarah Elizabeth Matthews 1959

1959 Thomas Harry Cartwright 1960

1960 Harry Coates 1960

1960 Kenneth G Shilvock 1961

1961 John Hartley Rider 1964

1964 Ronald Haycock 1966

1966 John Sadler 1966

1966 John Frederick Morris 1967

1967 Robert Caleb Darby 1968

1968 Eunice Joan Dawler 1968

1968 Audrey May Kirkham 1974

1974 Donald Nock 1976

1976 Ernest Hartill 1984

1984 Michael Bradburn 1985

1985 Raymond Forester 1985

1985 Robert William Griffiths 1987

1987 John William Kent 1988

1988 Margaret Diana Costello 1990

1990 Roger Anthony Cooper 1992

1992 Margaret Diana Costello 2000

16/06/2000 Petrina Rosemarie Keane



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Click on the Links below to

listen to the "Queen of Stourbridge Town" from the album " Stourbridge Town"

Eddy Mortons song about the

ghosts that haunt Katie Fitzgeralds.

Click on the Links below to

listen to the "Battle For stourbridge'  from the album " Rainbow man " Eddy Mortons song about the events of 1962 that altered the history of the canals.

For more info on other New Mountain Music albums or Studio hire

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