Archaeology and Heritage

Two old Waterside pubs

The Green Dragon

This magnificent four-gabled timber-framed building dates from c 1500, and probably began life as the house of a wealthy merchant, although it may have been on this site that the wool staple had stood up until the 14th century. The staple house was where wool for export was stored and the tax paid.

Despite the antiquity of the building, the present Green Dragon has only been a public house since its restoration and extension in the late 1950s, replacing a much smaller brick-built pub of the same name that adjoined it on the east side. It was bought by the Common Council in 1569 from Thomas Grantham and by 1624 documentary records refer to the building as the Great Garrettes. It is known that there were six tenants at the time of sale, and seems to have remained as tenements and shops up until the 1950s.

It was close to here that a medieval tower stood, in a plot of land called Tower Garth. This tower was at the south-east corner of the city’s medieval defences, mirrored by the Lucy Tower on Brayford Wharf  North.

The Witch and Wardrobe

Parts of this building date back to the 13th century, but it is mainly 16th-century in date. Many people will remember it as a fish and chip shop, as it was for most of the 20th century, but from the 1850s-70s it was a basket maker’s workshop, then the Liberal Club until 1890. It was restored and opened as a pub in 1979, taking its name from the popular story by C S Lewis.