Photo of Royal Oak

Woodbridge Royal Oak

also traded as as: Sherlock's Wine Bar

historical era: mid 20th century

opened 1791

closed 1936

17 Thoroughfare

grid reference TM 273 490

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listed building grade II

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CAMRA Ipswich & East Suffolk branch.

last updated 05/11/2016

The Royal Oak closed in the 1930s. The building was later used as a wine bar owned by actor Douglas Wilmer, who was apparently known for having played Sherlock Holmes - hence the name.

The 1904 Woodbridge licensing records show that the Royal Oak's license was issued in 1853. Whether this was when it was first licensed or when it got a full (ie not just beer) license isn't clear, though the latter seems more probable.

Built in 1791 by John Sparrow.

A report in the Ipswich Journal** in May 1820 states that :

To be sold by auction, on the 8th June 1820, at the Crown Inn, Woodbridge, Lot 2., situate nearly central in the open and most frequented part of the Thoroughfare, in Woodbridge, together with a very large and excellent brick built stables, chaise houses and necessary buildings. The tenant has had notice to quit at Michaelmas.

A report in the Ipswich Journal** in Nov 1820 states :

Mr Blair having purchased, the Royal Oak, Woodbridge, solicits a share of the favours of his friends and public having laid in a stock of the best wines, spirits, fine ale, London Porter, he hopes, by unremitting assiduity, to merit their attention. Note: Good stabling, and a market dinner provide on Wednesday at half past two o'clock.

In 1843 it was the property of Miss Susan Lankester, grandmother of Ray Lankester the eminent scientist.

A report in the Ipswich Journal** on Apr-21 in 1860 when John Garnham was the landlord states that:

Mr John Garnham, of the Royal Oak, was returning home from Euston when his horse fell, and he and an elderly female named King, who was riding with him were thrown out. Mr Garnham dislocated his left wrist and fractured the small bone of the arm. The old lady escaped with a slight bruise.

Listed as a posting house in 1874

It was the property of Mr. John Garnham in 1899, and was then famous for its livery stables.

(Most pub, location & historic details collated by Nigel, Tony or Keith - original sources are credited)

Closure date from Woodbridge licensing records.

(extract from a town pub booklet written by David Hague which also includes extracts from Booth's Almanac of 1899)

(some old PO directory information courtesy of londonpublichouse.com)

(** historic newspaper information from Stuart Ansell)