Photo of Southwold Arms

Southwold Southwold Arms

also traded as as: Green Man, Joiners Arms

historical era: late 20th century

closed 1996

50 High St, IP18 6DJ

grid reference TM 506 762

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CAMRA North-East Suffolk branch.

last updated 25/10/2016

now residential

A paperback book published in 1969, called "Inns of the Suffolk Coast" by Leonard P Thompson** contains the following description:

Colour-Sargeant Robert MacKenzie attested his Scottish descent by always wearing tam o' shanter, and serving no meals before grace had been said. He would not accommodate females or couples, for fear they were not properly married, and he objected to seeing any lady dance with a man not her husband…(he) never once slept away from home in the 28 years he was tenant of the Southwold Arms. When he died, in 1915, at the age of 87, the soldiers then stationed in the town gave him a military funeral. If this building did not become a pub until the middle of the (19th) century, it was certainly in existence long before then. Two cellar walls running at right angles to the High Street are of Tudor brick, and a cross-wall is of more recent construction, indicating that the cellar may originally have been much larger. Mr Morris Butt and his wife Joan are the host & hostess at this homely pub. Mr Butt was formerly in the Metropolitan Police River Division.

Also historically may be listed at 58 High St.

Originally called Green Man - On 6th Sep 1803 changed its name to Joiners Arms - on 06 Sep 1839 changed its name to Southwold Arms****

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

To be sold by auction, by Mr Cana, at the New Swan Inn, Southwold, Lot 3., the freehold of Joiners Arms: a substantially brick built public house, in excellent repair, possessing every convenience for carrying on extensive trade, and is subject to trifling outgoings. The tenant has notice to quit at Michaelmas.

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

To be sold by auction, at the King's Arms, Halesworth, on the 17th January 1821, as part of a large sale of Independent Inns and Public House, of established trade, in Suffolk, Lot 8., the Joiner's Arms, public house at Southwold. All the houses for sale were described as being substantially brick built, in excellent repair, extremely well accustomed, possessing every convenience for carrying on extensive trades, and are subjected to trifling outgoings.

A report in the Ipswich Journal*** on 08 Jan in 1859 states :

To be let, with immediate possession, the Joiner's Arms This old-established public house in Southwold - Aplly to the Counting House of COBBOLD & Son, Ipswich

A report in the Ipswich Journal** in Mar 1865 states :

To be sold by auction, Lot 3, the Southwold Arms, Southwold, situated in the main street, having a frontage of 58ft. This freehold house is a substantially erected building, sash fronted and slated, containing tap room, kitchen, parlour, bar, and 5 airy bedrooms, cellar and washhouse; an enclosed yard, and capital brick and tiled fish house, stable and gig house, with good loft over the same; in the occupation of Mr Major Sidney.

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

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

(** historic newspaper information from Stuart Ansell)

(*** historic newspaper & book information from Bob Mitchell)

(**** Reference to pub seen in Southwold Diary of James Maggs (1818-1876) published by Suffolk Records Society in 2007)


A Green Man is a sculpture, drawing, or other representation of a face surrounded by or made from leaves. Also frequently found on carvings in churches and other buildings (both secular and ecclesiastical).

The Company of Joiners were granted a coat of arms in 1571. Traditionally they were usually employed in producing more ornamental work than carpenters.