THE PUBLIC HOUSES & INNS OF LEYLAND
The Fox & Lion
The public house at the Cross seems to have been created from a row of cottages with a fake Georgian frontage. The name until 1800 being the Ring O’'Bells, then changed to the Bay Horse, which is a fox hunting term.
AROUND THE OLD VILLAGE
Eagle & Child Inn
One of Leyland’s oldest inns, the Eagle & Child's role as a public house dates from 1753, the innkeeper being William Cooper, the pub then being known as The Holy Lamb. Whilst according to the Quarter Sessions records of Innkeepers for 1786, the landlord was a Nicholas Plaskett.
The original building dates back to the cottage built on this School Hillock site in 1749, although the main body of the public house probably dates from the 18th Century with some 19th Century additions. It has been suggested that part of the premises were reputedly used as Leyland's Court House with the cellars being used as holding rooms for offenders, though it has not been possible to confirm this from any documentary evidence.
About 1880, before piped water came to Leyland, people carried water from a pump at the rear of the Eagle & Child. In 1981, the inn was renovated internally and externally to its present condition, managing to retain the stone flag floor, though the interior has now become open plan, the small rooms becoming one long room and the bar moved to a central position.
The Eagle & Child name goes back to a legend that in the reign of Edward III, Sir Thomas Latham, ancestor of the Stanley's, Earls of Derby had only one legitimate child, a daughter Isabel but he had an illegitimate son by Mary Oscatell. He ordered this child to be laid at the foot of a tree in which an eagle has built its nest. Taking a walk with his wife he led her passed the tree and pretended to find the boy later persuading her to adopt him as their son.
The boy was called Sir Oscatell Latham and considered heir. However Sir Thomas confessed the fraud and at his death his fortune went to his daughter who later married Sir John Stanley. At the adoption of the child, Sir Thomas had an eagle looking backwards as a crest, this , out of ill feeling towards Sir Oscatell, was later changed into an eagle preying upon a child.
The former George IV Hotel was built onto the original adjacent cottages, being known prior to 1820, when George IV came to the throne, as " The Grapes ".
The street down the side of the hotel is now known as Spring Gardens, but was previously called Bradshaw Street, with a row of weaver’s cottages and its own Sunday School.
The Withy Arms
This public house is built on the site of the oldest pub in Leyland and was known as the Roebuck until 2013. Its previous name prior to 1824 being " The Stag ". Many local families have been involved in the running of the pub including the Critchleys and the Iddons until Whittle Springs Brewery took over the public house. This was the venue for the Worden tenants dinners.
The pub has recently been renovated and renamed with outdoor seating in the former stable yard, plans are well advanced for a micro-brewery behind the pub. Withy is a derivation of willow.
Leyland Historical Society