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Memory Lane: Now a restaurant, the White Lion pub was once heart of town

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: June 25, 2014

  • The White Lion, in Buxton Road, is the focus of Memory Lane this week. The pictures were lent to the paper by former landlord Richard Gregory, who ran the pub for eight years.

  • The White Lion, in Buxton Road, is the focus of Memory Lane this week. The pictures were lent to the paper by former landlord Richard Gregory, who ran the pub for eight years.

  • The White Lion, in Buxton Road, is the focus of Memory Lane this week. The pictures were lent to the paper by former landlord Richard Gregory, who ran the pub for eight years.

  • The White Lion, in Buxton Road, is the focus of Memory Lane this week. The pictures were lent to the paper by former landlord Richard Gregory, who ran the pub for eight years.

  • The White Lion, in Buxton Road, is the focus of Memory Lane this week. The pictures were lent to the paper by former landlord Richard Gregory, who ran the pub for eight years.

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THIS week, we look back on the history of one of Ashbourne's former hotels – the White Lion, in Buxton Road.

Although, in recent years, it has become a restaurant – its name changing to Bramhalls, Carletto's and, most recently, White's – it was once a thriving hub for life in the town.

Its name is believed to relate to the heraldic sign of Edward IV, who was King of England from March 1461 until October 1470 and reigned again from April 1471 until his death in 1483.

These pictures were lent to us by former landlord Richard Gregory, who ran the White Lion for eight years before leaving in 1993.

He took over from well-known, long-serving landlady Phyllis Stubbs, who was the niece of its previous tenants Clarence and Hilda Jones.

"Uncle Clary", as he was affectionately known, was described by his former neighbour Trilby Shaw as a very strict man and she can recall plenty of people being sent away down its round steps. Back in its heyday, the White Lion was one of the town's most important pubs.

Its location between the Market Place and the former Cattle Market, which stood on the site of Auction Close, meant it was frequented by the auctioneers.

Mrs Shaw recalls its dining room was used for cattle sales by auctioneers Bagshaws and many businessmen would gather there for meetings.

Although its interior looked very much like a traditional market place pub, it attracted a "more select" clientele.

Mr Jones, who ran the pub for Ind Coope & Allsopp Ltd and took over from Mark Read in 1927, used to use the rear of the pub for stabling horses. There was also an area set aside at the rear for farmers to sell their wares on market stalls and this continued up to the 1960s.

During the war years, the pub became a popular venue for entertaining airmen – and Mrs Shaw has fond memories of lying in bed and overhearing the singing and piano music.

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