Derby Arms 


Derby Arms and Old Village Stocks      Derby Arms as seen today





1662 JOHN BERRINGTON The Alehouse Returns for Rainford in 1662 name John Berrington without any indication of his place of residence. Fortunately a plan of the Mossborough Estate dated 1666 shows a building opposite the top of Mossborough Road, exactly on the site of the Derby Arms, and beneath it the name Jo: Berrington. There are earlier references to John Berrington’s alehouse in 1630 and again in 1654. 

A John Berrington was recorded in the Alehouse Returns as late as 1675 but this is possibly a son of the same name who occupied until the next known lessee took over. 


1694 EDWARD RAINFORD In 1694 Edward Rainford and his wife Margaret leased from Robert Mollineux of Mossborough a dwelling house formerly erected by John Berrington (late father-in-law of the said Edward). In the same year Edward’s name appears in the Alehouse Returns. Edward was over 50 years old when he acquired the licence for this house where he remained until his death in 1730 aged about 86 years. 


1725 JOSEPH BROWNBILL In 1725 Robert Mollineux sold to the Earl of Derby several estates in Rainford including one described as part of a house called horsestone now in the possession of Joseph Brownbill late in the possession of Edward Rainford. In 1731, after the death of Edward Rainford, Joseph also leased the dwelling house mentioned above. 

Joseph was first described as innkeeper when his son George was baptised at Rainford Chapel in 1726. His wife, Elizabeth, died in 1727 by which time he had also become a malster. Joseph remarried in 1731 to Alice Rainford but in 1738 he died leaving to his only son George Horse Stone House, Kitchen, Cottage, Malt kiln and other Buildings, Yards, Orchards & Backsides thereunto belonging. His will also declared that Peter Rainford never make malt at this Kiln of mine. 

As George was only 12 years old at this time we can only assume that his step-mother Alice looked after the public house until he was old enough to take it upon himself.


1747 GEORGE BROWNBILL Although George Brownbill inherited the premises it is uncertain whether he ever occupied it himself as there is no record of him having been an innkeeper or malster. Without place names it is impossible to speculate which of the innkeepers licensed at this time actually occupied. 

George and his wife Dulcibella had two daughters, Jane and Dulcibella (see (present) Golden Lion ) and a son William, all still living when George died in 1786. 

By 1770 the lease had been assigned to JOHN BIRCHALL a pipe maker of Orretts Nook who was the leaseholder of some sixteen different properties in addition to Orretts Nook. Some of these estates were occupied by his children or grand children (see also Eagle and Child). In 1786 he increased the property by leasing a small plot of adjoining land and forming a bowling green. 

In his will of 1787 he bequeathed to his son HENRY BIRCHALL his estate called Bowling Green which Henry had been occupying since 1770. 


1770 HENRY BIRCHALL Henry Birchall was recorded in the Alehouse Returns as innkeeper here until at least 1790. In his will of 1803 he directed that Bowling Green, then in the occupation of JOSHUA MOLLINEUX, was to be sold by auction as soon as convenient after his death. 


1800 JOSHUA MOLLINEUX Joshua Mollineux appeared in the Alehouse Returns for 1800. During his time as licensee the premises were sold as directed, the purchasor of the lease being one Mr Bevins of whom we no nothing. By 1810 the tenancy had passed to RICHARD LYON. 


1810 RICHARD LYON   Richard Lyon, aged 40, had previously followed the trade of pipemaker and it was only after his marriage to Martha Foster that he became an innkeeper. It was not uncommon for publicans or innkeepers to also continue in some other trade and this may have been the case with Richard for by 1820 he had left the Bowling Green and become a pipe manufacturer employing two apprentices. 


1820 ROBERT TYRER   For some unknown reason Robert Tyrer had a very short time here, for in 1822 the tenancy had been taken by THOMAS HALL.

In 1821 Mr Bevins, the leaseholder, was joined by a Mr Robinson, and for some time they were referred to as Robinson & Co. or Robinson & Bevin.


1822 THOMAS HALL  Thomas Hall had been the licensee of the Bottle and Glass since 1810 before coming to the Bowling Green. He combined his trade as a cabinet maker with his duties as publican, no doubt assisted in the latter by his wife Jane. Both Thomas and Jane were natives of Windle and soon after their marriage they came to Rainford where they raised a large family of ten children.

Thomas died in 1826 leaving Jane to manage the public house and look after the children.


1826 JANE HALL   Thomas’s widow Jane carried on the business for the next twenty one years, probably the longest tenancy for this house. As the children grew up she would have had some help by her daughters but her two sons both became joiners. Jane died in 1847 at the age of sixty one.

It was probably in the 1830’s that the present building was erected to replace the old house built by John Berrington. When the Population Census was taken in 1841 Jane is shown to be occupying the Derby Arms, the earliest mention of this new name for the inn. Could it have been new building -  new name ?


1847 JAMES HALL  James, the son of Thomas and Jane, was the next of this family to hold the licence. Now married to Sarah Lyon he carried out the dual role of joiner and publican for the few years before his death in 1851. They too had a large family but neither Sarah nor any of her sons, who were joiners, plumbers or builders, remained at the public house.

Two of James’s sons were married to daughters of WILLIAM GRAYSON who by 1861 had become the next landlord.


1861 WILLIAM GRAYSON William Grayson, publican and brewer, had previously worked for Richardson’s Brewery at Rainford House, then followed both occupations at the Dog and Partridge in Ormskirk Road. He died a widower in 1868.

In 1869 the freehold reversion of the premises was sold by Lord Derby to Richard Pennington, a cotton mill owner of Hindley who had recently come to Rainford and built Muncaster Hall as his residence.


1869 CHARLES ROBERTS  The census of 1871 reveals Roberts to have been born in West Derby and to be 59 years of age.


1875 JOHN PRESCOTT  John Prescott was a former coal miner who came to Rainford from Hindley about 1860 to work in the recently opened colliery at Sidings Lane. After a short tenancy he and his wife Sarah moved to Johnson’s Brow about 1888 where he became a grocer.


1888 THOMAS ELLARD  Thomas Ellard, a native of Wokingham in Berkshire, came to Rainford via St Helens where he had married Harriet. Aged thirty and twenty six with two children they took up the licence of the “Derby” and had seven more children born there.

In 1892 the executors of the late Richard Pennington sold the premises to William Richardson of the Rainford House brewery and the following year Greenall Whitley & Co. Ltd. bought this and several other public houses from Richardson.

Thomas died in 1912 aged fifty four and his widow, with two children still at school, carried on the business until about 1917. Although she left the inn she did not leave the village and was buried in the graveyard in 1935.


Later landords during the 20th century include :-