The Bear History

The Bear Grill is a grade II listed building which was built in the 1650’s.In 1758 a small structural change was made enabling a Stephen Perry to open an alehouse called the May Pole whilst Mrs Perry continued to occupy the main building.

In 1784 it became The White Bear, often referred to as The Bear. Between 1793 and 1822 it was the stopping place for long distance coaches to London and Chester providing a change of horses in the Inns yard accessible from St Chads Place. From 1822-1829 this included Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester coaches too.

In 1835 the building officially became know as The Bear Inn and was rebuilt either partially or wholly by Dawtree & Co. In 1970 the head of the 71 year old wooden bear fell to the ground; within 18 months the current bear had been totally recarved in sycamore and was restored again in 1990.

In 1989 the old stables were lost when a new dining area was created, and in 2009 it became The Bear Grill following a revamp into restaurant and bar.

The sign of the Bear was generally attributed to the old vulgar pleasure of a brown bear being baited and whipped. There is no evidence of this barbarous sport , made illegal in 1835, taking place in Stafford, so it was more likely to be a shortening of the name The White Bear.

Source: The Inns and Alehouses of Stafford Through the South Gate – John Connor