Woodbridge Case is Altered

Woodbridge Case is Altered

also traded as Tankard

South, 52.09423,1.31642

closed 11th October 1905

50 New St

grid reference TM 272 491

The pub is shown on this OS town plan of 1881 (larger map).

old OS map

The 1904 Woodbridge licensing records show that the Case's license was issued in 1853. Whether this was when it was first licensed or when it got a full (ie not just beer) license isn't clear, though the latter seems more probable. The license was surrendered on October 11th, 1905.

In the 1861 census, 11 lodgers are listed.

The pub's name changed from the Tankard to the Case is Altered about 1870.





Historical interest

Historical interest





The pub name may allude to a change in the way in which the pub was run or owned at sometime in its past or maybe a reference to the religious persecutions way back in Tudor times - when Mary Tudor became queen in 1553 she tried to re-establish Catholisism and also created many Protestant martyrs, including many in Suffolk, who refused to renounce their new faith and were burnt at the stake; but in 1559 she died, and was succeeded to the throne by her half-sister Elizabeth who re-established the protestant faith and subsequently persecuted Catholics.

According to Alfred Hedges' book, "Inns and Inn Signs of Norfolk and Suffolk, the inn [...]

stands on a site which was once occupied by a nunnery. The local priest, Father Casey, was in the habit of visiting it to hear confession, until the Reformation put an end to his activities. Soon afterwards an inn was built on the spot where Father Casey's altar had been. Then, almost inevitably , with the passing of years, the garbled version of Casey's Altar to the Case is Altered came into general use, and the inn has in consequence been called by that name ever since.

However the nunnery story is disputed and Mick Holland also reports that although its a nice story, it is a total myth, and there was never a nunnery on the site. Mick also notes that the pub only took the name from 1870, previously being called the Tankard. The name "case is altered" probably came from the Peninsular war (during Napoleonic wars) when the Middlesex regiment were stationed at Casa de Altoria in Spain and helping the Spanish and Portuguese forces defeat the French army between 1808 to 1814. At the end of the conflict the soldiers were given land and money for their part and several opened pubs named after the town where they were stationed. The name got changed over the years to the "case is altered" hence the fact that today they are all over the country.

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

(some old PO directory information courtesy of

(** historic newspaper information from Stuart Ansell)

Closure date from Woodbridge licensing records.

Old OS map reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.