Woodbridge Royal Oak

Woodbridge Royal Oak

also traded as Sherlock's Wine Bar

South East, 52.09296,1.31771

closed 1936

opened 1791

17 Thoroughfare

grid reference TM 273 490

It's shown on this OS town plan from 1881 (larger map).

old OS map

The Royal Oak closed in the 1930s. The building was later used as a wine bar owned by actor Douglas Wilmer, who was apparently known for having played Sherlock Holmes - hence the later name name.

The 1904 Woodbridge licensing records show that the Royal Oak'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 pub was built in 1791 by John Sparrow. It was listed as a posting house in 1874.

In 1843 it was the property of Miss Susan Lankester, grandmother of Ray Lankester the eminent zoologist.

It was the property of Mr John Garnham in 1899, and was then famous for its livery stables.





Historical interest

Historical interest




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

Closure date from Woodbridge licensing records.

(extract from a town pub booklet written by David Hague which also includes extracts from Booth's Almanac of 1899)

(some old PO directory information courtesy of

(** historic newspaper information from Stuart Ansell)

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