est. 1790

pub history

shipmans history


Opening at some point in the early to mid 1700’s, Shipmans was originally called The Roebuck. This was changed in 1768 to The White Hart when a new landlord took over and renamed it. Rums, brandies and wine were sold by the bottle by the landlord Joshua Stevenson in 1785.

The Shipman name was mentioned in 1827 when wine and brandy merchants Whitmy and Shipman advertised from the pub. It is possible the locals shortened the name to Shipmans but by 1862 the Shipman family were running it without Whitmy.

In 1948 the Welsh brewery Felinfoal acquired Shipmans and ran it until 1985 before selling it to J.T Davies & Sons ltd. Brakspear and J.T Davies & Son ltd became one company and rebranded under Brakspear in 2007 but carried on looking after the pub until it closed in 2014.

In 2015 the McManus Pub Company announced plans to reopen Shipmans and the building underwent an intense restoration project. July 2022 the newly refurbished Shipmans opened with Lauren and the new team welcoming patrons back. 

the archives

going back in time...


shipmans reopens

On 22nd July 2022 Shipmans had a grand reopening. The ribbon was cut and a horse-drawn cart delivered a barrel of Phipps IPA.


McManus' meet Shipmans

Local Northampton family the McManus' take ownership of Shipmans and embark on an ambitious refurbishment plan to reopen.


new owners, same name

Felinfoal Brewery become owners, later selling it to J.T. Davies & Sons ltd in 1985. Brakspear take over in 2007 after merging with J.T. Davies & Sons ltd.


the shipman family

William Shipman the landlord passes away and his daughter continues to run the pub. By now, it is recognised as Shipmans and not White Hart.


becoming shipmans

The first mention of the name Shipmans when referring to the pub was around this time. Records show that Luke Shipman was landlord.



Public records mention the name of The Roebuck when the establishment first opened. In 1767 the name is changed to the White Hart.

shipmans history


The history of Shipmans spans nearly 300 years and has been a firm favourite of local drinkers over the centuries. According to CAMRA Heritage there were sets of spirit cocks on the back bar until the mid 1980’s – a feature which was quite rare even for the time.

The pub had an interesting 3-room layout, with a room known as The Barrel Bar at the Drum Lane end of the building – hence the barrel hanging outside.

Despite its long history, there are not many ghostly sightings. There are however reports of poltergeist activity, believed to be from an ex-landlord called Harry Franklin who allegedly died in the cellar.

Did you visit Shipmans in the past? Do you remember stories about it from your parents or grandparents? We’re keen to hear anecdotes or see photos of this treasured building from the past so please get in touch with us or pop in for a chat!

12 Drapery,

Opening Times

Monday - 12-11 pm
Tuesday - 12-11 pm
Wednesday - 12-11 pm
Thursday - 12-11 pm
Friday - 12 pm-1 am
Saturday - 12 pm-1 am
Sunday - 12-11 pm

© The Shipmans Northampton | All Rights Reserved

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Served with crispy onions, and bread and butter.

Smoked Salmon Mousse
Served with crème fraiche, lime and dill.

Chicken Liver & Wild Mushroom Pate
Caramelised onion chutney & toasted bread.


Christmas Roast Turkey
All the traditional trimmings.

Beetroot Wellington
roasted potatoes, root vegetables and a mulled wine gravy.

Crispy Pork Belly
cranberry and thyme puree, potato and truffle gratin, garlic green beans & red wine jus.


Classic Christmas Pudding
Brandy sauce & red currants.

Chocolate Brownie
Winter berry compote, vanilla ice cream.

Vegan Banana Bread
toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream.

Christmas buffet

Christmas Nacho Wreath
Spicy Christmas Cracker Wings
Festive BBQ Rudolph Wings
Cauliflower Bombs
Sausage Rolls
Pigs in Blankets
Sage & Onion Stuffing Balls
Roast Potatoes
Cranberry Coleslaw
House Salad
Garlic Bread
Chocolate Yule Logs