At one time or another in the middle of the nineteenth century there appear to have been eight or nine pubs in erstwhile Russell Street (which ran roughly from what is now New George Street to Cornwall Street just west of Armada Way).
Three of them, all on the western side, survived well into the twentieth century, indeed they even survived the Blitz, however, only two of those on the eastern side made it beyond the reign of Victoria. Of those other Victorian beerhouses we can only name three; the New Four Castles (a reference to earlier Old Four Castles in Old Town Street – the four castles in question being those that are represented on the civic crest); the Crown and Sceptre and the Druid’s Head.
The curious thing about the last named is that the Druid’s Arms was one of those blitz survivors on the other side of the road. A popular element in pub names, Druid is often a reference to ancient Celtic priests, although sometimes it is an indicator of where a local branch of the United Ancient Order of Druids (a Friendly Society founded in 1781) would hold their meetings.
1857 - James Hossack