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The first mention of The Cat Inn is on March 1718 when Richard Leigh who lived at Cox Green leased for 999 years ‘all that small parcel of land.......in Evenfield near to the pond or rivulet there eastward.....upon which parcel.....there formerly stood a dwelling-house or cottage’ to John Willmott a cordwainer or shoemaker.

The rent was 1 shilling (5p) a year.

John Willmott made improvements to the property including a stable and converted part of the house into a shop. After his death The Cat was given by his widow Jane to their son William who was a collar maker when he married Ann Yorke in 1729, She was the daughter of Edward Yorke of The Blundies. William and Ann had one child called Lucy who married Samuel Farley, a saddler from Worcester. After her death the remaining years of the lease were sold in 1799 to John Penzer of Enville who is described as an inn-holder. His brother Edward Penzer kept the White Hart which was situated on the Bridgnorth Road opposite the turning to Blundies lane where the blacksmith’s is today. There were at least six inns in the parish at the end of the 18th century, the others being The Swan at Bar Green, The Cock on the Chester Road, an ale house at Gilbert’s Cross and a cider house on the Bridgnorth Road near The Toys.

A document of 1837 describes ‘The Cat Public House’ as having a malt-house and it was licensed to sell malt ale, beer and spirituous liquors. It was run by two women, Ann Penzer and her granddaughter Ann Foxall. The Tithe map of 1838 shows that the area to the side of The Cat, which is now the car park, was then a large pond. The lease passed on through the Foxall family to Henry Yardley who had married Ann Foxall. In 1851 a deed states “Henry Yardley and Mary Ann, his wife had pulled down the dwelling-house which had stood upon said parcel of land and they had erected a commododius dwelling-house, malt-house and outbuilding occupied as an Inn and known by the name of the Cat and Partridge Inn”.

In 1869 the lease was sold on to a nail manufacturer, Thomas Perrins who lived at Careless Green, Oldswinford. It was still known as The Cat and Partridge; as well as being an inn there was also a grocer’s shop and a malt-house. Over the next few years there were several changes of lessees, but it came back into the Yardley family in 1882. The property was enlarged to provide more stabling, a corn warehouse and other outbuildings. in the will of W.H. Yardley which was made in 1912, he is described as a retired grocer, a licensed victualler and corn dealer. The lease of The Cat was left to his two sons James Harry and George Cecil who sold the lease on after their father’s death in 1919 to a Henry Hawthorne of The Rock Hotel in Tettenhall. By 1925 he had sold the remaining years of the lease back to Lady Catherine Grey and The Enville Estate.

Sandy Haynes : The Archives, Enville Hall : 2004