The Black Buoy

Until 1912 the Black Buoy was known as The Black Boy. King Charles II, was nicknamed ‘Black Boy’ because of his dark hair and complexion. Inns using the Black Boy name were possibly declaring their royalist allegiance against Oliver Cromwell’s parliamentarians.

After passing through the hands of various breweries and more recently pub companies, it was nearly closed when the last owners applied for planning permission to change to residential use. The planning application was refused and the pub then suffered from frequently changing managers that the pub company put in.

In September 2012, twenty Wivenhoe residents decided to turn the tide, and attempt to purchase the Black Buoy. By January 2013, the number of shareholders had increased to forty. The keys were handed over in July and renovation work began in earnest: a new kitchen and beer cellar, bar redesign and refurbishment, new toilets and the creation of a private meeting/dining room and terrace garden.

It is now one of the growing number of 'Community Pubs' owned by groups of locals as shareholders who have saved, renovated and reopened pubs across the country.

The Black Buoy is thriving again offering a wide range of draught beers, mainly from local brewers, craft beers and lagers. A busy restaurant and two rooms for bed and breakfast add to the facilities on offer.

Two beer festivals are normally held, in April and August. Up to 40 beers and a range of ciders and perrys, accompanied by live music and a barbecue make these weekends not to be missed.

In 2015, 2016 and 2017 The Black Buoy has won the CAMRA rural pub of the year and in 2017 their teams also won the Pram Race, held at the opening of the Town Regatta, and the Pub Shovel trophy in the regatta raft race.


The Black Buoy's own web site for more information.

This list of names is from census returns and 1933 Kelly's Directory.
They are therefore the occupants, not necessarily the licensee or owner.

1841: Not found
1858: Charles Garrad [Indenture of sale to William Goodwin]
1861: William Goodwin
1871: Thomas Corder Goodwin
1881: Thomas Corder Goodwin
1891: Thomas Corder Goodwin
1901: George Best
1911: William Turner Barnard Ennew
1933: George T Heyes

2013: The Wivenhoe Pub Company

The Black Buoy

The Black Buoy in 2017. Little changed from...

The Black Buoy

© John Stewart - Wivenhoe Memories Collection

The Black Buoy Inn in the 1950s.
One of the Daniell and Sons brewery pubs before their takeover by Trumans.

The Black Buoy

The modern Black Buoy viewed from Bethany Street.

The Black

© John Stewart - Wivenhoe Memories Collection

The view up Bethany Street in the 1950s.