The other evening, my wife and I joined a group of friends and called in to the building that I still (and always will) think of as the Warwick.

Standing on the corner of Victoria Road, number 185 High Street didn’t actually start off as the Warwick. It was originally the Queen Adelaide, after Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, wife of William IV, and that gives us a clue to the building’s roots.

Adelaide was born in Germany in 1792 and she married the future King William in 1818.

When William acceded to the throne in 1831, she became Queen.

He died in 1837 and she was then Queen Dowager, but suffered from ill-health herself, eventually passing in 1849.

She was, by all accounts, loved by her subjects.

And so, with that in mind, enter stage left, William Newman. On the May 30, 1839, he put a proposal to Colchester brewer John Posford Osborne to build a new pub in Maldon.

Posford loaned him £400 for the project and work started on the building.

But the early years were not without problems. Newman fell into debt and in 1841 borrowed a further £150 from Osborne.

Unable to repay the loans, Newman was forced to sell the pub to Osborne for the knock-down price of £190.

Osborne put a tenant in the Queen Adelaide called Charles Taverner and, in 1848, sold it to his own son, Arthur Thomas (‘AT’) Osborne for £300.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: The Warwick Arms is now HausThe Warwick Arms is now Haus (Image: Stephen Nunn)

‘AT’, along with business partner Arthur O Stopes, had a brewery company with 63 pubs attached to it, including the Queen Adelaide.

James Freeman was their landlord in 1861, then Thomas Parker (1866), William Walliker (1870), John Hayes (1874), Abraham Golding (1878), Edward Woodcock (1882), William Stocks (1888) and William Sheppard (1898).

Throughout those years the pub continued to be owned by ‘AT’, but in 1882 he sold it to the brewer Daniell & Sons (which would later become part of Trumans).

By 1899 the late Queen Dowager Adelaide had passed into history and was largely forgotten.

In that year, the Earl of Warwick was installed as Provincial Grand Master of the Freemasons of Essex.

He knew Maldon well, as he had visited the town three years earlier for a Provincial Grand Lodge meeting.

In recognition of his achievement, the Queen Adelaide was re-named the Warwick Arms.

The Victoria Road building estate was then being established and with new houses came residents and increased custom.

Not only that, but the railway brought tourists who wanted to explore the nearby Promenade (opened in 1895) and have pleasure trips on the river.

As well as beer and spirits, the Warwick Arms doubled as a tea room, accessed by a now blocked side door in Victoria Road.

Business was booming and the Birketts (Ernest and Kate) took the place over in 1908 - Kate was still the licensee in 1912.

Frederick Poole then ran it from 1917, Frederick Elisha was behind the bar in the ‘20s and into the 30s and was succeeded by Frederick Gillespie (1937). Others followed – including my friend’s ancestors, the Bardwells.

And so it went on until temporary closure in the early-1990s. I recall the days when some of my other friends ran it – Nigel Miller and then Andrea and Em Williams.

The Warwick has been through a number of other transformations – as the Yardarm, Clarkies, 185 Bar and, with a nod to the old earl, ‘TW’.

The functional, yet quality architecture (its two-storeys of red-brick, canted, with decorative keystones and tiled roofs) gives us an indication of how it must have looked back in the 1840s, but it has since had an extension and various structural alterations and the brickwork exterior has been partly painted.

Its latest livery is black and there is now another name above the door – Haus.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Some of the dishes on offer at HausSome of the dishes on offer at Haus (Image: Stephen Nunn)

This modern restaurant promotes itself as a place where “good company can share great food together” - and so we decided to give it a try.

We certainly weren’t disappointed. As a starter, my wife chose soup of the day (carrot and cumin), whilst I plumped for grilled asparagus.

For the main some of our group went for chateaubriand, but I had the duck breast. We finished off with vanilla panna cotta.

It was all excellent, as was the service.

From the wine list we enjoyed their house claret – Chateau Tour Bel Air (2020).

All in all it was a great dining experience.

It’s certainly a far cry from the original vision of William Newman, but modern-day patrons of Haus are the latest customers to cross the threshold of a building with a really special story now stretching back over 180 years.