Willington Public House



The Crown Public House

17 Station Road
Beds, MK44 3QH
01234 831354

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Willington Pubs

Crown: 17 Station Road
[Newland & Nash then Wells & Winch then Greene King]

Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service has little in the way of documentation for this public house, but the schedule of deeds of properties owned by Wells & Winch and the Bedford Petty Sessional licensing records both suggest it may only have become a public house in 1903/04. The original owners were Newland & Nash of Bedford, who were bought out by Wells & Winch in 1922, Wells & Winch themselves merging with Greene King in 1961 and adopting the Greene King name in 1963. The public house remains open at the time of writing [2006]

- GK3/3: schedule of deeds of properties of Wells & Winch including Crown: 1904-1905;
- RDBP1/254: plans, correspondence etc. regarding temporary buildings: 1913;
- GK297/2: conveyance of all property from Newland & Nash to Wells & Winch: 1938;
- PCWillington18/4 and 6: proposed development behind public house: 1978-1979;
- PCWillington9/13: transfer of licence: 1986

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known:
1903-1904: John Burbidge;
1904-1905: Sarah Burbidge;
1905-1940: Charles Richard Clark
1976-1986: Brian John Laker;
1986: Peter Brian Keyser

White Hart: 1 Barford Road
[Newland & Nash]

The White Hart building (now known as The Timbers) seems to be ancient as information provided to Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service by J.Pratt in 1965 stated the date 1692 is carved on a brick over the front door. The public house was clearly in existence quite early as John Cole is known to have been the innkeeper in 1816. The Cole family seem to have run the business until the late 1830s as a letter to the Duke of Bedford's steward W.G.Adam in 1837 describes the White Hart as having been "lately done away with" meaning the village was without an alcohol outlet so three beerhouses were sanctioned. These were private houses, farms or other shops licensed to sell beer or cider, but not wines or spirits. From the closure of the White Hart until the opening of the Crown (i.e. at least the whole of the reign of Queen Victoria), Willington was without a public house.

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known:
1816 John Cole * will;
1822-1829: William Coles or Cole;
1834: Susannah Cole;

General references
- CLP13: Register of Alehouse Recognizances: 1822-1828;
- PSB9/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Bedford Petty Sessional Division: 1903-1935;
- PSBW8/3: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade and North Bedfordshire Petty Sessional Divisions: 1976-1980;

Early References to Innholders etc.
1731 Henry son of Matthew & Mary Childs, alekeeper, baptised 21 Oct
1732 Henry, son of Matthew & Mary Childs, alekeeper buried 8 Nov
1734 Matthew Childs, alekeeper buried 25 Aug
1734 Matthew, son of Matthew 7 Mary Childs, alekeeper, buried 15 Oct
1741 Mary wife of John Man, alekeeper, buried 30 Sep
1744 John Man, alekeeper, buried 8 Jun
1757 George Richards of Cople, victualler, widower, married Elizabeth Palmer