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The Weathercock Public House Aspley Guise

 Weathercock 2006
Weathercock in February 2006

The Weathercock Public House: corner of Weathercock Lane, Aspley Guise and Station Road, Woburn Sands

As is shown by the fact that Weathercock Lane takes its name from the public house, this is a long established business. The site was conveyed from Richard Newman of Ridgmont, carpenter to Robert Burrowes and Jane Ambridge (his intended wife), both of Aspley Guise on 5 Feb 1663 for £39, it consisted of 5.75 acres.

The first mention of the public house in records held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service is in a marriage settlement of May 1758 involving Richard How junior of Aspley Guise and Sarah Walduck of Chelmsford when it is described as The Thatched Inn "lately built", it was occupied by Ralph French. It is referred to as the New Inn in a conveyance of a nearby spring of water in Wavendon in 1769. It was conveyed by Ann How (widow of Briggins How) of Woburn to Rev.Daniel Shipton of Husborne Crawley, with other land, in January 1797 when it is described as "formerly known as the thatched Inn, now the New Inn". Daniel Shipton's daughter Charlotte married Robert Charles Orlebar in 1807 and the inn (still called the New Inn) formed part of the marriage settlement along with a considerable amount of land in Husborne Crawley.

The first mention of the name as being the Weathercock occurs in a conveyance of May 1840 from Robert Shipton Orlebar to Sir Henry Hugh Hoare of Wavendon House, it was then occupied by James Hutton.

In 1927 this part of Bedfordshire was valued under the terms of the Rating Valuation Act 1925; every piece of land and property was inspected to determine the rates to be paid on it. The property was then described as consisting of a bar, tap rooms, two smoke rooms, kitchen, scullery and larder downstairs, with a cellar beneath. Upstairs were three bedrooms and a bathroom; outside were a stable and coachhouse. Trade consisted of one and a half barrels of beer sold per week with a barrel of bitter being sold in the same period. A dozen bottles of beer were also sold in that time as were one and a half gills of spirits. The valuer noted that it was a "Good house; a short distance from Woburn Sands Station". he also noted that the bay windows were in Buckinghamshire. This is borne out by local memories of beating the bounds through the pub as it straddled the Bedfordshire/Buckinghamshire border.

At some point the inn was sold to Bedford brewers Newland & Nash Limited and, with their other properties, assigned to Wells & Winch in 1938 who merged with Greene King in 1961, adopting the Greene King name in 1963. At the time of writing [2006] the Weathercock remains a Greene King public house.

List of Licensees : note that this is not a complete list ; entries in italics refer to licensees where either beginning or end, or both, dates are not known:
1758: Ralph French;
1822-1828: Elizabeth Hutton;
1840: James Hutton;
1864-1894: Robert Bailey ;
1894-1897: Alfred Burbidge;
1897-1905: Frederick Jacob Roberts;
1905-1909: Herbert Dudley Frederick;
1909-1911: George Hensman Archer;
1911-1914: Joseph Tompkins;
1914-1915: Samuel William Hawkes;
1915-1947: Edwin Thomas John Martin;
1947-1953: Leslie Harold Blanshard

List of Sources at Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service:

  • V353: conveyance of site 1663;
  • V354-382: deeds: 1758-1840; 
  • HN1/34: shown on map: c.1810;
  • X395/81-101: deeds to Cherrytree Cottage mention Weathercock in abuttals: 1812-1897;
  • - CLP13: Register of alehouse licences: 1822 - 1828;
  • PSW3/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Woburn Petty Sessional Division: 1868-1949;
  • GK3/1b: mentioned, with other properties, in printed trust deed to secure stock to Newland & Nash Limited: 17 Aug 1897; 
  • GK3/1a: conveyed, with other properties, in trust deed to raise stock for Newland & Nash Limited: 31 Aug 1897; 
  • STuncat947: insurance policy: 1901-1914;
  • BMB14/A41: sale catalogue plan: 1902;
  • GK149/1: deed: 1910;
  • GK237/2: conveyance, with other properties, to Wells & Winch Limited: 1938;
  • PSW3/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Woburn Petty Sessional Division: 1949-1953
  • Z1105/1: noted in Liquor Licence Traders Survey: 1958;
  • X351/1 p.27: photograph: 1965;
  • PCAspleyGuise/34/1/25: photograph: 1999.