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The Hole in the Wall Beerhouse Beeston

6 to 10 Beeston Green March 2010
6 to 10 Beeston Green March 2010

The Hole in the Wall Beerhouse: 6-10 Beeston Green

In August 1844 the estates of the late Jeremiah Bryant at Beeston and Caldecote were put up for sale by auction [BS398]. Lot XII was the current 6 to 10 The Green and was described as follows:

A DESIRABLE FREEHOLD PROPERTY
COMPRISING
TWO COTTAGES ADJOINING, ONE USED AS A GENERAL SHOP AND BEER-HOUSE; AND A WHEELWRIGHT’S SHOP OPPOSITE THERETO

Situate on the verge of Beeston Green, adjoining Lot 8 [Ayres’ Farm which lay immediately north] 

Occupied as under:

A Cottage of Six Rooms used as a Beerhouse, let to KATHERINE SARLL, yearly Tenant, at £8 per annum in addition to which Messrs PRYOR, Brewers, of Baldock, pay for the privilege of supplying the Beer, on an average about £5 per annum.

A Cottage of Three Rooms, adjoining, let to WILLIAM PLOWMAN, a weekly Tenant, a 1s. 6d. per Week. Amounting to £3/18/- per annum.

A Wheelwright’s Shop, let to JOHN DINES, a yearly tenant, at £5 per annum.

The particulars are annotated with the initials JA, perhaps the person who bought the lot and £200, perhaps the sale price. The annotations also note that the properties claimed a right of way through Ayres’ Farm.

The beerhouse is not listed in the countywide ale house licence registers from 1822 to 1828. The countywide licensing register of 1876 states that it was first licensed in 1838, but is not always entirely accurate.

There is no direct proof but it seems likely that this beerhouse was the one later known as the Hole in the Wall. This establishment was owned by John Steed of Baldock in the 1870s but about 1876 it was purchased by Biggleswade brewers Wells and Company. The beerhouse closed in 1888 [HF143/4].

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. The valuer visiting 6 to 10 Beeston Green [DV1/C90/56-57] found no trace of their past. He reported that they were owned by Mrs. Richardson of Home Farm.

Numbers 6 and 8 were occupied by men named Fuller and Kimberley. The valuer noted: “was 2 Cottages then one and now shared by 2 tenants”. He also commented: “Poor, High Rent”. The rent was nine shillings per week.

The brick and slate building comprised living room, kitchen, scullery, washhouse, pantry and store with three bedrooms above. Mains water was laid on and an earth closet stood outside.

Number 10 was in the occupation of Mrs. J. Gentle who paid rent of £5/6/- per annum, set in 1903. Her “fair” brick, stale and tiled dwelling comprised a living room, kitchen and scullery with two bedrooms above. Water came from an outside tap and an earth closet and barn stood outside. The valuer commented: “Good garden”.

General References

  • BS398: sale particulars: 1844
  • HF143/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1873;
  • HF143/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1874-1877;
  • HF143/3: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1878-1881;
  • HF143/4: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1882-1890.

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known:

1872-1875: Joseph Darnell – John Steed of Baldock
1875-1876: Mary Darnell;
1876-1882: George Matthews;
1882: John Newell;
1882-1884: Elizabeth Newell;
1884-1888: Daniel Dickins
Beerhouse closed 12 September 1888