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The Barley Mow Public House Meppershall

The Barley Mow undergoing demolition - front cover of The Meppershall Messenger April 2010
The Barley Mow undergoing demolition - front cover of The Meppershall Messenger April 2010

The Barley Mow Beerhouse stood on the corner of Shefford Road and Hoo Road. The countywide licensing register of 1876 states that it first opened in 1836 and at the time of the register was owned by John H Whitaker of Henlow. At that date it had no name. By the time of the countywide licensing register of 1891 it was known as the Barley Mow and was owned by Baldock [Hertfordshire] brewer, Joseph Simpson & Company.

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 the Barley Mow [DV1/C160/76] noted that it was still owned by Simpson & Company and tenanted by William Millard ("been here 37 years"). His rent was £7 per annum.

The property ("fairly modern place but not attractive") was built of brick and slate and comprised a living room, a cellar and a kitchen and three bedroom upstairs. A barn and a washhouse both stood outside. The licensed part of the premises comprised a tap room ("fair") and a club room (also "fair").

The beer licence was £6/5/3 per annum and trade was 1½ barrels and four dozen bottles per week on average. The valuer noted: "Does some catering, charabanc parties". The beerhouse also had farm buildings adjacent comprising a stable, a hen house, a store house, an open cart shed, three pigsties and a two-stall stable.

In February 1953 the Barley Mow was granted a full licence as a public house. In 1971 the licence was not renewed and the pub closed, having been run by four landlords over a period of nearly 120 years, a very unusual occurrence. It was later demolished and replaced by modern housing. 

References:

  •  CRT110/102 Deeds at Hertfordshire Record Office 1849 – 1881;
  •  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;
  •  HF143/5: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1891-1900;
  •  HF143/6: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1900-1914;
  •  PSBW8/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1903-1915;
  •  PSBW8/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1956-1972;
  •  PCMeppershall37/26/1a: photograph of the remains of the Barley Mow: c.1971. 

Licensees: note that this is not a complete list and that dates in italics are not necessarily beginning or end dates, merely the first/last date which can be confirmed from sources such as directories and deeds:

1853-1889: Thomas Pettifor or Pettifar;
1889: Alice Pettifor;
1889-1940: William Millard;
1957-1971: Arthur Copperwaite
Public house closed 1971