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The Five Bells Public House Oakley

The only reference to this public house held by Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service comes in a letter from the Keeper of Cambridge University Archives to the occupant of Queen's College Farm in 1983 [CRT130Oakley17]. In this letter she gives information on properties in Oakley owned by Queen's College.

In a terrier of 1770 one of the properties is described as "at Church End a public house called the Five Bells". The location together with the pub's name, which can only refer to the bells in the church, indicate that the property must have been close to the church.

By 1820 this property had been acquired by the Duke of Bedford. Sadly the deeds in the Bedford Estate Archive do not include any purchases from Queen's College between 1770 and 1820, the only deed packets being for purchases from J. Slater (1793), L. Fowler (1795), W. York (1800), J. Field (1801), J. Dilly (1801) and J. Stoakes (1803).

The countywide licensing register of 1822 [CLP13] only has one public house in Oakley - the Bedford Arms. Obviously the Five Bells must have closed at some point between 1770 and 1820, perhaps when purchased by the Duke.