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The Saracens Head Beerhouse Shefford

site of the Saracens Head February 2007
Site of the Saracens Head February 2007

Saracens Head Beerhouse: Back Lane, Shefford

This beerhouse lay in a road successively called Shefford Lane, Back Lane, Back Street and now New Street. The property was built as a cottage by Thomas Fane between 1837 and 1839 and seems to have been first licensed in 1867, when John Lock was owner. He obviously let the premises to Frederick Cleaver as it is included in a sale catalogue of his business in 1872 when it is described as: "A beerhouse in Shefford Lane, Shefford, newly brick-built and slated house, containing tap room, sitting room, cellar, wash house & four bedrooms. Old stabling for two horses and back yard. And in front a large yard containing a brick and tiled shop used as a slaughter house, and brick and tiled shed with open front. Leasehold, held for 14 years from 11 October 1867 at £10.10 per annum. Let to George Clarke at £10.10per annum" [CRT160/210].

It is not known who took over the lease from Frederick Cleaver but it may well have been Ashwell [Hertfordshire] brewers E.K. & H.Fordham as they purchased the beerhouse when it was auctioned in 1876, following the death of John Lock's widow [ST1690/6]. It is not known exactly when the Saracens Head closed but it may have been in 1923 when Laura Jordan was admitted to the tenancy of 1 New Street, "late the Saracen's Head". The cottage was later demolished and the site lies between the current 21 and 23 New Street.

References:

  • ST1690/3: conveyance of three newly built cottages by Thomas Fane to John Lock: 1839;
  • CRT160/210: sale catalogue of public houses of Frederick Cleaver deceased: 1872;
  • HF143/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1873;
  • HF143/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1874-1877;
  • ST1690/4: abstract of title of Elizabeth Lock: 1876;
  • ST1690/6: conveyance from Elizabeth Lock's trustee to E.K.& H.Fordham: 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;
  • ST1690/7: tenancy agreement for former beerhouse - E.K. & H.Fordham to Laura Jordan: 1923

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:
1867-1875: George Clarke;
1875-1887: William Underwood;
1887-1888: William Trueman;
1888-1906: Charles Lewis;
1906-1909: James Garner;
1909-1911: Joseph Harris;
1911-1912: Frederick Dillon;
1912-1914: George Odell
Beerhouse closed about 1923