The Wheatsheaf Beerhouse Stanbridge
The Wheatsheaf public house about 1920 [Z1306/108]
Wheatsheaf Beerhouse: 3 Leighton Road, Stanbridge
In the countywide list of licensed premises of 1876 the Wheatsheaf beerhouse is noted as having first been licensed in 1839. In 1876 the owner was John Batchelor of Dagnall [Buckinghamshire]. By 1891 the owner was James Batchelor and the beerhouse was described as being "near the pond" as the photograph above makes plain. Later owners included Dock & Smith of Berkhamstead [Hertfordshire], Fuller, Smith & Turner of Chiswick [Middlesex] and the Aylesbury Brewery Company. The fact that these are all out-county owners accounts for the facts that Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service has no deeds for the buildings, indeed it has no records at all save for a postcard and mentions in licensing registers and directories.
The one exception to this is the 1925 rating valuation survey. The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 ordered that every piece of land and building in the country should be assessed to determine the rates to be paid on it. Stanbridge was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting the Wheatsheaf [DV1/C97/33] noted that it stood near Five Bells public house [in fact next door]. Clearly the two licensed premises were each aiming at a different clientele. It was then owned by the Aylesbury Brewery Company to whom the tenant paid £13 per annum rent.
Accommodation consisted of a tap room ["small"], a living room, kitchen and scullery used a as a cellar. A brick and slate washhouse stood outside along with a weather boarded and slate lean-to shed, a stable for two horses with a loft over, an open cart shed and a 1.120 acre grass field. The valuer omitted to mention the number of rooms upstairs. Trade was twenty four barrels per year, the tenant being "very vague about bottled stuff, no accounts kept" but it was reckoned that about a dozen bottles of minerals were sold per month. Average taking were £13 per month, about 40% of the takings of the fully licensed and larger Five Bells next door.
Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service does not have licensing registers for the area between 1956 and the early 1960s. The Whestsheaf does not appear in the more modern register indicating that it closed between 1956 and about 1965. The building is now a private house.
The Five Bells and Wheatsheaf about 1900 [Z1130/108]
- PSLB4/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Leighton Buzzard Petty Sessional Division: c.1860s-1949;
- PSLB4/3: Register of Alehouse Licences - Leighton Buzzard Petty Sessional Division: c.1860s-1956;
- PSLB4/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Leighton Buzzard Petty Sessional Division: 1922-1948
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:
1876-1889: John Ellingham;
1889-1900: Mark Goodyear;
1900-1907: John Abraham;
1907-1917: George James Giltrow;
1917-1919: Carrie Sarah Giltrow;
1919-1956: George James Giltrow
The former Wheatsheaf March 2008