Skip Navigation
 
 

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community archives > Westoning > The Three Goats Heads Inn Westoning

The Three Goats Heads Inn Westoning

The approximate site of the Three Goat Heads March 2010
The approximate site of the Three Goat Heads March 2010

The Three Goat Heads Inn: Greenfield Road, Westoning

The only reference to this establishment in any record held by Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service is in a run of deeds from 1708 to 1854 [ST304-318]. In 1708 [ST304-305] John Lineham of Streatley, labourer and Anne, his wife, together with William Legg of Westoning, yeoman and Elizabeth, his wife, Daniel Woodward of Westoning, cordwainer (shoe maker) and Mary, his wife, Sarah Legg and Joan Legg - the devisees of William Legg of Westoning, yeoman, who had died in 1706, conveyed to Westoning butcher William Olney a house in Westoning called "the Three Goates-heads" with an acre of land planted with fruit trees for £60.

Olney made his will in 1728 and devised the house in Westoning "called the Goats heads" to his wife Mary for her life, then to their daughter Sarah [ST307]. He died shortly after making his will.

In 1784 two houses in Westoning "commonly called the Three Goats Heads" with their acre of land were conveyed by Thomas Hull of Maulden, farmer, to John White of Westoning, farmer, for £135. The fact that the property has now been divided into two and is "commonly called" the Three Goats Heads suggests that the inn had now closed. In his will of 1804 White left the two dwellings, one of which he occupied, to his nephew John [ST310]. He died in 1805. John junior converted the two dwellings into three and also converted another five houses out of barns as well as building new houses at the west end of the acre of land, mortgaging the property in 1826 [ST311].

The final deed, of 1854, sees Hezekiah White of Westoning, eldest son of John White conveying the dwellings to William Cobb of Woburn on behalf of Lord of the Manor John William Coventry Campion for £400. The whole parcel was bounded to the south by the road from Westoning to Ampthill, west by a retail beerhouse in the occupation of Richard Higgs, north and east by other land of Campion and on part of the east by the road from Silsoe through Westoning to Toddington. This is quite a strange description but a glance at the 1882 Ordnance Survey map for the village shows that the High Street took a dog-leg to the west just north of the Bell (which is, of course, the Westoning to Ampthill road), and the road from Silsoe to Toddington would thus be Greenfield Road. Richard Higgs is listed in directories of 1853, 1854 and 1861 simply as a shoemaker but it looks as if his premises was on the east side of Flitwick Road and thus may have been the future Hop Vine. It looks as if the Three Goats Heads may have been somewhere in the vicinity of the modern low odd numbered properties in Greenfield Road.

References:

  • ST304-305: conveyance of the Three Goat Heads to William Olney: 1708;
  • ST307: the will of William Olney: 1728;
  • ST308-309: conveyance: 1784;
  • ST310: will of John White: 1826;
  • ST318: conveyance: 1854

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:

Before 1708: James Austin;
1708: Edward Chilton;
1728: Samuel Boarn
The inn probably closed between 1728 and 1784.