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The Gun and Cannon Public House Wyboston

The former Gun Cannon Wyboston Mar 2007
The former Gun and Cannon in March 2007

The Gun & Cannon Public House [also The Old Cannon]: 66-68 Great North Road, Wyboston 

This public house abutted the Queens Head, which lay south. The first mention of it in any record held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service is in 1669 when a soldier who had stolen a pewter dish was arrested just leaving the inn [HSA1669/S/62]. This date ties in well with the 17th century date accorded the property by Department of Environment when they listed it in 1983. The house is constructed of colourwashed roughcast over a timber frame, though the ground floor of the north wing is of colourwashed brick. The property has an old clay tiled roof. It is built in an L-plan comprising a single storey and attics.

The Gun and Cannon is mentioned in the accounts of the constable of Wyboston in 1695 and 1704 and was conveyed to Bedford brewer John Day, with the brewery and other licensed houses of Saint Neots [Huntingdonshire] brewer William Fowler, deceased in 1814.

It is next mentioned twenty years later being conveyed to Frederick Hogg and William Lindsell, partners in the Biggleswade brewing firm of Wells & Company and so, presumably, was sold by Day some time between the two dates. The last directory to mention the public house is 1854. The next directory held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service, 1861 does not mention it and it seems reasonable to assume that the business closed some time between those two dates. The final mention of it is in 1899 when it is conveyed by Wells & Company to the new firm of Wells & Winch (Wells & Company had been bought by Kent businessman George Winch for his son Edward Bluett Winch in that year). In the conveyance the place is described as two cottages (presumably 66 and 68 Great North Road) which had previously been one and known as the Gun & Cannon.

The Building, now two brick, render and tile cottages, semi-detached, was valued in 1927 under the 1925 Rating Valuation Act, at which time Wells & Winch were still the owners, the valuer recorded for the northernmost of the two cottages that the occupier was an F. Smith who leased a living room and one bedrooms "both big", there was also a barn. The valuer noted "This and next must have been a Pub". The attached cottage was occupied by J. Manning and contained a living room, kitchen, cellar and two bedrooms as well as a barn. The valuer noted that the bedrooms were in the roof and that he must "deduct for sloping roof".

Entry in the Eaton Socon Constable's account book for 1704 [P5/9]
Entry in the Eaton Socon Constable's account book for 1704 [P5/9]

References:

  • HSA1669/S/62: soldier who had stolen a pewter dish confronted on leaving inn: 1669;
  • P5/9: entry in the Wyboston Constable's account book: "It[em] for Lodgeing 3 at ye Gun & ffor remowing them to Eaton": 1695;
  • P5/9: entry in the Wyboston Constable's account book: "It[em] for charges at the Gunn when John fisher was Imprest for a soulger": 1704;
  • WG331-332: conveyance of brewery and licensed houses from trustees of will of William Fowler to John Day of Bedford: 1814;
  • CLP13: register of alehouse recognizances: 1822-1828;
  • GK0/1: conveyance of brewery and licensed properties of Samuel Wells of Biggleswade, brewer, deceased to Frederick Hogg and William Lindsell: 1834;
  • Z1039/34/2a: conveyance of licensed properties, including two cottages, formerly one cottage used as Gun & Cannon, from Frederick Archdale, Charles Samuel Lindsell, Henry Martin Lindsell and Arthur Knox Lindsell to Wells & Winch: 1899 

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known:

1822: William Gardner;
1828-1834: Thomas Gardner;
1834: Elizabeth Gardner;
1847-1854: Isaac Harradine.

66 and 68 High Street March 2010
66 and 68 High Street March 2010