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22 Sun Street Potton

22 and 24 Sun Street August 2013
22 and 24 Sun Street August 2013

22 Sun Street was formerly the Queen’s Head public house. The countywide licensing register of 1876 stated that the establishment had been licensed for over a hundred years and the first document to mention it, by its earlier name of the Maidenhead dates from 1720 [WG88]. The current building only dates from 1876 because a disastrous fire in Potton in that year destroyed the old property. When rebuilt it included the property today numbered 24 Sun Street [CDE168/1-2]. The Queen’s Head closed its doors for the last time in 1919.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. The valuer visiting 22 Sun Street [DV1/C11/74] found it owned and occupied by Alfred Allen Sargent, the last licensee. Oddly he was now running a Temperance Hotel!

Accommodation comprised a front room measuring 8 feet by 15 feet used as a shop, and a billiard room with one table measuring 24 feet by 17 feet 6 inches. There was also a living room measuring 9 feet 3 inches by 10 feet and a bar (tea and coffee only presumably) measuring 10 feet by 6 feet. A lumber room and a scullery stood at the rear. Upstairs were three bedrooms measuring, respectively, 10 feet 6 inches by 9 feet 6 inches, 14 feet by 10 feet and 9 feet 6 inches by 17 feet 6 inches as well as a drawing room measuring 18 feet by 14 feet.

Sargent sold the property, which had been enfranchised and was now freehold, in 1933 to Frederick Albert Sargent OBE of Watford [Hertfordshire] for £500 [Z1578/POT/1/23]. In the same year harold Foster took out a tenancy of the building which he sold, along with the goodwill of his confectionary, tobacconist and billiards hall business to John Coppen of Finchley [Middlesex] in 1935 for £375 [Z1578/POT/1/24]. Frederick Allen died in 1942, devising the property jointly to Maurice Albert Sargent and Marion Olive Sargent [Z1578/POT/1/26].

The new Queens Head of 1878 [CDE168/2]
The new Queens Head of 1878 [CDE168/2]