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The Cross Keys Public House Potton

The Cross Keys Public House: 12 Horslow Street, Potton

12 Horslow Street March 2007
12 Horslow Street March 2007

The countywide licensing register of 1876 states that the Cross Keys beerhouse was first licensed in 1839; it was then owned by James Horne of Potton. The countywide register of 1891 gives the owner as Alfred Richardson of Potton, though the property was tied to Phipps’ Brewery of Northampton. Richardson had had a small brewery in Biggleswade from 1869, moving to Potton in 1880. The countywide licensing register of 1903 gives the beerhouse’s owner as the Potton Brewery Company. The property was in good repair, 56 yards from the nearest licensed premises and had one front and one back door.

The Potton Brewery Company began as a brewery established by Francis Bingham in King Street around 1835. On his death in 1885 his nephew, of the same name, inherited the business. In 1889 the brewery was sold to William Smith who sold it to Alfred Richardson in 1893 who added it to his own business but then quickly sold his brewing interests to a partnership of Samuel Fuller, George Kitchener, John Butler Johnson and Elizabeth Pope who traded as the Potton Brewery Company. The firm was bought by Bedford brewers Newland and Nash in 1922 when the King Street brewery was demolished. Two years later Newland and Nash was bought by Biggleswade brewers Wells and Winch. They, in turn, merged with Suffolk brewer Greene King in 1961.

On 10th July 1912 the landlord, Frederick Bossingham, was convicted of selling liquor during prohibited hours and fined £5 plus costs [HF143/6]. In 1927 the public house was valued under the 1925 Rating Valuation Act [DV1/C11/32]. The valuer found that it contained three bedrooms, a tap room, a parlour, a kitchen and a cellar as well as a two stall cart hovel. Trade was two barrels of mild per week, nine gallons of bitter and eight dozen bottles of beer it was: "near housing scheme in town". At some point, probably in the 1950s, the Cross Keys became a fully-licensed public house. It closed its doors for the last time in 1988 and is now a private house.

References:

  • HF143/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1873;
  • HF143/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1874-1877;
  • X501/12: provisional deed of charge by Alfred Richardson to William Thomas Chapman of property including four Potton public houses: 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;
  • X501/15: mortgaged, with other property, by Alfred Richardson to William Thomas Chapman: 1880, redeemed 1894;
  • X501/16: mortgaged, with other property, by Alfred Richardson to Henry Raynes: 1881, redeemed 1894;
  • HF143/6: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1900-1914;
  • PSBW8/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1903-1915;
  • GK297/2: conveyance of all property from Newland and Nash to Wells and Winch: 1938;
  • X704/123: Savings Club: 1950s;
  • PSBW8/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1956-1972;
  • PSBW8/3: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade and North Bedfordshire Petty Sessional Divisions: 1976-1980

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

1872-1879: John Yerrill;
1879-1882: Fanny Yerrill;
1882-1883: William Hutchinson;
1883-1889: John Payne;
1889-1890: Walter Farlong;
1890: George Page Turney;
1891-1893: Richard John Richardson;
1893-1904: William Gurney;
1904-1912: Frederick Bossingham;
1912-1924: John Larkins;
1927-1931: Joseph Richardson;
1936-1940: Ernest C. Westhorp;
1957-1974: Albert John Charter;
1974-1988: Michael John Allen

Public house closed 1988.