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The Eagle Beerhouse Potton

The Eagle Beerhouse: Eagle Farm, Everton Road, Potton

Eagle Farm August 2013
Eagle Farm August 2013

The countywide licensing register of 1876 states that this beerhouse was first licensed in 1861, the owner being Ashwell [Hertfordshire] brewer Edward K. Fordham. The 1891 register states that the owner was W. A. Fordham and the register for 1903 that it was Fordham and Company. The Eagle was then in good repair, was a quarter of a mile from the nearest licensed premises and had one front and one back door.

In July 1875 John Kirkham was a farmer of Everton. He needed a housekeeper and made a written agreement with John Watson to work for him for twelve months. Watson was sent to Potton Station with a wagon and three horses and a load of potatoes. A boy with another horse and cart was sent with him. When he did not return John Kirkham went to look for him and found the horses and wagon standing at the door of the Eagle. Watson, of course, was drunk and the boy was also the worse for drink. Watson then refused to come out. The next day Watson was sent to Potton station again. He returned four and a half hours later and left the horses in the high road and went to the Eagle again. Kirkham had to take care of his horses himself. He later asked Watson to fetch a load of straw. He went part of the way, drove the horses and wagon into a field, released the horses and went off to have a drink again! [HF147/5/803].

On 20th August 1879 the licensee, Henry Taylor, was fined £1 and 8/6 costs. This was because ten days earlier, a Sunday, he had been caught selling beer during prohibited hours at the Eagle.

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. Potton, like much of the county, was assessed in 1927. The valuer visiting the Eagle [DV1/C26/36] found the licensee was less than helpful, noting: "referred to Fordhams. Refused to give me trade". He was able to find that the building consisted of three bedrooms, a tap room, a living room, a parlour, a scullery and a cellar. The adjoining farm premises consisted of two loose boxes used as stores, a barn, stable and lean-to hovel as well as 1.187 acres of land.

The beerhouse did not have much of a future, closing its doors for the last time in 1932. Today the former licensed premises is a private house.

References:

  • HF143/1: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1873;
  • HF143/2: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1874-1877;
  • HF147/5/803: drunken housekeeper found at the Eagle: 1875;
  • HF143/3: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1877-1881;
  • HF143/4: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1882-1890;
  • HF143/5: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1891-1900;
  • HF143/6: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1900-1914;
  • PSBW8/1: register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1903-1915.

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known:
1872-1898: Henry Taylor;
1898-1909: Mary Taylor;
1909-1914: Moses Warboys;
1920-1932: William Warboys;
Beerhouse closed 1932