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The Red Lion Public House Wilshamstead

North elevation of the proposed Red Lion [RDBP1/1472]
North elevation of the proposed Red Lion [RDBP1/1472]

The Red Lion Public House [previously the Bell, then the Three Compasses]: Bedford Road, Wilshamstead

Until 1930 or 1931 the Red Lion occupied the cottages now numbered 5 and 7 Bedford Road where it had been in existence, firstly as The Bell, then the Three Compasses since at least 1671. Then Charles Wells received planning permission to build an entirely new premises to house the public house [RDBP1/1472].

Today [2013] the Red Lion and the Woolpack almost opposite, are the only remaining public houses in Wilshamstead. The pub was refurbished in 1995 [WL722/84] and remains in the ownership of Bedford brewer Charles Wells Limited at the time of writing.

The Red Lion March 2012
The Red Lion March 2012

References:

  • ABP/W1671/75: will of Thomas Beech: 1671;
  • BC18: mortgage: 1689;
  • QSM4: quarter session held at the Blue Bell: 1728;
  • WL1000/1/Wils2/9: recited conveyance: 1785;
  • P1/13/4/226: settlement certificate: 1789;
  • WL1000/1/Wils2/6-7 conveyance: 1802;
  • WL1000/1/Wils2/8: redemption of Land Tax: 1806;
  • CLP13: register of alehouse licences: 1822-1828;
  • PSB1/1: licensing register: 1829-1834;
  • WL1000/1/Wils2/9: recited will of Thomas Gadsby: 1840;
  • WL1000/1/Wils2/10: sale agreement: 1840;
  • WL1000/1/Wils2/11-12: conveyance: 1841;
  • WL1000/1/Wils2/13: recited conveyance: 1871;
  • QSR1841/2/5/10-12: person arrested at the Red Lion: 1841;
  • P22/28/3: abstract of title: 1856-1883;
  • WL647: report on Charles Wells public houses: 1874;
  • P22/28/4: additional abstract of title: 1883-1894;
  • SF74/27: auction sale held at the Red Lion: 1889;
  • PSB9/1: register of licenses: 1903-1935;
  • WL800/4: photograph: c. 1925;
  • RDBP1/1472: plans for rebuilding: 1930;
  • RDBP2/102: plans for outbuilding: 1931;
  • BTNeg3740/1-10: negatives of Morris Men dancing outside the Red Lion: 1949;
  • PSB9/2: licensing register: c. 1955-1995;
  • WL722/84: refurbishment of the Red Lion: 1995.

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

1671: Grace Freelond;
1689: Thomas Stanbridge;
1789: Thomas Tompion;
1822-1829: Perkins Cooper;
1833-1837: Mary Cooper;
1842: John Groom;
1842-1846: William Frederick Hill;
1846-1850: Edward Travis;
1850-1856: Thomas Alcock;
1859: Samuel Simons;
1862-1864: Samuel Jarvis Simms;
1865-1869: Frederick Cox (also baker);
1876-1891: Charles Toll;
1894: Thomas Smith;
1898-1910: Charles Grooms
;
1910-1912: Thomas Parker;
1912-1913: Elizabeth Ann Parker;
1913-1933: Frederick Bennett;
1933: George Thomas Sadd;
1940: William Edward Parsons
1967-1972: Walter William Smith;
1972-1979: William Ronald Wilson;
1979-1981: John McGarrigle Hagan;
1981-1983: Horace James Clarke;
1983-1984: Christopher Robert Godfrey;
1984-1985: Michael James Lacey;
1985-1986: Dermot Hugh Cassidy;
1986-1988: William John Thomas;
1988-1994: Arthur Francis Hopkins;
1994: Raymond Spencer and Anthony William Thornton;
1994: Stephen Palmer and Hartley Charles Bolton;
1994-1995: Nichola Vivian Craddock