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The Anchor Public House Aspley Guise


Anchor about 1925
The Anchor in about 1925 [WL800/1]

The Anchor Public House: The Square, Aspley Guise

Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service has deeds to the Anchor in its Charles Wells archive. The deeds of the site go back into the 17th century. The present site was originally two separate sites.

The first site was a freehold cottage first mentioned in 1649 in the ownership of the Hardinge family. It later passed to the Byworths and then to Fenn Cole in 1788. Richard Waterman purchased it from John Cole, son of Fenn Cole, in 1824, devising it to his daughter Sarah Woodin in his will and she in turn giving it to her son Richard Waterman Woodin. It was this cottage which eventually became the Anchor.

The second, neighbouring site was a leasehold cottage - first mentioned in the creation of the 972 year lease in 1668, the creator being Francis Wood and the first lessee Richard Crossley alias Anthony. The cottage passed through the Clarke and Tilcock families, becoming divided into two cottages by 1757 when it passed to Fenn Cole, his son John sold it to John and James Warr in 1824, James then sold his share to John Warr in 1829 by which time the cottage had become five cottages which Warr then sold to Richard Waterman Woodin in 1844 thus uniting the two sites in one ownership.

Richard Waterman Woodin converted Byworth's old cottage into a beerhouse some time between 1844 and 1871 when his executors sold it at auction to Woburn brewers Henry and John Charles Fowler. He also knocked down the adjoining cottages which were sold as a site only in the same auction. The public house was sold at auction to Charles Wells in 1881

In 1927 this part of Bedfordshire was valued under the terms of the Rating Valuation Act 1925; every piece of land and property was inspected to determine the rates to be paid on it. The valuer found that the property consisted of a tap room, smoke room and jug room on the ground floor, with a private lounge and kitchen and a cellar containing three eighteen gallon barrels of beer; upstairs were four bedrooms; outside were a stable for two horses and a coachhouse. The premises were described as "rather small but clear". Business was stated as one barrel of beer sold per week and one gill of spirits per month, the assessor adding a marginal note "don't believe it. I think outside capability 1 ½ barrels per week". Rent was £12 per annum

The Anchor continues to be a public house at the time of writing [2006], owned by Charles Wells Limited. The modern photograph was taken in February 2006

Anchor in February 2006
Anchor in February 2006

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list ; entries in italics refer to licensees where either beginning or end, or both, dates are not known:

1847-1854: Richard Waterman Woodin;
1871: William Hipwell;
up to 1877-1880: David Giltrow;
1880-1881: Thomas George Brandon;
1881-1885: Mrs.Emily Rebecca Ivett;
1885: Robert John Crampton;
1885-1886: Frederick William Dickens;
1886-1892: Eusebius Woodhams (also bootmaker);
1892-1903: Thomas Henry Hayter;
1903-1905: Charles Minnie Tomkins;
1905-1923: William Coopey;
1923-1927: Harriett Coopey;
1923-1932: Thomas Edward Wilson;
1929-1932: Robert Walter Sims;
1932-1943: Mrs.Florence Elizabeth Bethell;
1943-1946: Talbot Jarvis;
1946-1951: Edgar Henry Valentine;
1951-1953: Frank Taylor

List of Sources at Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service: -

  • WL1000/1/AG/3/1: covenant by Edmund, Anne and St.John Hardinge to levy a fine on a cottage to William Byworth: 1649;
  • WL1000/1/AG/1/1: 972 year lease of part of site from Francis and Alice Wood to Richard Crossley alias Anthony: 1668; -
  • WL1000/1/AG/1/2: devised by John Crossley alias Anthony to his son Richard: 1685; - WL1000/1/AG/1/3: assignment from Richard Crossley alias Anthony to Elizabeth Clarke: 1697; - WL1000/1/AG/1/6: assignment from Edward Clarke to Joseph Tilcock: 1714;
  • WL1000/1/AG/1/7: assignment from Joseph Tilcock to John Turvey: 1728;
  • WL1000/1/AG/1/11: assignment leasehold premises in WL1000/1/AG/1/1 now divided into two cottages from Richard How to Fenn Cole: 1757;
  • WL1000/1/AG/3/2: cottage in WL1000/1/AG/3/1 devised by John Byworth to his son Henry: 1762;
  • WL1000/1/AG/3/3: feoffment of cottage from Henry Byworth to Fenn Cole: 1788;
  • WL1000/1/AG/1/14: real estate devised by Fenn Cole to his son John: 1802;
  • WL1000/1/AG 1/19: assignment of two cottages by John Cole to John and James Warr: 1824;
  • WL1000/1/AG/3/11: conveyance of cottage from John Cole to Richard Waterman: 1824;
  • WL1000/1/AG/1/16: conveyance and assignment of his half share of 4 freehold and 4 leasehold cottages by James Warr to John Warr: 1829;
  • WL1000/1/AG/3/12: conveyance of cottage [in WL1000/1/AG/3/1] from Sarah Woodin to her son Richard Waterman Woodin: 1840;
  • WL1000/1/AG/1/20: conveyance of five cottages from John Warr to Richard Waterman Woodin: 1844;
  • WL1000/1/AG/1/23: real estate devised by Richard Waterman Woodin to trustees for sale: 1870;
  • - CLP13: Register of alehouse licences: 1822 - 1828
  • PSW3/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Woburn Petty Sessional Division: 1868-1949;
  • WL1000/1/AG/1/24: Anchor public house and six cottages conveyed by trustees of Richard Waterman Woodin to Henry Fowler and John Charles Fowler of Woburn, brewers: 1871;
  • WL1000/1/AG/1/24: assignment of site of six cottages from Henry Fowler to Ann Pain: 1872;
  • WL1000/10/1/1: sold at auction with other properties of James Fowler of Woburn, brewer: 1881 ;
  • Z818/4: postcard: c.1910;
  • WL800/1: photograph taken for Charles Wells Limited, also showing licensee and family: c.1925;
  • WL801/81: negative of WL800/1;
  • PSW3/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Woburn Petty Sessional Division: 1949-1953
  • Z1105/1: Liquor Licence Traders Survey Form: 1959;
  • X351/1 p.27: photograph: 1965;
  • WL722/14: Pint Pot - Charles Wells Limited magazine - photograph: Mar 1975;
  • PCAspleyGuise/34/1/6: photograph: 1999.