Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Aspley Heath > The Royal Oak Public House Aspley Heath

The Royal Oak Public House Aspley Heath

Drawing of Royal Oak
 This drawing by Arthur W.Parker was taken from a deed by which land was added to the northern boundary of the Royal Oak [Ref.X395/55]

Royal Oak Public House: Church Road, Aspley Heath

Research notes in the office point to this building having been built by John Goodall or his father some time between about 1820 and 1850. Goodall mortgaged the cottage to the Woburn Building Society for £164 in 1853 and in 1856 he bought 25 poles from Gabriel Ireland that had originally formed the northern boundary. On 30 Sep 1876 it was conveyed from John Thomas Green, the Woburn solicitor, from whom Goodall had borrowed money by mortgage, to William Pritzler Newland, the Bedford brewer then in partnership with F.T.Young. This partnership ended when Young sold out in 1878. In 1890 Newland went into partnership with Susan Nash, widow of the Bedford brewer W.J.Nash, to form Newland & Nash. This firm merged with the Biggleswade brewers Wells & Winch in 1922, with a final integration in 1938 after which time the firm was known as Wells & Winch. That firm merged with Greene King in 1961, adopting the Greene King name in 1963.

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. At that time the public house consisted of a tap room, kitchen, private living room and scullery downstairs, with a cellar beneath. Upstairs were five bedrooms and outside a washhouse and WC and coal barn. Trade consisted of about three barrels of beer and three dozen bottles of minerals per week. Rent was £12 per annum. The valuer noted "a lovely little green patch in front", he also noted that the tenant "Keeps house very clean & I think some personallity[sic] here".

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:
1876: Ingle;
1897-1910: Joseph Wilson;
1910-1933: John Mole Cowell;
1933-1949: Percy Radley;
1949-1953: Alexander Stewart Carlile;
1953: William Melville Harris

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

  • CRT130Asp19: notes including building of premises, 1820s or 1850 by John Goodall or his father, mortgages by John Goodall 18 Jun 1853, 24 Sep 1860 and 1 Jan 1862;
  • X395/55: abstract of deeds: 1853-1877;
  • PSW3/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Woburn Petty Sessional Division: 1868-1949;
  • GK152/10: beerhouse conveyed, with Dukes Head, Aspley Guise from John Thomas Green to Pritzler Newland: 30 Sep 1876
  • GK119/4 and GK152/11: mortgaged, with Dukes Head, Aspley Guise, by W.P.Newland to raise £1,200: 9 May 1877 (mortgage redeemed 1 May 1891);
  • GK3/1a: conveyed, with other properties, to Newland & Nash Limited (tenant John Wilson, with skittle shed): 13 Aug 1897;
  • GK3/1b: conveyed, with other properties, in trust deed to raise stock for Newland & Nash Limited: 14 Aug 1897;
  • PSW3/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Woburn Petty Sessional Division: 1949-1953
  • Z1105/1: Liquor Licence Traders Survey Form: 1959

Royal Oak March 2006
Royal Oak in March 2006