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Carpenters Arms Beerhouse Carlton

This page was written by Pamela Hider

The former Carpenters Arms in 1962 [Z53-25-11]
The former Carpenters' Arms in 1962 [Z53/25/11]

The Carpenters' Arms Beerhouse: 17 The Marsh, Carlton

A  17th century house, with a large barn and considerable acreage to the rear, suggests this building was a farmhouse. No records of it exist before the 1830s, by which time the Enclosure Act (1806) had become well established.

The Historic Environment Record for Bedfordshire describes the building as follows: C17 house. Coursed limestone rubble. C.20 plain concrete tile roof. Stone gable coping. 3-bay plan. Double ridge chimney stack serving back-to-back fireplaces between two eastern rooms. W. end external red brick chimney stack. Two storeys. N. elevation: first floor four casement windows with glazing bars, three of 2-lights, single light window in line with chimney stack. Ground floor has two casement windows with glazing bars flanking doorway in line with chimney stack. To right side is a small one storey lean- to addition one bay in length. Rendered with Welsh slate roof.

A change of use (or perhaps a sideline) came about in 1869 when a licence was granted for use as a beerhouse. An alehouse register of 1876 [CL/P19/1] shows the licensee to be Charles Rudd (aged 58), a carpenter and beer retailer. He was there until his death in 1891. A register of that year [CL/P19/2/1] describes business at the Carpenters' Arms as "on and off without wine licence".

During the next 20 years,  Alfred Allen was the beer retailer. A register of alehouse licences in 1901 [PSS3/1] had referred to there being "no sign". By 1903 business was still being described as "on and off", but noted that the alehouse had been licensed prior to 1869 [CL/P20].   In 1910, the rateable value was assessed as £12 (DBV/1/25). Mr.Allen died in 1911 and the next beer retailer was to be the last.

William Mole took over in 1911, but by now the beerhouse's days were numbered. The register PSS3/3 states "renewal 12/3/13, not proceeded with"  and  "renewal 6/2/14, renewal refused 26/12/14".

Throughout its 45 year tenure, Hipwell & Company had been the brewers. The tenure may have been relatively short, but the Carpenters' Arms seems to have served a need within its small community e.g. the rear fields were rented out as allotments and tradition has it that "after an evening working on their allotments, the local men would go to the Carpenters' Arms and sit round the inglenook fireplace with their pints" [Z1521/1 (October 1994)]. The Rudds were well known in the village as carpenters and also, the fact that the only two main licensees were each there for 20 years, shows how intimate a place it must have been - a home from home. It is probably no accident that it closed in the year of the first Great War.

By 1928, it had become a private residence and the land let to a local farmer. We can learn a little more from the fact that in 1927, property in Carlton was valued under the Rating and Valuation Act 1925 (DV1/C218). Every piece of land and building in the country had to be valued to determine the rates to be paid upon it. Stonehaven was then owned and occupied by C.G. Gaze and was described as follows: Stone & tiled, detached, kitchen, upstairs 2 bedrooms,1 box (as bathroom). Another hand has written 'cannot credit 2 beds - they must be very large'. + stone & slate  garage, large workshop, good store & potting shed. + Glass house 12½ x 9½. 2 stalls & small yard [let to Howe W.]. Comment - 'Very nice. Would let for £50 easily'.


Stonehaven Dec 2018

Former Carpenters' Arms (now Stonehaven) December 2018

List of licensees:

Charles Rudd: 1869 - 1891;
Alfred Allen:  1891 - 1911;
William Mole: 1911 - 1914.


  • as listed above plus census and Kelly's Directories.