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The Flying Horse Public House Clophill

The Flying Horse about 1900 [Z1306/31]
The Flying Horse about 1900 [Z1306/31]

The Flying Horse Public House [formerly the Running Horse]: 2 The Green, Clophill

As can be seen from the list of references this public house, like the nearby Green Man, has a very long history. It is first recorded in 1731 when the will of its owner, Joseph Hill, was proved (soon after this page was published the public house was redecorated and this date added to the exterior). Although there is a slight chance that the public house goes back further, to the Talbot Inn of the 17th century. Ten years later Hill's trustees sold it to Abraham Perrin. He unwittingly gave bed and board to three highwaymen in April 1751 [CRT100/27/5]. Perrin's daughter was Elizabeth Stapleton and her son, James sold the inn to the Ampthill brewer John Morris in 1797.

Someone reads the Community Archives pages!
Someone reads the Community History pages!

This evidence supports the Department of Environment's estimated date for the property, when it was Grade II Listed, as being 18th century at the rear, with a 19th century front. It suggests that the property may have been built as an inn. Interestingly the first act to regulate the road "from Luton to Westwood Gate", the modern A6 and to ensure it was kept in good repair was passed in 1726 and it is possible that the inn was built about this time and reflected the increased use of the road. Clearly the inn was enlarged in the 19th century, presumably due to increased demand and the enlargement possibly came quite early in the century as evidence shows that auction sales were being held there as early as 1809.

Flying Horse at Clophill in the 1960s
Flying Horse at Clophill in the 1960s [WB/Flow4/5/Clo/FH3]

The inn remained in Morris ownership until the company (then Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited) was sold to Luton brewers J.W.Green Limited in 1927. In the same year the public house was valued under the 1925 Rating Valuation and the valuer found a brick, timbered and slated detached premises and noted "long frontage, good bldg"; it comprised a taproom ("good"), bar and store, hall, club room ("large"), smokeroom ("small"), kitchen and scullery downstairs and six bedrooms and a bathroom with wc above. Outside were stables used for bicycles etc., one of five stalls, one of seven and a six horse stable used for two cars; there were also an earth closet and urinal, two loose boxes used as stores, two disused pigsties and another urinal. The business "gets main road traffic, has good yard, gets charabanc parties, mainly a weekend trade" it was "best pub in village". Trade consisted of forty eight 36 gallon barrels of beer per annum as well as 180 dozen bottles of beer and 47 gallons of spirits and 199 dozen bottles of mineral water.

J.W.Green merged with Flowers Breweries in 1954 and thereafter took the Flowers name until the company was purchased by Whitbread in 1962. Whitbread ceased to brew and to keep public houses in 2001 but the Flying Horse remains open at the time of writing [Jan 2007] as part of the company's subsidiary Beefeater.

Flying Horse 2007

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

1731: Joseph Hill;
1741-1751: Abraham Perrin;
1797 - 1828: James Maddams;
1831: Welch;
1839: James Maddams;
1851: Mary Maddams;
1854: Robert Young;
1861: Daniel Brightman;
1864 -1880: Thomas Worsley;
1880-1888: Arthur Wilsher Mallows;
1888: Charles Mallows;
1888-1907: James Shotbolt;
1907-1909: Thomas Copperwheat;
1909-1911: Charles Henry Robinson;
1911-1913: Frederick Rogers;
1913-1936: Sidney Chase;
1936-1954: Charles William Cross;
1954-1973: Edwin Alfred Lloyd;
1973-1975: Colin Campbell Joiner and Brian Joseph Minnighan;
1975: John Eric Parker, Colin Campbell Joiner and Brian Joseph Minnighan;
1975-1978: Colin Campbell Joiner and John Eric Parker;
1978-1979: Colin Campbell Joiner;
1979-1980: Norman Arthur Hards;
1980-1984: Robert Lewis Ivell and Thomas Aitken;
1984-1985: John Tomlinson Holmes and David Anthony Ratcliffe;
1985-1986: Colin James Trignell;
1986-1987: Malcolm Doig Starling and Graham Pollard;
1987-1988: Malcolm Doig Starling and John Crawford;
1988-1989: John Phillip Jackson and John Crawford;
1989: John Phillip Jackson and Keith Moreton;
1989-1991: Ian Cross and Keith Moreton;
1991-1992: John Philip Jackson and Keith Moreton;
1992-1994: Roger Clive Pritchard and John Philip Jackson;
1994: Deborah Younger;
1994-1995: Deborah Younger and Anthony David Hudson

The Flying Horse February 2010
The Flying Horse February 2010




  • ABP/W1731/37: will of Joseph Hill of Clophill, victualler: proved 1731;
  • WE985: recited conveyance of Flying or Running Horse from trustees of will of Joseph Hill, victualler to Abraham Perrin: 1741;
  • CRT100/27/3 (i) p.4: note of highwaymen at the inn: 1751;
  • QSM xii, 13: Quarter Sessions held at inn: 1753;
  • HS/Ord4: noted as on an ancient and common highway from Campton to Maulden in High Sheriff's archive: 1766;
  • WE985: Flying Horse or Running Horse conveyed by James Stapleton of Sherington to John Morris of Ampthill, brewer: 1797;
  • X21/629: recital of above conveyance: 1797;
  • WE959-960: Flying Horse noted as abutting land in a conveyance: 1798;
  • CC183: auction sale held at inn: 1809;
  • WJ158-159: auction sale of property held at inn: 1807;
  • BS357-358: auction sale of property held at inn: 1814;
  • WE975-976: Flying Horse noted as abutting land in a conveyance: 1819;
  • WE1558: auction sale of property held at inn: 1819;
  • CLP13: Register of alehouse licences: 1822 - 1828;
  • Z1043/1: listed in inventory of John and Joseph Morris, Ampthill brewers: 1827;
  • X21/629: one of many properties of which half was conveyed by Joseph Morris to Henry Ashley, Mary Ann Morris and Jane Morris: 1828;
  • WB/M4/1/VP1: mortgage from John Morris to Jane, Mary Ann and Catherine Morris: 1831;
  • PSA5/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1927;
  • WB/M4/1/VP2: mortgage from John Thomas Green of Woburn, solicitor to Susanna Morris, Mary Jane Morris and Sophia Morris of Ampthill of brewery and licensed properties of what would later become Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited: 1882;
  • SF14/19: Valuation of furniture and fixtures at the Flying Horse Inn, Clophill from Charles Mallows to James Shotbolt: 1888;
  • CCE5304/1: conveyed with other properties to Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited on formation of limited company: 1907;
  • Fac102/1: photocopy of diary of Sergeant J.Wainwright - billeted at inn: 1915; -
  • WB/W4/1/Clop/FH1: mortgage on all Wrest Park held lands in Clophill: 1917;
  • WB/W4/1/Clop/FH2: abstract of title of Wrest Park hereditaments in Clophill including 10 acres and 20 perches: c.1917;
  • AO/A6/1/4/2: Ordnance Survey map showing Land Drainage Scheme No.2 from Flying Horse, Clophill to Hollington basin: 1923-1924;
  • CCE5304/3: conveyed, with other property from Morris & Company (Ampthill) limited to J.W.Green Limited: 1926;
  • WB/M4/1/VP8: abstract of title of Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited to brewery and licensed premises: 1926;
  • WB/M4/2/1: List of properties of Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited: c.1926;
  • WB/M4/2/2: particulars of licensed properties of Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited: 1926;
  • Z50/31/34: photograph of Clophill Green showing pub sign on right of picture: c.1930s;
  • PSA5/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1934-1959;
  • WB/Green6/4/1: trade analysis ledger of J.W.Green Limited licensed premises: 1936-1947;
  • WB/Green4/2/4: certificate of title to licensed properties of J.W.Green Limited: 1936-1952;
  • WB/Green4/2/5: list of licensed properties of J.W.Green Limited: c.1936;
  • WB/Green4/2/10: schedule of deeds to J.W.Green Limited licensed premises: c.1949;
  • PSA5/4: list of licensed premises in Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: c.1950s;
  • WB/Green4/2/16: letter from J.W.Green to solicitors Lawrance, Messer & Company asking which licensed properties had been in continuous occupation: 24 Jul 1952;
  • WB/Green4/2/17: Trust Deed of J.W.Green Limited with list of licensed premises: 1952-1972;
  • WB/Green4/2/18: Certificate of Title of J.W.Green Limited to certain properties: 1954;
  • WB/Green4/2/19: Various loose schedules of deeds and documents: c.1954;
  • WB/Flow4/5/Clo/FH1-4: photographs: 1960s;
  • Z53/31/3: photograph: 1961;
  • PCClophill9/4: transfer of licence: 1954;
  • PCClophill9/11: transfers of licence: 1975-1980;
  • PCClophill9/11: correspondence between Whitbread and Clophill Parish Council regarding intended alterations: 1977;
  • WB/W4/1/Clop/FH4: Correspondence, site layout plans etc. regarding wayleave for Eastern Electricity pole and overhead line near Flying Horse, Clophill, to carry electricity to new factory in Old Silsoe Road: 1977;
  • FSD/PC22: newspaper cutting of fire in public house restaurant, with photograph: 1978;
  • CCE689/34: conveyance of adjoining land from Bedfordshire County Council to Whitbread London Limited: 1983.