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The White Horse Beerhouse Cotton End

The White Horse about 1925 [WL800-5]
The White Horse about 1925 [WL800/5]

The White Horse Beerhouse: High Road, Cotton End [originally the Black Horse].

The countywide licensing register of 1876 lists a Black Horse in Eastcotts. This beerhouse was first licensed in 1863 and was owned by John King of Toddington. The licensee was Peter Smith. The 1891 countywide register shows Peter Smith as licensee of the White Horse which was also a beerhouse and owned, unlikely as it may seem, by the trustees of Haynes Baptist Chapel. They leased the establishment to Cardington Brewery. The register states that the house was first licensed prior to 1869 making it likely that the two beerhouses, Black and White Hose are, in fact, the same premises. The countywide register of 1903 shows George Sheppard as licensee and leaseholder as Charles Wells. The premises was 120 yards from the nearest licensed house (the Harrows), had one front and one back door and was in good condition, clean and “apparently sanitary”.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. The valuer visiting the White Horse [DV1/C286/110] found it still owned by the trustees of Haynes Baptist Meeting, leased to Charles Wells and now occupied by Percy Berrington who paid £12 per annum in rent. The position of the beerhouse is shown on the map below, at the southern end and coloured pink.

The site of the White Horse
The site of the White Horse

The brick and slate, detached premises comprised a tap room and parlour (“both fair”), a cellar, a kitchen and three bedrooms. Outside stood a brick and slate barn and a weather-boarded and tiled barn. Trade was about three gallons per week, “minerals negligible”. The valuer commented "poor situation".

The property did not have much longer to last as licensed premises. It closed for the last time on 18th April 1931. Today modern houses stand on the site.


  • PSB9/1: register of licenses: 1903-1935;
  • WL800/5: photograph: c. 1925.

List of Licensees:

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

1864: George Summerfield;
1876: Peter Smith;
1903: George Shepherd;
1903-1921: George Purser;
1921-1928: Percy Billington;
1928-1931: Harry Barker.
Beerhouse closed 18th April 1931.