10 and 11 Froxfield February 2016
A letter in the Whitbread archive tells us that there was an unnamed public house, or beerhouse, close to the gates of Woburn Park at Froxfield at the beginning of the 19th century. It was owned by Ampthill brewer John Morris. A letter of 5th December 1813 written to Samuel Whitbread [W1/4582] tells us that the Duke of Bedford had asked Whitbread to act as arbiter in a dispute about the value of the former licensed property. The letter is a report to Samuel Whitbread by his steward Edward Platt and reads: “Cottage at Froxfield in the Parish of Eversholt the property of John Morris, Esquire. This Cottage comprises Two small Tenements and a detached Building used for the purpose of depositing Fuel. The Buildings are partly Brick cased and partly Brick nogged and Tiled. There is not any Garden belonging to it or any yard except a narrow Frontage fenced off from the publick Road or Highway”.
“When purchased by Mr Morris it was used as a Publick house for selling Ale. Its situation being in front of a principal entrance to a Nobleman’s Park and Mansion and within a few Yards of the Gate and near the residence of his Servants and work people it was considered as an unfit situation for a House of this description and accordingly the License was refused by the Magistrates acting for that district about twelve years since and has not since been renewed”.
“The present Rent is £10 per annum which is considerably higher than Cottages are generally let for in that Parish or Neighbourhood”.
“There is also a small Allotment of land that was laid out by the Commissioners upon the Inclosure adjoining His Grace’s Land about a Mile distant from the Cottage being the nearest situation of Allotable Land containing Two Roods and ten Poles the Annual Value Eighteen Shillings. This is not yet fenced. It was in lieu of a Common Right belonging to the Cottage”.
The letter tells us that the pub or beerhouse closed about 1801. It must have stood somewhere in the vicinity of today’s 9 Froxfield
or 10 to 11 Froxfield
. It may even have been on the site of the latter which are believed to have been built "about 1800".