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The White Hart Public House Fancott

White Hart Farm February 2016
White Hart Farm February 2016

The White Hart Public House: Luton Road, Fancott

The first mention of the White Hart is in the countywide licensing register of 1876. At that date the pub was owned by Luton brewer Thomas Sworder. This business was sold to rival Luton brewer J W Green in 1897.

In July 1920 a number of properties in Dunstable and Fancott were for sale at auction under Thomas Sworder's will, so clearly he had kept the White Horse instead of selling it to J W Green. The sale particulars [BHuncat355/58] describe the property as "set back from the road about 65 feet". The two storey brick and slate house comprised an entrance passage, bar parlour, tap room, dining room, beer cellar, dairy, four bedrooms and a first floor store. "It is fitted with Grates, Cupboards, Drawers etc. there is a Well in Tap Room, which has not been used for many years. In front of the House is Yard with Urinal and Pump of Water". There was a kitchen garden stocked with fruit trees, a paddock and orchard. Outbuildings "which principally surround the Yard and are built of Brick, Timber and Slate, comprise Coal Place, Washhouse (with Sink and Copper), Closet and cart Shed, and Stable with Loft over, Loose Box communicating from last-mentioned Stavle, 3 Pig-sties, 2 Open Cattle Sheds, Open Cattle Shed with Manger, open Cart Shed, Large Corn Barn, Meal House and Tool House".

The lot included Fancott Farm of 60 acres, 31 poles of which 34 acres, 4 poles were arable and 24 acres, 2 roods, 24 poles were pasture. The fields were named: Upper Meadow; Lower Meadow; Tinsley Mead; Ryne Hill; Brook Piece and Bent Field. The land: "contains a bed of fine Sand and is also supposed to contain Brick Earth". The rent for pub and farm combined was £90 per annum. To judge by later records it looks as if the lot was bought by its tenant Fred Marlow.

The White Hart closed on 30th September 1925, likely after the death of Fred Marlow [PCToddington9/4]. 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 White Hart Farm [DV1/H4/20] on 6th October 1926, found it was owned and occupied by Mrs Elizabeth Ann Marlow. The farm comprised about 57 acres and the valuer commented: "Water from well, house very fair". Another valuer noted: "I acted when license taken up".

The house comprised a reception room, kitchen and two cellars with three bedrooms and two box-rooms upstairs. Outside was a brick and slate coal barn, a brick and slate woodhouse and an earth closet. The homestead comprised: a brick and slate cart hovel and stable for three and loose box, all with a loft over; three brick and slate calf pens; brick, timber and slate cowhouses for four; a timber and slate four-bay hovel with a manger; a brick, timber and slate two-bay cart hovel; a large brick and slate barn; a brick and slate mixing house, cooling house and coal barn and a timber and corrugated iron open hovel.


  • BHuncat355/58: sale catalogue: 1920;
  • PCToddington9/4: letters regarding proposed closure: 1925. 

Licencees: note that this is not a complete list and that dates in italics are not necessarily beginning or end dates, merely the first/last date which can be confirmed from sources such as directories and deeds:

1876-1910: George Dean;
1910-1925: Fred Marlow;
1925: Elizabeth Ann Marlow
Public house closed 30th September 1925