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The White Horse Public House Flitwick

The White Horse about 1900 [Z1130/50/77]
The White Horse about 1900 [Z1130/50/77]

The White Horse Public House: 101-105 Station Road, Flitwick

This beerhouse in Station Road seems to have first opened its doors in 1868. In 1839 Daniel Cook of Flamstead [Hertfordshire], farmer conveyed Lower Broom Close of six acres to Maulden yeoman John Read for £340 [WL1000/1/FLWK2/1-2]. Read died in 1846 having devised the close to his daughter Elizabeth Giddings and her husband Charles [WL1000/1/FLWK2/3]. Charles Giddings died in 1868 and his sixty year-old widow mortgaged the property to John Dowdeswell of Maulden for £150 [WL1000/1/FLWK2/3]. The land now had four cottages built on it (occupied by Daniel Deacon, George Wilson, Joseph Billington and William Langley - today’s 107 tom 113 Station Road) as well as a property which was in the course of erection, a gravel pit and a small close of grass. Six weeks later the newly-built property was leased to Frederick Archdale, Robert Henry Lindsell and Charles Samuel Lindsell, partners in the Biggleswade brewery and firm of Wells, Hogge and Lindsell, later simply Wells and Company [WL1000/1/FLWK2/4]. Rent was £32 per annum.

107 and 109 Station Road September 2017
107 and 109 Station Road September 2017

Elizabeth Giddings died in 1876, having drawn up a will in which she devised her real estate to trustees for the purpose of selling it [WL1000/1/FLWK2/6]. An auction was duly held on 8th June and the White Horse was described as “sashed and spouted” and containing a cellar, tap room, parlour, back kitchen, pantry and three bedrooms with a timber and tiled stable and chaisehouse, timber and tiled corn barn, pig yard and small garden with a well of water. The lot also included market gardening land, previously worked for gravel, with a small piece of grass at the north-west corner totalling 3 acres, 30 poles “about three minutes’ walk” away. The White Horse was purchased by Newport Pagnell [Buckinghamshire] brewers Allfrey and Lovell for £680 [WL1000/1/FLWK2/9]. Allfrey and Lovell were bought out by Bedford brewer Charles Wells in 1926.

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/C129/12] found that the tenant paid £16 per annum rent to Charles Wells. The building had: “cream-coloured front, very plain and unattractive front”. Downstairs was a bar (“fair”), scullery and sitting room and there were three bedrooms upstairs. Outside was a weather-boarded and tiled range of buildings and store sheds,  weather-boarded and tiled two-stall stable and open shed, a wood and corrugated iron open shed and a derelict wood and corrugated iron cow house and store sheds.

The beerhouse sold one barrel of beer per week. The valuer commented: “Saw cellar. I say quite a barrel per week … I think trade underestimated”.

At the rear of the beerhouse William Ellis rented a small cherry orchard and arable land for a combined total of 1.977 acres from Charles Wells, rent being included in that for the beerhouse. A full licence was granted on 11th February 1954, the White Horse becoming a public house. 101 to 105 Station Road stand on the site today [2017]. The old pub’s name is kept alive by buildings in the former pub yard now called White Horse Mews.

101 to 105 Station Road September 2017
101 to 105 Station Road September 2017


  • WL1000/1/FLWK2/3: mortgage including partially built messuage: 1868;
  • WL1000/1/FLWK2/4: lease of newly-built inn: 1868;
  • WL1000/1/FLWK2/7-9: sold at auction: 1876;
  • PSA5/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1927;
  • WL800/5 p.42: photograph: c.1925;
  • PSA5/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1934-1959;
  • PSA5/4: list of licensed premises in Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: c.1950s
  • Z1105/1: Liquor Licence Traders Survey Form: 1963;
  • PSA5/5: list of licensed premises in Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1968-1995
  • WL722/24: photograph in Charles Wells in-house magazine Pint Pot: 1978

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

1871-1877: Rachel Ross;
1877-1878: Edwin Pheasey;
1878-1902: Jesse Ellis;
1902-1910: Rebecca Ellis;
1910-1937: William James Ellis;
1937-1959: Hamett Ellis;
1959: Edward Raymond Johnson;
1959: Robert Joseph Cullen;
1963: Florence Lillian Cullen
1966-1968: Ronald Stanley Charles Bassam;
1968-1970: William George Cooper;
1970-1982: John William Hewitt;
1982-1987: Eric Ernest Kelman;
1987-1988: Derek James Hancock and Derek Charles Gibbs;
1988: Derek James Hancock and Kenneth Frank Martin;
1988-1989: Noel Wright and Barry James Warner;
1989: Barry James Warner and Carl George Goodchild;
1989-1992: Barry James Warner and John Arthur Bojczuk;
1992: John Arthur Bojczuk and Richard William Turner;
1992: Dennis J.Garner and Paul C.White Archer;
1992-1996: David J.Porter;
1996: Elizabeth McCusker and Hartley Charles Bolton