Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Goldington > The Anchor Public House Goldington

The Anchor Public House Goldington

The Anchor June 2017
The Anchor June 2017

The Anchor Public House: 397 Goldington Road, Bedford

The building which later became the Anchor was part of the Goldington Estate and by 1766 was owned by the Addington family [GK124/3]. In 1834 William Silvester Addington conveyed three cottages on the south side of Goldington Green to Bedford brewer George Peregrine Nash (whose firm later became Newland and Nash Limited) “now and for many years past in occupation of John Bull, William Waller and John Denton”. The building was next-door to the Swan. Interestingly the countywide licensing register of 1872, known to contain mistakes when stating dates of first licensing, gives that date as 1834 for the Anchor, presumably referring to this sale.

James Kefford applied for a licence to sell “exciseable liquors by Retail” on 5th September 1840 at the Bedford Petty Sessions, but the application was refused PSB1/2]. He tried again on 14th September 1844 but, again, failed. He was finally successful on 13th September 1845 and the licence was granted “by the sign of the Anchor” [PSB1/3]

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 Anchor [DV1/C292/55] found it owned by Biggleswade brewers Wells and Winch (which had bought out Newand and Nash in 1924) and rent was £14 per annum rent, the tenant having been there since 1914.

The pub comprised: a “very small” bar, parlour and tap room, with a cellar on ground level, a kitchen and a weather-boarded and corrugated iron lean-to scullery. There were two bedrooms and two attics. Outside stood a weather-boarded and corrugated iron mortuary (crossed out and annotated “store” - inquests were frequently held at public houses in the 19th century and would include a view of the body). There was also a weather-boarded and corrugated iron open hovel and  two weather-boarded and tiled barns.

Trade was about four 36-gallon barrels per week, “bottled negligible” and “spirits negligible”. About two pounds of tobacco per week was sold. The valuer commented: “Poor place” and “Must be some personality here”. He amended the trade figures to read three 18-gallon barrels of bitter in summer and two barrels in winter.

In 1962 Wells and Winch were taken over by Suffolk brewers Greene King. At the time of writing [2017] the Anchor remains a public house, owned by Greene King but branded under its subsidiary Hungry Horse.


  • GK124/3: abstract of title: 1766-1826;
  • GK124/1: sale catalogue: 1832;
  • GK124/6: conveyance: 1834;
  • PAB1/2: Bedford Petty Sessional Division minute book: 1835-1843;
  • PSB1/3: Bedford Petty Sessional Division minute book: 1844-1853;
  • PSB9/1: alehouse licence register: 1903-1935;
  • Z1169/8/33/8: additions and alterations: c. 1927;
  • Z1169/8/33/25: plans of the existing buildings: 1953;
  • PSB9/2: alehouse licensing register: c. 1955-1995.

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

1845-1854: James Kefford;
1854-1856: Thomas Laughton;
1856-1863: Joseph Marshall;
1863-1865: Rhoda Marshall;
1865-1876: John Aikins Clapham.
1876: no licensee;
1885-1890: Reuben Brace;
1891-1923: Frederick Sharpe;
1923-1950: Harry Evans;
1952-1957: Stanley Palmer;
1965-1985: James M. Foster;
1985-1988: Peter Sanders;
1988-1989: Frederick David Cropper;
1989-1992: Ian Goldman;
1992-1994: David John Atkins;
1994: Horst Werner Schanz