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The Nags Head Beerhouse Greenfield

68 High Street February 2011
68 High Street February 2011

The Nag's Head Beerhouse: 68 High Street, Greenfield

The former Nag's Head stands on the south side of the High Street in Greenfield. This means that until 1984 it was in the civil parish of Pulloxhill; at that date it was transferred into the new civil parish of Flitton and Greenfield.

The first reference to the beerhouse is in a sale catalogue of Dunstable Brewery of July 1843 [BH409]. The entry in the catalogue reads as follows:

LOT 19


Near Flitwick; containing Tap, Lobby, Wash-house, neat Parlour, bake-house with Oven, and Loft over, cellar underground, three Bed Rooms and large Garret.

Fore Ground, Well of Water, Stable and Out-houses

In the occupation of WILLIAM ARNOLD, at an Annual Rent of £6/6/-

The Title to this Lot shall commence with Indentures of the 23rd and 24th of February, 1795 

Title beginning in 1795 does not necessarily mean there was a building on the site at that time. The first deed may simply have conveyed land.

The countywide licensing register of 1876 notes that the Nag's Head was owned by Bedford brewer Charles Wells. This firm had begun operations the year before when Charles Wells himself bought the brewing firm of Joseph Allen Piggot. This suggests that Piggot was the previous owner. His firm was set up in 1862 when he bought out his partner Henry Collings Wells. Piggot and Wells had been established in 1851 when it purchased the Horne Lane Brewery in Bedford from Penelope Corrie Redden. The Horne Lane Brewery had purchased the Nag's Head beerhouse at the auction sale in 1843 [WL75].

The countywide licensing register of 1901 noted: "repair fairly good and clean"; the beerhouse had both a front and a back door. The beerhouse closed its doors for the last time on 27th September 1913 and became a private house [PSA5/1].

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 68 High Street [DV1/C234/117] commented: "was pub, good house". The property was owned and occupied by E. Crawley. It comprised a parlour, a living room, a kitchen and three bedrooms. Outside lay a weather-boarded and slated store shed, a brick and slate shed and earth closet, a weather-boarded and corrugated iron coal shed, a weather-boarded and corrugated iron trap house ("used wood"), a weather-boarded and corrugated iron scullery and a brick and corrugated iron washhouse. The valuer further commented: "Bay Window in front – down only. Used to be Public House. Nags Head".


  • BH409 Dunstable Brewery Sale Catalogue 25 July 1843;
  • WL88: abstract of title of Horne Lane Brewery, Bedford to the Nag's Head: 1844-1862;
  • PSA5/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1927;
  • WL73: list of licensed premises belonging to Horne Lane Brewery, Bedford: 1875.

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

1843-1847: William Arnold;
1850: James Arnold;
1853-1864: William Arnold;
1869: Mrs. William Arnold;
1876-1887: Charles Smith;
1887-1888: Edwin Giddings;
1888-1897: Samuel Hills;
1897-1902: William Harris;
1902-1905: George Mooring;
1905-1913: Thomas Thompson.

Beerhouse closed 27th September 1913