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Harlington Arms, 7 Station Road


Harlington Arms, c.1960 [WB/Flow4/5/Harl/HA2] 

The first known reference to this former public house is from 1867 when the Harlington Arms beer house and premises was leased by the Morris & Company Brewery of Ampthill to Samuel Smith. His tenancy was short, as was the tenancy of William Sharpe, who leased the Harlington Arms, now described as a public house, in 1868. A year later the tenancy changed hands again, with John Bonner of Westoning agreeing to pay a rent of £22 per annum. With one brief exception the Harlington Arms license remained with the Bonner family for almost one hundred years.  

The Harlington Arms was used on occasion by the coroner to hold inquests. One of these was a particularly tragic case reported in the Leighton Buzzard Observer in June 1880. A three year old boy, John Thomas Hull, had gone with his brother Frank and a boy named Eldridge to get worms for their ducks with a dung hook. Eldridge was using the hook and John Hull was lying on the ground to pick up the worms. By accident he moved his head in the direction of the hook and received a puncture wound which penetrated to his brain. Six days later tetanus set in and the boy died. The coroner gave a verdict of accidental death.  

In 1926 a list of the Morris Brewery premises recorded extensive details of the amount of trade carried out by its various public houses (along with other information such as rent payable, land tax and excise duty) showed that the Harlington Arms carried out a bulk trade of 100 barrels. This list was compiled in relation to the sale of the Morris Brewery and its tied houses to J. W. Green Limited in the same year.  

Under the terms of the Rating and Valuation Act 1925 every piece of land and building in the country was assessed to determine the rates to be paid on them. When Harlington was assessed in 1927, soon after it was taken over by J. W. Green, the Harlington Arms was described by the valuer as an “unattractive” brick and slate detached property. The layout was as follows:  

Downstairs: Tap room; bar; parlour; private kitchen (the public rooms were described as “rather poor”) 

Basement: Cellar, “low pitched” 

Upstairs: Five bedrooms 

Outside: Brick and tile coach house now used for storing motor-cycles etc, with three rooms, one of which was used for keeping chicken food; a brick and tile stable with three stalls and a loft over; a brick and corrugated iron stable with two stalls, used to keep chickens. 

The Harlington Arms sold an average of 1½ barrels of beer, a dozen half pint bottles of beer, and half a gallon of spirits a week. 


Harlington Arms, c.1960 [WB/Flow4/5/Harl/HA1] 

In 1954 J. W. Green merged with the Flowers Brewery and adopted the Flowers name. The company was taken over by Whitbread in 1962, and it seems likely that the Harlington Arms closed either at the time of the takeover or a little earlier. In 1962 the Harlington Parish Council was engaged in correspondence regarding the proposed conversion of a block of garages and stables, once part of the former Harlington Arms. The property at 7 Station Road is now a private house.  


  • SF82/1/14: Agreement for lease of the Harlington Arms beer house and premises to Samuel Smith, 1867; 

  • SF82/1/25 - Agreement for lease of the Harlington Arms public house and premises to William Sharpe, 1868; 

  • SF82/1/37 Rough notes re tenancies of Morris Brewery including Harlington Arms 1869;  

  • WB/M/4/2/VP8: Abstract of title (1926) including indenture relating to Harlington Arms, 1907; 

  • Z384/2: Postcard of Station road, Harlington, looking east, with the Harlington Arms public house on the right, c.1910; 

  • WB/M/4/2/1: list of Morris Brewery premises, 1926; 

  • DV1/C251/26-27: Valuation record, 1927;  

  • WB/Green4/2/10: schedule of deeds and documents held by J W Green, c.1949;  

  • WB/Green4/2/5: list of J W Green licensed houses showing A Bonner as licensee, c.1952; 

  • WB/Green4/2/15: letter re brewery titles including Harlington Arms, 1952; 

  • WB/Green4/2/17: J W Green trust deed, 1952; 

  • WB/Flow4/5/Harl/HA1&2: photographs of the Harlington Arms, early 1960s; 

  • PCHarlington18/9: Correspondence regarding a proposal to convert a block of garages and stables (once the 'Harlington Arms'), 1962 

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list; entries in italics refer to licensees where either beginning or end, or both, dates are not known: 

  • 1869: William Sharp 

  • 1876-1890: John Bonner 

  • 1898-1907: Elizabeth Bonner 

  • 1907-1918: Albert Bonner 

  • 1918-1919: Frank Charles Chambers 

  • 1919-1956: Albert Bonner 

  • 1956: Martha Florence Bonner