Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Hockliffe > The Fleur-de-Lys Public House Hockliffe

The Fleur-de-Lys Public House Hockliffe

The Fleur-de-Lys about 1960 [PL/PH/2/12]
The Fleur-de-Lys about 1960 [PL/PH/2/12]

The original Fleur-de-Lys (or Fleur-de-Lis) public house was erected on wasteland adjoining Watling Street in the late 18th century; it was replaced by a new building in the early 20th century which is now used as a private house [HER11604].

In 1851 it was occupied by licensed victualler Richard Tomkins, age 28, his wife Mary and three young children, and a lodger, 79 year old widower Daniel Hindes, described as an agricultural labourer and pauper. In 1911 the Fleur-de-Lys was occupied by Ephraim Ellingham who was 65 years old, born in Stanbridge and whose occupation was described as publican and butcher. With him were his wife, 54 year old Mary Ann Ellingham, and two step-children, Emily Rickett (19) and Walter John Rickett (17), both of whom worked in the business.  

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 ordered every piece of land and building in the country to be assessed to determine the rates to be paid on it. Hockliffe was assessed in 1927 and at this time the Fleur-de-Lys was owned by the Aylesbury Brewery Company and occupied by T.H.Bryant as a tied house with an annual rent of £15. The property consisted of:

  • Downstairs: Lounge, tap room, bar, kitchen, scullery, pantry, store room, and cellar;
  • Upstairs: 4 bedrooms, store cupboard;
  • Outside: Weatherboard and tile stable for 2 (used for chickens) and coachhouse (used for car); brick and tile harness room in good repair (used for chickens); weatherboard and corrugated iron kennels, now a "coal hole"

Sales were one barrel per week (53 per year), 174 dozen pint bottles, and 30 gallons of spirits, giving takings for £300-£350 per annum. The gross takings for the 6 months ending September 1927 were £265 6s.3d. The public house held a full licence at a cost of £9.10s. The valuer commented "Not very much trade – rotten pull in. Half way up the hill. Not a bad draw up. Modern house. Present occupier only been there 3 weeks".

 The former Fleur-de-Lys February 2013
The former Fleur-de-Lys February 2013

The Fleur-de-Lys is believed to have closed in 1992.


  • DV1/C201/73&74: Valuation book for Hockliffe, 1926

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:

1822-1828: John Timkins/Tomkins;
1851: Richard Tomkins;
1854: James Cripps;
1862-1869: George Cook
1876-79: William Bunker;
1879-1880: Thomas Kirby;
1880-1921: Ephraim Ellingham;
1921-1925: Mary Ann Ellingham;
1925-1927: Edward Alfred Tipple;
1927-1928: Thomas Harry Bryant;
1928-1930: George Ainsworth;
1930-1931: John Henry Clifford;
1931-1932: Frederick William Putman;
1932-1953: Frederick Charles Lay;
1967: Frederick Percival Maskell;
1968-1977: Dermot Patrick Mooney;
1977-1978: Margaret Ann Mooney;
1978-1980: John David Anderson;
1980-1986: David Scobbie;
1986-1990: Leonard Sydney Anton Briscombe;
1990: Graham John Newsom
Closed about 1992