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The Kings Arms Inn Hockliffe

King's Arms House February 2013
King's Arms House February 2013

The King's Arms is known to have been an inn from at least the later part of the 18th century and given the age of the buildings, which date from the 17th and 18th century, it is likely that it was an inn from an earlier date [PC/AC2/25]. It marked the end of a section of the Watling Street turnpike which ran from the Black Bull Inn, Dunstable to the King's Arms [B606]. In 1822 it formed part of the Hockliffe Grange estate belonging to the Gilpin family along with 20 acres of land associated with the inn. At this time it was occupied by Mary Pickering, having previously been occupied by William Tripp [P103/2/2-3].

The 1851 census records the occupants of the King's Arms as Richard Inwards, a farmer of 106 acres employing five men, his wife Mary Ann and six children. In 1911 the King's Arms was occupied by Warwick Olney, age 56, a farmer and publican originally from Stanbridge, his wife Ann (61) and son Fred (21), who helped in the business. The Kings Arms was sold, with its associated farm, along with the rest of the Hockliffe Grange estate in 1917. The sale catalogue described the King's Arms as a brick-built and tiled inn, occupying an excellent position on Watling Street. It consisted of:

  • Inn: Entrance hall; living room; tap room with small room adjoining; large club room; fitted dairy; kitchen; large cellars and spirits store; seven good bedrooms.
  • Farm buildings: Brick-built and tiled range; two piggeries with yards; stabling for six horses; cow houses with loft over, giving accommodation for 12 cowas; chaise house.
  • Other buildings: Corn barn with asphalt floor; four-bay shed; three-bay cart shed; coal barn; fowl house

In addition to the King's Arms itself there was 108 acres of farmland, all in Hockliffe with the exception of 14.7 acres in Eggington. With the exception of one four acre field the property was let to Mr. Warwick Olney. The total rent payable was £126 p.a. The King's Arms closed as a public house on 29th September 1926 and the former inn's premises became King's Arms Farm (now the Old King's Arms) and King's Arms Cottages.

King's Arms Cottage February 2013
King's Arms Cottage February 2013


  • P103/2/2,3: Deed to suffer and declare the uses of a recovery: 1822
  • AD3717: Sale catalogue for Hockliffe Grange estate: 1917
  • PL/AC2/25: Hockliffe Parish Survey (Historic Landscape and Archaeology) draft report, Stephen Coleman: 1982

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:

Before 1822: William Tripp;
1822: Mary Pickering;
1822 - 1828: John Hickford;
1847-1869: William Inwards;
1876-79: Ann Mary/Mary Ann Inwards;
1879-1881: Charles John Inwards;
1881-1893: James Charles Inwards;
1893-1918: Warwick Olney;
1918-1926: Alfred Leonard Abraham