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The Red Lion Public House Humbershoe

The former Red Lion January 2010
The former Red Lion January 2010

The Red Lion Public House: 20 High Street, Markyate

The Red Lion lay in the parish of Studham until 1866 when the new Bedfordshire civil parish of Humbershoe was formed for those properties north of Buckwood Road and west of Markyate High Street from the junction with Buckwood Road north. It is mentioned on the countywide licensing register for 1822-1828 and must not be confused with the other Red Lion which stood in Studham Village!

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has no other information on the Red Lion other than mentions in directories and entries in the Luton Petty Sessional Division register of alehouse licences from 1872 to 1901 [PSL6/1]. This reveals that, at that date, the public house was owned by Ivinghoe [Buckinghamshire] brewers Roberts & Wilson.

The Hertfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER 12097] notes that the public house was sold in 1845 at which time it was the brick and slate, two storey building largely visible today. At that date it contained two bedrooms, a taproom, bar, closet and basement with cellars for wine, coal and beer. Outside stood a wood barn and boarded, thatched stable.

In 1897 the civil parish of Humbershoe was abolished, and combined with parts of the Bedfordshire parish of Houghton Regis, the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire portions of Caddington and the Hertfordshire parish of Flamstead, to form the new Hertfordshire civil parish of Markyate. The Red Lion still exists but at the time of writing [2010] is boarded up and for sale.


  • CLP13: Register of alehouse licences: 1822 - 1828;
  • PSL6/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Luton Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1901

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known. The list goes up to 1897 at which date Humbershoe became part of the new Hertfordshire civil parish of Markyate: 

1822-1828: Joseph Kilbey;
1839-1864: Thomas Blackaby;
1869: George Mayes;
1872-1873: Robert Baphil;
1873-1874: William Judge;
1874-1877: William Taylor;
1877: Mary Elizabeth Taylor;
1877: Jules David Betrix;
1877-1880: Henry Joseph Pim;
1880: George Charles Dohoo
1880-1882: Adam Crawford;
1882-1884: James Beaumont;
1884-1885: William Simmons
1885-1886: James Beaumont;
1886-1887: Elizabeth Beaumont;
1887-1889: Charles Cook;
1889-1890: George Proctor;
1890-1891: John Cordell;
1891-1896: William Appleyard;
1896-1897: Edward Bishop.