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The Shoulder of Mutton Public House Kempston Rural

The former Shoulder of Mutton March 2012

The former Shoulder of Mutton March 2012

The Shoulder of Mutton Public House: 38 Green End Road, Kempston Rural

The countywide Licensing Registers of 1876 states that the Shoulder of Mutton beerhouse was first licensed in 1836. It was sold by William Boyce to the oddly-named West Lilley in 1840, who mortgaged it to Ebenezer Burr in 1859 [GK132/18]. West Lilley was a brother of Matthew and William Lilley who were hanged for attempted murder of a gamekeeper in 1829. He also owned the Cross Keys in Wood End. The mortgage was redeemed in 1874 [GK132/18] when Lilly sold the premises, along with The Cross Keys, to Bedford brewer Frederick Thomas Young [GK132/18]. Young mortgaged the beerhouse to Charles Mitchell in 1874 [GK132/20] and to William George Carter Mitchell in 1875 [GK160/1].

Young must have sold out to Newland in 1877 as in that year Newland mortgaged various licensed properties including the Shoulder of Mutton to Charles William Powell [GK160/4]. He redeemed the mortgage with Charles Mitchell in 1883 [GK132/20] and mortgaged with Henry Raynes and George Race [GK132/21], that mortgage being transferred to Susan Milburn Mitchell in 1889 [GK132/22]. In 1890 Newland merged his business with that of Bedford brewer William Joseph Nash's widow Susan to form Newland and Nash, which became a public limited company in 1897 [GK3/1a]. Newland and Nash was taken over by Biggleswade brewers Wells and Winch in 1924, though properties were not conveyed until 1948 [GK297/3]. Wells and Winch themselves were themselves taken over by Suffolk brewers Greene King in 1961.

In 1927 Kempston Rural was valued under the Rating Valuation Act 1925; each piece of land and building was valued to determine the rates to be paid on it. The valuer at the Shoulder of Mutton [DV1/C35/28] noted that it was a: "Smart looking place. Rough cast. Fair draw up". accommodation comprised a tap room, cellar, lounge and front room downstairs ["Good rooms. Recently done up"] with three bedrooms above; outside were two earth closets and a barn with a loft over. Weekly trade was good at three barrels and five dozen bottles of beer. This poor trade eventually, though not until as late as 1991, led to the by now fully licensed public house's closure and conversion into a private house [BorB/TP/91/0116].


  • GK132/18: recited conveyance: 1840;
  • GK132/18: recited mortgage: 1859, redeemed 1874;
  • GK132/17: valuation 1874;
  • GK132/18: conveyance: 1874;
  • GK132/20: mortgage: 1874;
  • GK160/1: mortgage: 1875;
  • GK160/4: mortgage: 1877;
  • GK132/20: reconveyance: 1883;
  • GK132/21: mortgage: 1883;
  • GK132/22: transfer of mortgage: 1889;
  • GK132/23: reconveyance: 1897;
  • GK3/1a: conveyance: 1897;
  • PSB9/1: register of licenses: 1903-1935;
  • Z50/67/130: postcard view : c.1920;
  • RDBP1/300: plans for alterations: 1914;
  • GK297/3: conveyance: 1948;
  • PSB9/2: register of licenses: c.1955-1995;
  • Z1105/1: Liquor Licence Trader Survey form: 1962;
  • PSBW8/3: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade and North Bedfordshire Petty Sessional Divisions: 1976-1980;
  • BorB/TP/91/0116: change of use from public house to dwelling: 1991

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known:

1840-1873: West Lilley;
1873: James Folkes;
1873: Samuel Sharman;
1876-1877: Amos Keep;
1885-1891: John King;
1894: Ann Ashpole;
1897-1903: James Loft;
1910-1959 Herbert Cyril Barker;
1962-1992: Claude James Bygraves Jessop.
Public house closed 1992.