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The Red Lion Beerhouse Kensworth

The Red Lion Beerhouse: Green End, Kensworth

Kensworth was in Hertfordshire until 1897. Because of this and the fact that the Red Lion was owned by an out-county brewery, Benskin & Company of Watford [Hertfordshire], Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has very little information on this beerhouse.

The countywide licensing register of 1903 states that the beerhouse was licensed prior to 1869. the fact that the Old Red Lion in Common Road was so called suggests that this Red Lion was licensed after that, which we know was built in 1853.

In 1903 the Red Lion was described as needing repair, dirty and with unsatisfactory sanitation. The nearest licensed property was the Farmer's Boy which was reckoned to be 330 yards away. The register describes the property as simply “in the village” but its distance from the Farmer’s Boy, the fact that it must have been far enough from the Old Red Lion to avoid confusion and the description in the Luton News of 1908 below, all suggests that it was somewhere in Green End, perhaps in the vicinity of today’s 199-215 Common Road. The beerhouse had only one door, at the front.

In 1908 the beerhouse lost its license, along with two other licensed properties in Kensworth, the Half Moon Beerhouse and the Sugar Loaf. The Luton News of 27th February 1908 reported: “This is also a pre-1869 beerhouse owned by Messrs. Benskin of Watford, and the tenant is James William Oliver, an engine-driver who went there in April 1906. The annual rent is £10 and the rateable value £2. The public accommodation consists of a bar-parlour and tap-room. There is only a scullery for the use of the tenant on the ground floor. The house is situated at the far end of the village and there are very few houses near. The tenant leaves his house in the charge of his wife during the day time”.


  • 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:

1896-1898: Henry Thomas Howitt;
1898-1899: William E.Carter;
1899-1905: Richard Purver;
1905-1906: Robert Hawes Martin;
1906-1908: James William Oliver.
Beerhouse closed 1908