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The Sugar Loaf Public House Kensworth

The Sugar Loaf about 1900 [Z883/26]
The Sugar Loaf about 1900 [Z883/26]

The Sugar Loaf Public House: 59 Common Road, Kensworth.

Kensworth was in Hertfordshire until 1897 when it was transferred into Bedfordshire. The countywide licensing register of 1903 stated that the owned of the Sugar Loaf was Fuller & Company of Chiswick [Middlesex]. The public house was in good repair, clean and with satisfactory sanitation. It was 275 yards from the nearest licensed premises and had a front door and one from the yard at the side (however see below).

The Sugar Loaf closed in 1908 and the Luton News of 27th February that year described the closure of three Kensworth licensed premises, the other two being the Half Moon Beerhouse and the Red Lion Beerhouse: “Superintendent Panter stated that the owners of this house were Messrs. Fuller, Smith and Turner of Chiswick, and the leaseholders were Messrs. Locke and Smith of Berkhamstead. The present tenant, Edward Henderson, went into the house in October last year. There had been six changes in the last ten years. The annual rent was £10 and the rateable value £12. There was lodging for four or five persons, and stabling for four or five horses. The public-house consisted of two cottages, so there were two entrances both at the front and at the back. At the 1901census there were 516 inhabitants in the parish and as there were eight licenses, that was one of 64 persons. Since then the population had decreased. The nearest licensed house was the Old Red Lion, 264 yards away, and in the opposite direction the Farmer’s Boy, 600 yards away. In his opinion there were too many licensed houses in Kensworth. It had been stated to him by two license-holders that there was insufficient trade. He did not think this house was required”.

“In answer to a question by Mr. Sworder, who appeared for Messrs. Locke and Smith, witness said the Old Red Lion was only a beerhouse. The nearest alehouse on that side of the Sugar Loaf was three-quarters of a mile away”.

“P. C. Stanbridge stated that fifteen houses were very near the Sugar Loaf. There was a fair trade in spirits, but not much in beer, he thought”.

“Mr. Blow gave evidence as to the measurements, etc. and it appeared that in his view there was not much to choose between the Farmer’s Boy and the Sugar Loaf, although the former was more modern and more comfortable. The tenant of the Sugar Loaf depended upon rain water for his water supply”.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. Kensworth, like most of the county, was largely valued in 1927. The valuer visiting the former public house, now a private house found it owned and occupied by W. J. Tomlin. His accommodation comprised a reception room, a living room, a kitchen and a washhouse downstairs with four bedrooms above. The valuer commented: “The Old Sugar Loaf”.

The property also comprised a number of farm buildings. These were: a weather-boarded and corrugated iron shed; a brick and slate two-stall stable; a brick and slate store shed; a brick and slate barn; a brick and corrugated iron cart shed; three weather-boarded and corrugated iron sheds used for storing straw and a brick and slate earth closet.

59 Common Road February 2013
59 Common Road February 2013


  • PSL6/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Luton Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1901;
  • Z883/26-27: photographs: c.1910;
  • Z883/47: photographs: c.1960s.

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

1897-1902: James Jenkins;
1902-1903: John Leach;
1903-1904: Henry Birch;
1904-1905: Walter Thomas Boden;
1905: Edward Holt;
1905-1907: James Neill;
1907-1908: Edward Henderson.
Public House closed 1908.