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The Angel Inn Leighton Buzzard

Leighton Middle School seen from High Street June 2008
The building on the right is the possible site of the Angel Inn

The Angel Inn: Lovell End, Leighton Buzzard

The Manor of Leighton Buzzard alias Grovebury was the principal landowner in the town before the 19th century. Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service has a full run of court rolls from 1393 to 1727 [KK619-715] and another full run from 1704 to 1867 [X288/1-23]. The service also has court rolls for other manor to own land in the town, the Prebendal Manor, from 1448 to 1459, 1588 to 1591, 1611 to 1622, 1627 and 1631 [KK792-798]. Detailed study of these would be bound to produce quite full histories for most licensed premises in the town. Unfortunately such study would take a very long time. Thus the histories of licensed premises in these web pages are quite summary and not necessarily the full story.

Maureen Brown, June Masters and Tom Lawson wrote a book called The Old Pubs of Leighton Buzzard and Linslade which was published by Leighton Linslade Local History Research Group in 1994. In producing the book they used sources at Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service, Buckinghamshire Record Office, Northamptonshire Record Office as well as a number of published sources. The authors state that the Angel was on the corner of today's Bridge Street and Church Square. This is based on evidence that a cottage called the Red House, which stood in Church End, i.e. Church Square, bordered the Angel, which is described as being in Lovell End, i.e. Bridge Street to the west. In her notes, kindly lent to Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service, Maureen Brown notes that in 1472 the reversionary interest in a house adjoining the Angel was surrendered by henry Matthew to the Wardens of the Guild of Corpus Christi.

In 1492 two cottages and a tenement adjoining the Angel in the Leventend [or Lovell End, the area of today's Bridge Street] of Leighton Buzzard were surrendered [KK944/4] and in 1504 Alice Hethe surrendered part of an inn called the Angel [KK944/4]. Three years later she mortgaged a cottage adjoining the Angel.

In 1549 Thomas Grey died; he was mortgagee of the Angel which was then owned by Thomas and Margaret Bramson [KK944/5] and the mortgage was subsequently transferred to William and Joan Grene. About 1600 one Grey Hatch paid a quitrent for the Angel and certain lands which went with it [KK774]. In 1621 the Angel was owned by John Theed of Crafton [Buckinghamshire], who paid a quitrent of six shillings and eight pence for it [KK775]; he was still the owner in 1627 [KK777]. In 1657 William Theed surrendered the Angel to Giles Duncombe [X288/27] who paid six shillings and eight pence quitrent for the Angel in 1664 [KK781]. The inn is described as "late Mr.Theed's of Horton". It is assumed that Duncombe was still owner in 1671. Bedfordshire Historical Records Society published their Volume (number XVI) on the 1671 Hearth Tax in 1934. Duncombe is noted as owning a building (unfortunately not named) which had four hearths.

The last known owner of the Angel when it was still licensed is Corbett Kynaston of Shrewsbury [Shropshire], heir of Beatrice, the wife of John Kynaston [X288/1]. The inn was then occupied by Joseph Procter, a family which would run a brewery in the town in the next century. By 1732 the Angel has closed, a tenement "late part of Angel Inn" was leased by Charles Leigh, tenant of the Manor under the overlordship of the Dean and Canons of Saint George's Chapel, Windsor to carpenter John Capon in that year. If the Angel was on the corner of Church square and Bridge Street the building was certainly demolished by 1855 as in that year local banker John Dollin Bassett built The Cedars [now Leighton Middle School] on the site.


  • KK944/4: two cottages and one tenement adjoining the Angel in Leventend of Leighton surrendered: 1492;
  • KK944/4: unfinished surrender in court roll of part of an inn called the Angel by Alice Hethe, widow: 1504;
  • KK944/4: conditional surrender by Alice Hethe of a cottage in Loventend with the Angel on one side and the site of a house called Dey opposite the inn: 1507;
  • KK944/5: presentment of the death of Thomas Grey: 1549;
  • KK775: Manor of Leighton Buzzard quit rental: 1621;
  • KK776: Manor of Leighton Buzzard quit rental: 1626;
  • KK777: Manor of Leighton Buzzard quit rental: 1627;
  • KK778: Manor of Leighton Buzzard quit rental: 1646;
  • Bedfordshire Parish register Series Vol.XXX1 p.60: death of William Tilcock "at ye Angel": 1654;
  • KK781: Manor of Leighton Buzzard quit rental: 1664;
  • Bedfordshire Historical Records Society volume Hearth Tax: 1671;
  • X288/1: admission of Corbett Kynaston: 1712;
  • KK332: tenement, late part of Angel Inn, leased for 99 years by Charles Leigh to John Capon, carpenter: 1732 

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:

1671: Giles Duncombe;
1712: Joseph Procter;