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The Bedford Arms Public House Linslade

Bedford Arms June 2008
Bedford Arms June 2008

The Bedford Arms Public House, 2 Old Road Linslade [formerly The Corbet Arms]

Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service is not rich with information on Linslade licensed premises; owing to the fact that Linslade was in Buckinghamshire until 1965, no licensing records before that date are held by the service.

This building was listed by the former Department of Environment as Grade II, of special interest. It dates, like most of this part of Linslade to the mid 19th century, as the small settlement of Chelsea grew with the advent of first the Grand Junction Canal in 1800, then the London and North Western Railway in 1838. The building is stucco over brick and has a hipped Welsh slate roof.

In 1888 Stafford and Rogers sold the Bedford Arms, hitherto known as the Corbet Arms after the family who had been long-time Lords of the Manor of Linslade, by auction. The sale particulars [GA2584] noted that it had been owned by "the late Mr.Whichello" who also owned The Elms, 24-30 Leighton Road and Whichello's Wharf. The particulars described the place as "a highly valuable freehold property comprising that full-licensed public-house "The Bedford Arms" with extensive stabling and good accommodation occupying a very excellent position in the principal thoroughfare adjoining the canal wharves and near the railway station".

The public house had a frontage of 99 feet to Old Road and comprised four bedrooms, two parlours, a bar, taproom, kitchen, scullery and an underground cellar. Outbuildings comprised "capital" stabling with accommodation for thirty five horses, a brewhouse, cellar with a store room above and a cart shed with a hay and corn loft over measuring 43 feet by 20 feet. There were also piggeries and a large stable yard. Newport Pagnell [Buckinghamshire] brewers Allfrey & Lovell were then tenants, at a rent of £84 per annum and their tenant, the licensee was a man named Staples.

By the 1960s the Bedford Arms was owned by Watney Mann which merged with Grand Metropolitan in 1972. Grand Metropolitan's company Chef & Brewer were later listed as owners. By 2013 the pub had closed permanently.

 The Bedford Arms in 1888 sale particulars
The Bedford Arms in an 1888 sale catalogue [GA2584]


  • GA2584: sale particulars: 1888;
  • BMB14/A86: building plans: 1888;
  • UDLLP2/112: alterations: c.1930s;
  • UDLLP2/212: extension: c.1930s;
  • UDLLP2/216: plans of toilets: 1938;
  • UDLLP2/223a: alterations: 1938;
  • Z1105/1 Liquor Licence Traders Survey form: 1954;
  • Z1309/1/15: drawing of Bedford Arms: 1991  

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:

1839-1851: Thomas Gurney, farmer;
1861: Ebenezer Ball;
1864-1869: William Ball;
1871-1879: Elizabeth Ball, licensed victualler;
1883: Abraham Beverley;
1888: Staples;
1891: Caroline White, publican;
1895-1907: William Yirrell;
1901: William White, public house manager;
1911-1915: William White;
1925: William White and John Tompkins;
1928-1931: William White;
1935: Arthur H.Stayner;
1939: Gordon Bonas;
1967: Frank Taylor;
1967: Frederick Imber and Rhoda May Imber;
1969: George Charles Webb;
1974: Louise Elizabeth Webb;
1976: Jeremiah Joseph Lyons;
1985: Kenneth Ditchfield;
1988: Steven John Read;
1990: Mervyn Robert Graver;
1990: Mervyn Robert Graver and Gavin Barrie Ferd Jones;
1992: Vincent Gerard Healy and Neil Paul Winter;
1993: Dennis Raymond Billington and Michael Neil Sugden.