Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Linslade > The Railway Hotel Linslade

The Railway Hotel Linslade

The Railway Hotel in the 1960s
The Railway Hotel in the 1960s [WB/Flow4/5/Lin/R1]

The Railway Hotel, corner of Old Road and Station Road, Linslade [formerly The Swan Inn]

This derelict [2008] building began life as the Swan public house and was presumably built around the time of the building of Leighton Buzzard station for the London and North Western Railway in 1838. In 1862 William Medland, a Dunstable solicitor, conveyed the Swan Inn to Luton brewer Thomas Sworder [X95/333]. This deed notes that it was originally conveyed by Benjamin Bradley to Luton brewers Frederick and Charles Burr in 1841. In 1850 Charles gave up brewing and was bought out by Frederick. The next year Frederick Burr sold it to Thomas Sworder, Charles James Abbott and William Medland for a total of £600, to which Medland contributed £70. The Swan Inn is described in the deed as: a piece of land, formerly part of Sandy Hill Close in Surcott alias Southcourt [Southcott], Linslade [Buckinghamshire] containing 240 square yards including a watercourse running along the south-west and west sides and the Swan Inn built on it with brewhouse and premises formerly in occupation of Benjamin Bradley, then Edward Secret and bounded north-east by a new road, south-west and west by a meadow of John Grant called Sandy Hill Mead, south-east by a newly erected tenement and piece of garden ground of Benjamin Bradley.

The Old Road frontage of the Railway Hotel in the 1960s
The Old Road frontage of the Railway Hotel in the 1960s [WB/Flow4/5/Lin/R2]

The Swan Inn became the Railway Hotel either in the 1860s or 1870s, after the old Railway Hotel changed its name to the Hunt Hotel, which it did sometime between 1863 and 1873. 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 this date are held by the service. Clearly, however, the hotel remained in the ownership of Thomas Sworder until he sold his business to J.W.Green of Luton in 1897.

The hotel was rebuilt at the beginning of 20th century. J.W.Green Limited merged with Flowers Breweries in 1954 and, although Green was the major partner, the business took the Flowers name, until bought out by Whitbread in 1962, although the names on licensed premises were not changed until 1968. The hotel was gutted by fire in the 1990s and remained an unsightly ruin until 2013 when it was rebuilt as flats.

 Railway Hotel May 2008
Railway Hotel May 2008


  • X95/333: abstracted conveyance of Swan from Benjamin Bradley to Frederick and Charles Burr: 1841;
  • X95/333: abstracted conveyance of half share from Charles to Frederick Burr: 1850;
  • X95/299: scheduled conveyance from Frederick Burr and Charles Burr, to James Abbott and Thomas Sworder with William Medland as mortgagee: 1851;
  • X95/299 and X95/333: scheduled conveyance of Swan from William Medland to Thomas Sworder: 1862;
  • X95/299: scheduled mortgage by Thomas Sworder: 1862;
  • BML10/44/5: auction sale at Railway Hotel: 1863;
  • BML10/44/8: auction sale at Railway Hotel: 1866;
  • X95/299: scheduled reconveyance to Thomas Sworder on redemption of mortgage: 1873;
  • WB/Green5/5/1: register of successive tenants: 1887-1926;
  • X95/313-314 and WB/S4/1/1/5: sale particulars of T.Sworder & Company: 1897;
  • X95/320: conveyance of brewery and licensed premises by T.Sworder & Company to J.W.Green: 1897;
  • WB/Green1/1/1: list of J.W.Green Limited premises: 1897;
  • WB/Green4/1/VP6: note of exchange of land at Railway Hotel  between J.W.Green Limited and Henry Finch: 1901;
  • WB/Green4/5/Lin/R1: photograph of gate: 1935;
  • WB/Green6/4/1: J.W.Green Limited trade analysis ledger: 1936-1947;
  • WB/Green4/2/10: schedules of deeds etc. of J.W.Green Limited: c.1949;
  • WB/Green4/2/14: schedules of deeds etc. of J.W.Green Limited: c.1949;
  • WB/Green4/2/16: letter regarding titles of J.W.Green Limited: 1952;
  • WB/Green4/2/5: list of licensed houses of J.W.Green Limited: c.1952;
  • WB/Green4/2/19: loose schedules of J.W.Green Limited deeds and documents: c.1954;
  • WB/Green4/2/17: J.W.Green second schedule to trust deed with all premises: 1954-1972;
  • Z1105/1: Liquor Licence Traders Survey form: 1957;
  • WB/Flow4/5/Lin/R1-2: photographs: 1960s  

The Railway Hotel December 2013
The Railway Hotel December 2013

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:

1841: Benjamin Bradley;
1847: Edward Secret;
1879: Youngman Jolly;
1891: Martin J.Tustin, hotel keeper and insurance broker;
1909: Alfred Platts;
1913: Spencer;
1914: Thomas Stower;
1921: Captain Charles Glossop;
1928: Thomas Bennett;
1935: Maurice C.Stone;
1939: Edward Gordon Butcher;
1952: Mrs.M.E.Harris;
1967: Noel Mulberry;
1970: Brian Lawrence Figg;
1981: Ronald Malcolm Lapworth;
1991: David John Maslen and Virginia Kim Undwrwood