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The Shoulder of Mutton Public House

This page was written by Jeanette Atkinson and Brenda Foster 

The Shoulder of Mutton about 1925 [WL800/5]
The Shoulder of Mutton Public House about 1925 [WL800/5]

The Shoulder of Mutton Public House, Colmworth Road, Little Staughton 

Two public houses, The Bushel and Strike and The Shoulder of Mutton (both on the same side of Colmworth Road) were demolished in the mid 1940’s when the war time airfield was developed. The Shoulder of Mutton was at the southern end of the main runway.

Demolished in 1944, the Shoulder of Mutton was described as an ‘old fashioned place’ by a valuer surveying buildings as part of the Rating and Valuation Act 1925, which ordered every building and piece of land to be be valued to determine its rateable value  [DV1/C176 page 46]. The building rates were £9 and the public house retailed 4.5 gallons and 12 bottles of beer weekly plus 5 gallons of spirits per annum. In addition, they sold 7s 6d of tobacco per week. The premises consisted of a bar-parlour, a small bagatelle room, celler, reception room, scullery and four bedrooms. It was run by F. W. Bailey but owned by an R. Wade Gery. 

Until 1919 this public house had been tied to the Day and Sons Brewery of Saint Neots [Huntingdonshire] [GK175/2]; thereafter it became a free house.

Licensees: note that this is not a complete list and that dates in italics are not necessarily beginning or end dates, merely the first/last date which can be confirmed from sources such as directories and deeds.

1822-1861: John Taylor; 

1864: John Newton; 

1885-1894: Alfred Flanders; 

1898-1903: William Hawkins; 

1906: William Hunt 

1910-1920: Arthur Maile 

1924: Samuel Stewart

1927-1928: Frank William Bailey 

1936: Ernest Henry Manning

1940: N. Barrett 


The following list gives some, but not all, of the sources relating to The Shoulder of Mutton held at Bedfordshire Archives:

  • CL/P13. Register of alehouse licenses 1822-1828. 
  • CL/P19/1-2, CL/P20. Licensing registers 1876, 1891, 1903. 
  • QSR1541/4/5/9-10. Quarter Sessions depositions concerning the theft of ham from the Shoulder of Mutton 1841. 
  • GK175/2.  Copy sale catalogue describing licensed properties to be sold by Day and Son Brewery of St Neots [Huntingdonshire] 1919. 
  • PK7/2/15. Lease of several public houses for seven years 1919. 
  • DV1/C176. 1925 Rating and Valuation Act Book 1927. 
  • WL800/5. Charles Wells Brewery photograph album c.1925. 
  • WL801/114. Charles Wells Brewery glass plate negative c.1925. 
  • RDP2/1085. Plan of temporary living hut near the Shoulder of Mutton 1937. 
  • Z50/110/2. Copy sketch signed G. Watson 1938.