The Albion Inn Luton
The Albion Inn: 26 Ebenezer Street, Luton [formerly the Albion and Albion Tavern]
A series of deeds deposited with Bedfordshire Archives Service by the Watney-Mann brewery throw light on the early history of the Albion in Ebenezer Street. In 1844 a piece of ground at Spring Place near Chapel Street, formerly occupied by Matthew Hawkes, was sold by William Townrow, a Luton farmer, to bricklayer Joseph Lawrence for £48. The land was part of a close purchased by William Townrow’s father, William senior, from William Nash in 1817. In April 1846 the property was mortgaged together with six partially built cottages, and in July 1846 the land and cottages were sold to Charles Reading of Chesham [Buckinghamshire], a dealer in Tuscan plait, for £490. Reading mortgaged the properties to the Chesham Benefit Building Society and after accumulating significant debts on the mortgage in 1854 sold the land and cottages to two bankers from Tring [Hertfordshire], Thomas Butcher senior and Thomas Butcher junior.
In 1860 the Butchers sold the property to George Dukes, an iron founder of Ebenezer Street, Luton for £500; by this time three of the six cottages had been converted into a public house. Under the will of George Dukes the property was to be held in trust until his daughter Kate reached the age of 21. She reached this milestone in 1885, whereupon the Albion Inn was bought by Joseph Dukes, licensed victualler of the Salisbury Arms in Wellington Street, Luton, for £790. The configuration of the original six cottages had changed again, and now consisted of four cottages at 15, 17 and 19 Spring Place and 26 Ebenezer Street, and a public house known as the Albion Inn on the corner of Spring Place and Ebenezer Street. The Albion Inn was occupied by Francis Richardson as undertenant of Messrs Cutler and Henchman. In 1898 Joseph Dukes, now himself the innkeeper of the Albion Inn, sold the property, which still consisted of four cottages, the public house and land, to Dunstable brewer Benjamin Bennett for £2,000. In 1938 the property was conveyed to Mann Crossman and Paulin Limited which in 1958 merged with Watney, Combe, Reid & Company Limited to form Watney Mann Limited.
The brewery wished to build a public house on the site of Biscot Mill so agreed to surrender the licenses of The Albion Inn and the Welcome Stranger in Duke Street in order to receive a licence for the new pub. This resulted in the closure of the Albion on 24th November 1959. The site was sold in 1964 to Morris and Tear for £2,400; the building was demolished when Ebenezer Street was redeveloped and light industrial units were built on the site.
- X533/1: agreement to sell land: 1844;
- X533/2: conveyance of land: 1844;
- X533/3: conveyance of land and cottages: 1846;
- X533/4: conveyance of land and cottages: 1846;
- X533/5: conveyance of land and cottages: 1846;
- X533/8: conveyance of land and cottages: 1854;
- X533/9: conveyance of public house: 1860;
- X533/10: conveyance: 1885;
- X533/15: conveyance: 1898.
Licensees: Note that this is not a complete list; italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known
1860-1869: George Dukes;
1872-1876: Charles Swain;
1929-1932: John Pugh;
1932-1945: William Edwin Reid
Pub closed 1959