Jumps Inn Marston Moretaine
Jumps Inn Beerhouse, Station Road, Marston Moretaine
The Jumps Inn beerhouse stood on Station Road to the south-east of the village, just north of the road to Millbrook Station. It gained its name from the Devil’s Jumps stone nearby, from which the Devil was said to have leaped from (or possibly to, depending on the version of the story) the Church tower.
Originally known as Brook Cottage, the premises were sold in 1811 by Ann Bosworth to a William Platt, then in 1842 by Platt’s heirs to Samuel Bennett of Beckerings Park in Ridgmont. In 1851 Brook Cottage, along with an adjoining three acres of meadow or pasture and outhouses, was bought by Joseph Allen Piggot and Henry Collings Wells, brewers of Bedford, from Samuel Bennett of Beckerings Park, Ridgmont for £600. It is therefore likely that the Jumps opened as a beerhouse at that time.
In 1862 Piggot bought the other half share in the property from H. C. Wells for £250 and in 1875 the Jumps was one of the licensed premises included in the sale catalogue of the Horne Lane Brewery. It was bought along with the rest of the brewery property by Charles Wells of Bedford.
It appears that in the early 20th century the landlord of the Jumps was also keeping poultry as a sideline. When Samuel Hillson left in 1907 an auction of his property included a tradesman’s van, a farm cart, 60 head of poultry and a large portable henhouse, as well as household furniture and effects, bicycles and a “useful collie dog”.
The Jumps closed on 25th March 1920. In January 1921 the Bedfordshire Times reported that the Inland Revenue Commissioners had paid compensation of £176, split between the licensee and the owner. It appears to have been used as a small farm until it was demolished in the 1930s to make way for new housing.
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:
1878: John Redman
1878-1880: Joseph Two
1880: John Haynes
1880-1883: Thomas Evans
1883-1901: Thomas Hillyard
1901-1907: Samuel Hillson
1907-1917: William Beckwith
1917-1920: Alfred Jackson
Beerhouse closed 25 Mar 1920
WL91: Abstracts of title of J. A. Piggot to the Jumps, 1851-1862
WL73: Sale catalogue for Horne Lane Brewery, 1875;
Beds Times 27 Mar 1853: Jumps beer house in Ampthill police court
Beds Times 28 Jun 1907: Sale of effects of Samuel Hillson
Beds Times 7 Jan 1821: Award by Commissioners of Inland Revenue