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Moreteyne Arms, Marston Moretaine

Station Lane, Millbrook 

The Moreteyne Arms stood opposite Millbrook Station in Station Lane, Millbrook. However, despite this address both the station and the public house were actually both just inside the border of the parish of Marston Moretaine. The Moreteyne Arms was built on 2 roods and 14 perches of land adjoining the Bedford to Bletchley  railway line purchased from John Alington by John Morris senior in 1847, and became part of the property portfolio of the Morris Brewery of Ampthill. In 1926 the Morteyne Arms was taken over along with the rest of the Morris Brewery by J. W. Green Limited of Luton. 

qgv10-4-160 Wm Hudson

William Hudson (QGV10/4/160)

In 1876 a number of fowls were stolen from landlord John Gray by a notorious local thief, William Hudson, whose criminal career spanned a period of over 50 years - this was despite Hudson apparently being in poor health and having lost an arm, so that he wore a wooden arm with a hook. Hudson was spotted stealing the fowls by the local policeman, Isaac Nelson, who pursued him across the fields. The pursuit ended in a protracted fight, lasting an hour. Nelson managed to save himself from injury by unscrewing Hudson’s hook, but the culprit was only finally subdued when another man came to his assistance and they were able to remove his arm. Both John Gray and his 11 year old son John Palmer Gray gave evidence to the Quarter Sessions court at Bedford where Hudson was convicted and sentenced to 7 years penal servitude.  

Morteyne Arms WB-Green4-5-MM-MA2

Moreteyne Arms, 1920s [WB/Green4/5/MM/MA2]

Under the terms of the Rating and Valuation Act 1925 every piece of land and building in the country was assessed to determine the rates to be paid on them. When Marston Moretaine was assessed in 1927 the Moreteyne Arms was owned by J. W. Green Limited and occupied by A. Westerman, who had taken over as the tenant in January. The rent was £20 per annum, increased from the pre-war rent of £15. The building was described as a large modern detached building of brick and slate construction. The valuer judged it to be a “Good house, good rooms”, but commented that trade was bad. He believed it to sell one barrel of beer a week, although Mrs Westerman said sales were less and a valuation made when J. W. Green purchased Morris and Company in 1926 showed its annual trade as 44 barrels. The premises consisted of a bar with two “pulls”, a smoke room, a tap room, a living room, a kitchen, a cellar, four bedrooms and a boxroom. Outside there was a stable for eight, a coach house and saddle room, a garage for two, and a two bay hovel.   

J. W. Green Limited merged with Flowers Breweries Limited in 1954 and then traded under the Flowers name. In September 1958 the Moreteyne Arms was put up for sale by Flowers Breweries without its license. The sale particulars describe it as a detached, double-fronted property built of brick with a tiled roof. The premises comprised:  

Ground floor: Entrance hall; left-hand front room with fitted fireplace and corner settle; side room with fitted fireplace, dress and two good cupboards; back room with fitted fireplace; right-hand front room with fitted fireplace and power point; kitchen with glazed sink and power point; larder; scullery with fitted range and copper; cellars below 

First floor: Left-hand front room; small ante room; right-hand front room with fitted fireplace; left-hand back room with roll top bath and power point; right-hand back room with WC; attic over 

Outside: Extesive range of brick built and slated outbuildings around a gravelled yard with wash down and providing garages for seven cars; stabling for two; workshop with loft over; three pigsties; garden of about ½ acre  

The Moreteyne Arms closed in 1959 and the licence was transferred to the Waggon & Horses at Barton-le-Clay. The premises were sold to A. F. Gower. It subsequently became a private house known as Moreteyne House, but was severely damaged by fire in 2015.  

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:   

1851-1858: George Negus 

1861-1883: John Gray 

1883-1886: Henry H.Bannister 

1886: Samuel Wheeler 

1886-1892: John Bowles 

1892: George Morrison Smith 

1892-1897: Elizabeth Goodyer Smith 

1897-1904: William Thomas Smith 

1904: Kate Elizabeth Smith 

1904-1907: John Wright 

1907-1909: Edwin William Brewer 

1909-1912: Alexander Clarke 

1912-1915: Richard Bevan 

1915-1916: Robert Bassil 

1916-1917: Charles Lea 

1917-1927: Samuel Wright 

1927: Arthur Westerman 

1927-1935: Alfred John Westerman 

1935-1940: Henry James Woods 

1940-1941: Charles F.Hawkins 

1941-1942: Alfred Arthur Watson 

1942-1946: Peter Duffy 

1942-1946: Harry Waddelow 

1946-1958: Jemima Waddelow 

1958-1959: Richard James Gooch  


  • BMB3/4/77: Sale particulars for Moreteyne Arms (delicensed), 1958; 

  • CCE5304/1: Conveyed to Morris & Co. (Ampthill) Limited, 1907; 

  • CCE5304/3: Conveyed to J W Green 1926 and A F Gower, 1959;  

  • QSR1876/4/5/14: Depositions in case of William Hudson, 1876;  

  • SF38/3: Sale of furniture and effects of G Negus, 1858; 

  • SF38/50: Valuation of furniture, glass and contents of bar, 1883; 

  • SF38/59-60: Valuations of furniture and trade utensils, 1886; 

  • SF38/74: Inventory and valuation, 1892; 

  • WB/Green4/2/10: Schedule of deeds and documents of premises belonging to J. W. Green, c.1949; 

  • WB/Green4/2/16-17, 19: Letters at to title, trust deeds, schedules of documents relating to property of J. W. Green, 1952-1972; 

  • WB/Green6/4/1: Trade analysis ledger, 1936-1947; 

  • WB/M/4/1/VP2: Mortgage of property of Morris Brewery, 1882; 

  • WB/M/4/1/VP8: Abstract of Title of Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited, 1926; 

  • WB/M/4/2/1-2: Lists of Morris & Company properties with information about trade, licensing, leases etc., 1926;