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The Axe and Compasses Beerhouse Potton

The Axe & Compasses Beerhouse: Gamlingay End, Potton

The only reference to the Axe and Compasses held by Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service is an auction sale catalogue of 17th August 1866 [WG2544]. The Axe and Compasses was one of a number of lots including properties in Paxton and Saint Ives in Huntingdonshire and also: a building site in Cauldwell Street, Bedford; two building plots in Kempston; the former Chequers in Colmworth; four cottages in Pertenhall; 47 acres in Swineshead and four cottages in Eaton Socon.

The Axe and Compasses was described as follows: “A Freehold Estate at the Gamlingay end of Potton consisting of the “Axe and Compasses” Beer House, in the occupation of David Brown, and Two Cottages in the rear thereof, in the occupation of William and George Norman, Fronting the Green and the Everton Road, of the estimated value of Eighteen Pounds a year; subject to a Land Tax of 6/0 a year”.

The entry is annotated “Luff £300 Sold”. The countywide licensing register includes no property called the Axe and Compasses and no property owned by anyone named Luff. This strongly suggests that the beerhouse closed between 1866 and 1876. No Luffs occur in Potton in 1860s directories.


  • WG2544: sale catalogue: 1866

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known:
1866: David Brown