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The Barley Mow Beerhouse Potton

Barley Mow Beerhouse: 18 Blackbird Street, Potton

18 Blackbird Street March 2007
18 Blackbird Street March 2007

Potton History Society compiled a list of old pubs in the town and their modern addresses [CRT130Potton27]. This list equates the Barley Mow with 18 Blackbird Street. The only material held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service on this beerhouse are the Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division registers of licences.

The countywide licensing register of 1876 states that the Barley Mow was first licensed in 1846. The register is not always accurate with its dates but there is no contrary evidence for this date. In 1876 the owner was William Brook of Sandy.

The Biggleswade petty sessional division licensing register [HF143/3] states that on 3rd April licensee Reuben Piggott was convicted of opening during prohibited hours on 30th March that year. He was fined £2 with 8/6 costs. Perhaps he was desperate for income, he was the fifth licensee in the space of three years.

A few weeks later on 26th June a large fire destroyed many properties in an area bounded by Blackbird Street, Sun Street, Bull Street and Chapel Street. The newspaper report said of the Barley Mow that it had been: “partially destroyed by falling down, also by water and fire”. The property was rebuilt but the beerhouse closed for the last time in 1881.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. The valuer visiting the former beerhouse [DV1/C11/65] found it owned by the executors of G. Kitchener and occupied by Clara Munk whose rent was £10 per annum. Her accommodation comprised a living room, a parlour and a scullery with two bedrooms and a box room upstairs.


  • HF143/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1873;
  • HF143/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1874-1877;
  • HF143/3: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1878-1881

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

1872-1873: George Lunnis;
1873: Robert Topper;
1873-1876: James Milton;
1876: David Darlow;
1876-1881: Reuben Pigott;
Beerhouse closed 1881.