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The Cock Beerhouse Potton

The Cock Beerhouse: 22 Horslow Street, Potton

22 Horslow Street March 2007
22 Horslow Street March 2007

In 1720 George Pedly devised a number of licensed premises to his sons: the Cock, the Maidenhead (later the Queen’s Head), the King’s Arms and the White Lyon [WG88]. It seems unlikely that this Cock was the same as the later beerhouse, which seems to have been licensed only in the 19th century but the property is probably old enough to allow it. The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER] contains information on the county’s historic buildings and landscapes and summaries of each entry can now be found online as part of the Heritage Gateway website. The entry for 22 and 24 Horslow Street [HER 2189] describe them as probably dating from the 17th century with 18th cebtury additions; the properties are not listed. The Cock was not in existence between 1822 and 1828 as it is not listed in the countywide licensing registers [CLP13] and the other licensed premises noted in the registers are all accounted for, ruling out any change of name.

The countywide licensing register of 1876 states that this beerhouse, then without a name, was first licensed in 1833; the owner was James J. Weston of Biggleswade. In 1875 Weston put his “newly built but long established” Biggleswade Brewery and its seventeen tied houses up for sale. The sale particulars [WG2563] list the Cock as Lot 17 and state: “a capital Brick and partly Stud-built and Tiled DWELLING HOUSE known as the “Cock”, Licensed for the Sale of Beer, Situate with frontage of about 78 feet to Ostler Street on the West, containing tap room, parlour, small kitchen, pantry or closet, sunk cellar, and 4 bedrooms (with attics), together with large yard, having gateway entrance at side, partly brick and stud built and pantiled barn and cart shed, timber built and pantiled wash house with stable at end, chaff place and lost, enclosed farm yard, well of water, &c., and capital piece of Garden Land at the back, being now in tenure of Mr. James Endersby; also a partly brick and stud built COTTAGE or tenement adjoining, with frontage to the aforesaid street, containing 3 rooms as now in tenure of David Brown or his under tenant, with a brick built and tiled wash house and barn at end, small yard and garden, the whole of this Lot occupying a site of about one acre, having an extensive frontage admirably adapted for building purposes to the Church Path, being bounded on the East by various properties, and North by that of Mr. B. Compton. This Lot is Copyhold of the Manor of Potton Burdett”.

People held copyhold properties from the manor and instead of conveying them to someone else had to surrender them to the Lord of the Manor at a manor court and the new owners then had to seek admission from that manor court or a subsequent one. This allowed the manor to claim a fee (or fine) for the privilege.

The countywide register of 1891 gives the owner of the Cock as Oswell Mears whilst the 1903 register gives it as Phillips and Company of Royston [Hertfordshire]. The property was in good repair, fifty yards from the nearest licensed premises and had one front and one back door. The beerhouse closed in 1926 and is now a private house.

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. Potton, like much of the county, was assessed in 1927. The valuer visiting the former Cock [DV1/C11/14] in March 1927 noted “former public house”. It was now owned and occupied by John Elwood, the former licensee and comprised a living room, a parlour, a kitchen and a scullery.


WG88: probate of will of George Pedly: 1720; HF143/1: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1873; HF143/2: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1874-1877; WG2563: sale particulars of Biggleswade Brewery licensed houses: 1875; HF143/3: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1878-1881; HF143/4: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1882-1890; HF143/5: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1891-1900; HF143/6: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1900-1914; PSBW8/1: Register of Alehouse Licenses - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1903-1915

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

1872-1878: James Endersby;
1878-1892: Jane Endersby;
1892-1924: John Ellwood
Beerhouse closed 1926