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The Chequers Inn Pulloxhill

The Chequers in the 1950s [WB-Green4/5/Pu/C1]
The Chequers in the 1950s [WB-Green4/5/Pu/C1]

The Chequers Inn: 9 Church Road, Pulloxhill

The first reference to the Chequers Inn can be found in the will of William Collyer of 1793 in which he devises half of dwelling to his wife and the other half, named The Checker to his son. The building was listed by the former Department of Environment in May 1985. The department dated the property to the 18th century. It is built of colourwashed brick. with a clay tile roof. Small additions have been made to the rear. Parish Registers of Pulloxhill suggest that the first known licensee John Irons may have been the son (baptised in 1787) of John and Elizabeth Irons. John Irons senior is listed as an aleseller and so may have been a previous licensee of the Chequers.

By 1827 the inn was in the ownership of Ampthill brewers John and Joseph Morris as it is included in an inventory of their business [Z1043/1]. It is described thus: "The Chequers, freehold public house, occupied by John Irons, with a stable, wood barn and small garden;  a brick built cottage adjoining, with a stable and bake house in the rear, in the occupation of Benjamin Marston". The inn remained in the ownership of Morris & Company (Ampthill) as John and Joseph' business was eventually called, until the firm was taken over by Luton brewer J. W. Green Limited in 1926 [CCE5304/1].

In 1886 licensee Barnard Cook died [SF48/35]. His successor Alfred Cook was declared bankrupt and a sale held of all his furniture at the Chequers on 22nd March 1887 [SF28/24]. The sale poster notes the following rooms at the inn: a bar and club room; a passage and taproom; a scullery and pantry; a parlour; a dairy and cellar and four bedrooms. Also noted, as in the Morris inventory of 1827, is a separate cottage and bakehouse as well as farm buildings.

The countywide licensing register of 1901 noted that the Chequers was: "in good repair and clean". The property had both front and back doors and the tenant paid £14 per annum rent to Morris & Company.

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 Chequers [DV1/C234/61] found that the occupier Frank Dollimore ("Been here 1¾ years") paid a tied rent of £18 per annum to the new owners J. W. Green Limited. The pre-war rent had been £12 per annum so there must have been a reduction in rent between 1901 and 1914.

The valuer commented: "Rather unattractive front. Bad pull up". The property comprised: a bar ("small, two pulls"); a living room ("good"); a parlour ("good"); a kitchen; a bottle store; a tap room ("good"), four bedrooms and a boxroom. There was also a "Large" cellar. Outside stood a brick urinal, a corrugated iron earth closet, four weather-boarded and corrugated iron pigsties, a weather-boarded and corrugated iron stable for three horses, which has been annotated "garage", a weather-boarded and tiled two bay cart shed, a brick and tiled coal barn and a brick and tiled harness room or store room.

Trade was two barrels of beer per week and an average of about ninety a year. One gallon of spirits were sold per month and six dozen bottles of beer ("small and large"), per week. In common with many licensees, Dollimore: "Keeps no account of takings". Unlike other licensees he: "Runs a milk round, would not pay otherwise". Dollimore opined: "Greens are not bad landlords". The valuer reckoned the Chequers was the: "Best house in the place, clean" he also commented: "Cricket Club" – evidently this was their watering hole after home matches.

J. W. Green merged with Midlands brewer Flowers in 1954 and the new firm took the Flowers name. Flowers was taken over by national brewery Whitbread (originally founded by Samuel Whitbread from Cardington in the 18th century). In 1992 Whitbread sold the Chequers to Discovery Inns Limited [CCE5304/1]. At the time of writing [2011] the inn is closed and to let.

 The Chequers March 2011
The Chequers March 2011


  • ABP/W1793/33: devised in the will of William Collyer: 1793;
  • CLP13: register of alehouse licences: 1822-1828;
  • Z1043/1: inventory of Ampthill brewers John and Joseph Morris: 1827;
  • X21/629: 1828;
  • WB/M/4/1/VP1: mortgage from John Morris to Mary Anne, Jane and Catherine Morris: 1831;
  • SF48/12: auction sale at the Chequers: 1860;
  • SF27/2: auction sale at the Chequers: 1862;
  • SF48/15: auction sale at the Chequers: 1864;
  • PSA5/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1927;
  • WB/M/4/1/VP2: mortgage from John Thomas Green to Susanna, Mary Jane and Sophia Morris: 1882;
  • SF48/35: inventory for probate – Barnard Cook: 1886;
  • SF48/24: bankruptcy sale regarding Barnard Cook deceased to be held: 1887;
  • SF48/23: auction sale of the late Barnard Cook's belongings: 1887;
  • CCE5304/1: conveyance to Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited: 1907;
  • WB/M/4/1/VP8: abstract of title of Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited: 1926;
  • WB/M/4/2/1: list of Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited licensed properties: c.1926;
  • WB/M/4/2/2: list of Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited licensed properties: 1926;
  • CCE5304/1: conveyance to J. W. Green Limited: 1926;
  • PSA5/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1934-1959;
  • WB/Green6/4/1: J. W. Green Limited trade analysis ledger: 1936-1947;
  • WB/Green4/2/4: certificate of title of J. W. Green Limited to licensed premises: 1936-1952;
  • WB/Green4/2/10: schedule of J. W. Green Limited deeds and documents: c. 1949;
  • PSA5/4: list of licensed premises in Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: c.1950s
  • WB/Green4/5/Pu/C1: photograph: 1950s;
  • WB/Green4/2/5: list of J. W. Green Limited licensed houses: c. 1952;
  • WB/Green4/2/16: letter regarding J. W. Green Limited titles: 1952;
  • WB/Green4/2/17; J. W. Green Limited trust deed to raise debenture stock: 1952-1972;
  • WB/Green4/2/19: schedule of J. W. Green Limited deeds and documents: c. 1954;
  • WB/Flow4/5/Pu/C1-2: photographs: 1960s;
  • PDA5/5: list of licensed premises in Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1968-1995;
  • X780/3/5/7: Church Ale festival to be held at the Chequers: 1978;
  • CCE5304/1: conveyance to Discovery Inns Limited: 1992;
  • Z923/6/24: Ramblers Group to start walk at the Chequers: 1997.  

Licensees: Note that this is not a complete list; italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known

1787-1793 John Irons?
1822-1839: John Irons;
1847: Charles Cook;
1850-1869: Mrs Mary Cook;
1876-1881: George Cook;
1881-1883: Charles Hallworth;
1883-1887: Barnard Cook;
1887-1888: Alfred Cook;
1888-1889: John Fasey;
1889-1891: Henry Thomas Howitt;
1891-1895: Charles Williamson;
1895-1906: James Olding;
1906-1908: George Thomas Porter;
1908-1909: Henry Pocock;
1909-1910: William Henry Dyer;
1910-1911: Isaac Cleaver Day;
1911-1913: Joseph Pease;
1913: Alfred Lett;
1913-1921: Joseph Thomas Russell;
1921-1923: Harold Stanley Russell;
1923-1925: William Ernest Martin;
1925-1955: Frank Dollimore;
1955-1972: Reginald William Izzard;
1972-1975: Cedric John Gardner;
1975: Frederick William Gilliam;
1975: Ernest Albert Raymond Mole;
1975-1978: George James Renwick;
1978-1982: Arnold John Woolhead;
1982-1985: Roger Frederick Hunt;
1985-1986: Terence Frost;
1986-1988: Daphne Edith Susan Henderson and Robert Alan Bickley;
1988-1989: Frederick Allan Apicella and Leslie Rolland Webber;
1989-1992: Peter James Edward Yates and Anthony Hobbs.

Licence revoked 8th October 1992 and subsequently re-issued 

1992: Noel Dudley Whitehill;
1992-1993: Daphne Ann White and Philip Martin White;
1993-1994: Gillian Read;
1994: Paul Edward Clayfield;
1994-1995: James William Hamilton and Ann Hamilton