The Harrow Beerhouse Pulloxhill
20 High Street March 2011
The Harrow Beerhouse: 20 High Street, Pulloxhill [also the Plough and Harrows]
Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has only a limited amount of information about this beerhouse because it was owned by an out-county brewery – Simpson of Baldock [Hertfordshire].
The countywide licensing register of 1876 gives the owner as the licensee, wheelwright Samuel Hallworth. The register states that the beerhouse was first licensed in 1857. Hallworth first appears in a directory as a beer retailer and wheelwright in 1862 – there is a gap in directories between 1854 and 1862 – so it seems likely that he first licensed the premises. The beerhouse was no doubt used simply to supplement his main income as a wheelwright.
The countywide licensing register for 1891 states that by that date Hallworth leased the house to Simpson of Baldock. This firm is given as the owner in the countywide register of 1901, Hallworth paying £17 per annum rent to the brewery. The 1901 census reveals that Hallworth was in his eighties by this time. He had a son who was born about 1864 and followed his father's trade as a wheelwright. The register describes the Harrow as "very old and in a dilapidated state". The beerhouse finally closed its doors on 28th December 1912 [PSA5/1].
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 seemingly visiting the Harrow states that it was owned and iccupied by L. Evans. Correspondence with a former owner of 20 High Street has shown, however, that the valuer transposed 20 and 22 High Street and that the property marked on the valuation map as being a page devoted to 20 High Street actually details 22 High Street and vice-versa. This is a salutary warning that we can only trust our sources and that these can sometimes be wrong!
In 1926 the property was owned by Charles Brightman, farmer at Town Farm, and occupied by B. Arnold who paid rent of £5/10/- per annum. The property comprised a parlour, a kitchen, a scullery and a small pantry as well as an "old Beer Room used coal". Three bedrooms lay in the roof. Outside stood the old smithy building constructed of weather-boarding and corrugated iron, a further weather-boarded and corrugated iron shed and a brick a corrugated iron earth closet. All the buildings were used for keeping chickens.
20 High Street was listed by the former Department of Environment in may 1985 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the property to about 1700. It is a timber-framed structure with colourwashed roughcast render and has a thatched roof. It originally had three rooms downstairs with bed spaces in the attics. later single-storeyed tiled additions stand as both gable ends.
- PSA5/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1927
Licensees: Note that this is not a complete list; italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known
1862-1904: Samuel Hallworth, wheelwright;
1904-1911: Elizabeth Hallworth
1911-1912: Francis Thomas Hallworth
Beerhouse closed 28th December 1912