Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Riseley > The Red Lion Public House Riseley

The Red Lion Public House Riseley

Red Lion House - 1 Church Lane April 2015
Red Lion House - 1 Church Lane April 2015

The Red Lion Public House: 1 Church Lane, Riseley

The countywide licensing register of 1876 tells us that the Red Lion was first licensed in 1834. Deeds in the Saint John archive suggest it was built during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1813 William Rootham mortgage Dovehouse Close in Riseley for £500 [SJ2007]. Ten years later Rootham conveyed the close to a trustee together with a building "lately erected" on it [SJ2010-2011], presumably at least part of the reason for the mortgage of 1813. That trustee took out a mortgage in 1829 stating that the building had been in occupation of William Rootham, now John Warren [SJ2012]. In 1858 the Red Lion, now so-called was conveyed to William Warren of Cambridge, plumber and glazier and was occupied by his father of the same name [SJ2014]. In 1862 William Warren junior conveyed the Red Lion to Lord Saint John [SJ2016]. The public house closed in 1917 when no application for renewal of licence was received [PSS3/3].

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 1 Church Lane [DV1/C215/112] found it owned by Lord Saint John and leased by a Mrs Howard who sub-let it to C Filsell for £5/4/- per annum. Accommodation comprised two reception rooms, a store room, a kitchen, a pantry and four bedrooms. Outside was a brick and tiled wood shed and washhouse. The valuer noted: "Could this be let at £12? Too big for present occupier".

The former public house was listed by the former Department of Environment in June 1974 as Grade II, of special interest. The listing dates the property to about 1700 (though as we have seen that seems unlikely), with later alterations and is built of colour-washed roughcast over a timber frame and an old clay tiled roof. The timber framing visible on the first floor exterior is 20th century. The house has two storeys.

  • SJ2007: mortgage: 1813;
  • SJ2010-2011: conveyance from William Rootham to trustees: 1823;
  • SJ2012: mortgage: 1829;
  • SJ2014: conveyance from John Francis James to William Warren: 1858;
  • WG2455: sale notice: 1861;
  • SJ2016: conveyance by William Warren to Lord Saint John: 1862;
  • PSS3/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Sharnbrook Petty Sessional Division: c.1901;
  • PSS3/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Sharnbrook Petty Sessional Division: c.1903;
  • PSS3/3: Register of Alehouse Licences - Sharnbrook Petty Sessional Division: 1904-1930;
  • Z53/96/1: photograph: 1962

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list ; entries in italics refer to licensees where either beginning or end, or both, dates are not known:

1834-1853: John Warren;
1858: William Warren;
1864-1869: Mrs Sarah Warren;
1876: George Nutter;
1876: Harriet Nutter;
1885-1910: Charles Johnson;
1910-1914: John Johnson
Public house closed 1917