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Chequers Public House Lower Shelton

Chequers Public House: 159 Lower Shelton Road, Marston Moretaine

Chequers Z1306-76-9

Lower Shelton Road with Chequers on the left, 1923 [Z1306/76/9] 

An inventory of John & Joseph Morris, brewers of Ampthill, dated 24 June 1827 lists The Chequers freehold public house [reference Z1043/1]. It was occupied by William Smith and had a woodbarn, stable and cart sheds, a spacious yard, a garden and a pightle [small field or enclosure] of about two acres in total. An additional two acres of land – a meadow known as Monk’s Pightle and an arable field known as Longlands – were also owned by the Morrises, and appear to have been held as part of the Chequers tenancy. This property was extended in 1848 when a further 20 poles (one-eighth of an acre) adjoining the public house were purchased by Morris brewery from William Smith.  

It seems that in or just before 1860 the Chequers was damaged by fire. In that year the rent payable by tenant James Smith was revised down from £20 per annum to just £10. The reduction was partly due to the delapitated state of the house, and partly because over three acres of land previously associated with the tenancy had been sold [reference SF82/3/6]. 

 Chequers WB-Flow4-5-MM-C2

Chequers Public House c.1960 [WB/Flow4/5/MM/C2] 

The Morris & Company brewery was taken over in 1926 by J. W. Green Ltd., and the rating valuation carried out in March 1927 [reference DV1/C/77] shows J. W. Green as the owners of the Chequers with A Brooks as the occupier. The detached property is listed as being of brick and tile construction. Downstairs it had a parlour, living room, tap room, new kitchen and cellar with five bedrooms upstairs. Outside there was a brick & tile stable, a shed & stalls and a wash house. The valuer described it as a ‘Smallish house. Best pub in the place. Good draw up. Kept clean.’ The rent at this time was £20 per annum. Trade amounted to one barrel of beer per week, with an additional barrel of bitter per fortnight, and half a gallon of spirits per month.  

J. W. Green merged with Flowers Breweries in 1954 and took that company's name. Flowers were then bought by Whitbread in 1962. The Chequers probably closed in the later 1960s, and was certainly no longer a public house by 1972. It is now a private house known as The Old Chequers.  

Licensees: note that this is not a complete list and that dates in italics are not necessarily beginning or end dates, merely the first/last date which can be confirmed from sources such as directories and deeds: 

1822-1828: William Smith 

1860-1877: James Smith 

1877-1882: Eliza Kingston 

1882-1907: Alfred Smith 

1907-1908: Frederick John Wheatley 

1908: Arthur William Matthews 

1908-1910: Frederick Lawson 

1910-1914: John Joseph McFarlane 

1914: Arthur William Hames 

1914-1915: Augustus Sanders 

1915-1919: Francis Green 

1919-1924: Harold Andrews 

1924-1957: Arthur Brooks 

1957-1959: Ernest Sydney Smith  


  • CCE5304/1: Conveyed to Morris & Co. (Ampthill) Limited 1907; 

  • CCE5304/3: Conveyed to J W Green 1926; 

  • SF38/35:  Chequers Inn, Marston Moretaine. Sale of household furniture, kitchen utensils, rick of meadow hay, 6 poles potatoes and other outdoor effects after death of landlord James Smith, 10 Aug 1877; 

  • SF38/44: The Chequers Inn, Marston Moretaine. Sale of household furniture, contents of the bar and tap room, and other effects19 Dec 1881; 

  • SF82/3/6: Estimation of variation of rental, 1860; 

  • WB/Flow4/5/MM/C1-3: Photographs of Chequers PH c.1960; 

  • WB/Green4/2/10: Schedule of deeds and documents of premises belonging to J. W. Green, c.1949; 

  • WB/Green4/2/16-17: Letters as to titles and trust deed relating to premises belonging to J. W. Green, 1952; 

  • WB/Green4/2/19: Schedule of deeds and documents of public houses including Chequers, c.1954; 

  • WB/Green6/4/1: Trade analysis ledger, 1936-1947; 

  • WB/M/4/1/VP2: Mortgage of property of Morris Brewery, 1882; 

  • WB/M/4/1/VP8: Abstract of Title of Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited, 1926; 

  • WB/M/4/2/1-2: Lists of Morris & Company properties with information about trade, licensing, leases etc., 1926; 

  • Z50/76/13: Photograph of village showing sign for the Chequers Inn, 1922; 

  • Z1043/1: Inventory of property of Morris Brewery, 1827; 

  • Z1306/76/9: Postcard with The Chequers on left hand side, c.1923