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The Commander in Chief Beerhouse Shillington

36 and 38 Church Street March 2014
36 and 38 Church Street March 2014

The Commander in Chief Beerhouse: 36 Church Street, Shillington

It is not quite sure, as records pinpointing the location of this beerhouse are lacking, but it seems to have occupied the property today numbered 36 Church Street. The earliest record mentioning the property is in 1885 [HF40/3/2/10] when Oliver Steed's Baldock [Hertfordshire] Brewery leased it from its owner Arthur William Lines for £15 per annum. Steed clearly had a liking for the name "Commander in Chief" as he had other licensed premises by the same name in Sawston [Cambridgeshire] and Maulden. He also rented the Engine on the corner of Church Street and High Road and the Noah's Ark in Hillfoot Road. The earliest likely mention in a directory is in 1869 though, as a beerhouse, the business is not named, the licensee (Azel Harris, possibly related to the first known licensee George Harris).

In 1888 the Baldock Brewery was purchased for William Pickering of Burton-on-Trent [Staffordshire] who ran it under the name of Morley and Company, changing to Baldock Brewery Company in 1898. The same firm continued to lease the Commander-in-Chief until the brewery went bankrupt and was sold in 1903 [GK1/36] to Biggleswade brewers Wells and Winch, who ended the lease in December 1908 at which point the beerhouse reverted to being a private house.


  •  PSA5/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1927;
  •  HF40/3/2/10: held on lease by Steed's Brewery of Baldock from Arthur William Lines: 1885;
  •  GK165/12: lease assigned by William Pickering to Baldock Brewery Company: 1898;
  •  HF40/3/2/26: held on lease by Baldock Brewery from Arthur William Lines: 1901;
  •  GK1/36: Baldock Brewery sale catalogue: 1903;
  •  GK165/17: lease assigned by Baldock Brewery to Wells and Winch: 1904.

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

1869: Azel Harris;
1875: George Harris;
1875-1878: Thomas Poulter;
1878-1895: Amos Moore Simons;
1895-1896: Charles Webb;
1896-1897: Samuel Wren;
1897-1899: William Thomas Hurrell;
1899-1908: William Jepps.

Beerhouse closed 21st December 1908