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The Lord Nelson Public House Silsoe

2 Newbury Lane October 2011
2 Newbury Lane October 2011

The Lord Nelson Public House: 2 Newbury Lane, Silsoe

In a letter of 1977 Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service archivist James Collett-White stated [CRT130Sil12] that the earliest reference that could be obtained for the Lord Nelson was to a conveyance by John Francis Bird, a currier and Mary Bird, widow, to William Clark of Silsoe, carpenter, in July 1822. In 1833 the property was mortgaged to bankers William Hogge and Robert Lindsell, partners in Biggleswade Bank for £200. William Clark died in 1843 leaving his eldest son Benjamin as his heir. He took out a further advance with Biggleswade bank of £100 in 1844. Benjamin Clark died in 1858 leaving the property to his wife Charlotte to use for the benefit of their three children George, Jane and William. The bank foreclosed on the £300 mortgage and the property was sold to Thomas Philip, 2nd Earl de Grey in 1859. The sale included the property immediately to the west of the cottage which had been a blacksmith's shop.

One of Benjamin Clark's last acts seems to have been to convert the cottage into a beerhouse. The countywide licensing register of 1876 states that the Lord Nelson Beerhouse was first licensed in 1857.

The countywide licensing register of 1903 estimates the gross rental of the Lord Nelson as being £15 per annum. Rateable value was £11/5/-. It was a tied house to Wells and Winch Limited, was "about to undergo general repairs" but was "clean"; it had both front and back doors

In December 1918 Nan Ino, 10th Baroness Lucas and owner of the Wrest Park Estate contracted to sell the Lord Nelson to Wells and Winch Limited for £665 [L23/287]. The beerhouse was conveyed on 24th March 1919. A plan was made at the time of the conveyance [L23/290a] showing that at that time all the property today [2011] known as The Old Coach House was used as the beerhouse.

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 Lord Nelson Beerhouse [DV1/C236126] found it owned by Wells and Winch Limited and tenanted by Charles Mondin who paid a tied rent of £14 per annum, his predecessor having paid £10 per annum before the Great War. This rent included an adjoining cottage leased to H. Mann for £7 per annum, which comprised a living room, kitchen and two bedrooms. The beerhouse was the larger, right hand side of the property today called the Old Coach House.

The "small place" which was really "two cottages" comprised a tap room ("fair"), a cellar ("underground" with ten 18 gallon barrels of beer in it), a living room, a kitchen and pantry and five bedrooms above. A two bay hovel, two chicken houses, a washhouse and two store barns lay outside. The valuer opined "Not much trade done". Mrs. Mondin stated it comprised "about 1½ barrels in summer and less than a barrel in winter" the figures presumably being per week. The valuer estimated that they also sold about fifteen bottles of beer per week.

On 18th December 1944 the Lord Nelson was rocked by a large explosion. A V1 flying bomb landed 20 yards east of the A6 some 800 yards south of the Clophill Crossroads. The blast caused damage to the pub [WW2/AR/CO/3/2].

A full licence was granted to the beerhouse on 8th March 1956 making it into a public house [PSA5/4]. The last reference Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has to the building as a public house was in 1995 [PSA5/5]. By the time of writing [2011] the former public house had become a private house.


  • CRT130Sil12: letter with information on the Lord Nelson: 1822-1977;
  • PSA5/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1927;
  • GK1/36: described in sale catalogue of Wells & Company Limited: 1898;
  • X291/77/441: glass plate negative: c. 1910;
  • L23/287: contract for sale: 1918;
  • L23/290a: plan of the Lord Nelson: 1918;
  • Z1039/34/1: schedule of deeds: 1919;
  • PSA5/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1934-1959;
  • WW2/AR/CO/3/2: damaged by a V1 flying bomb: 1944;
  • PSA5/4: list of licensed premises in Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: c.1950s;
  • PSA5/5: list of licensed premises in Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1968-1995.

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

1857-1858: Benjamin Clark;
1876-1886: Joseph Billington;
1886-1892: Joel Martin;
1892-1915: Alfred Brown;
1915-1927: Charles Mondin;
1927-1952: Emma Mondin;
1952-1955: George William Frederick Anstee;
1955-1959: Ernest Sidney Marriott;
1964-1971: Frederick George Poulter;
1971-1984: Ronald Joseph Montague;
1984-1988: Edward George White;
1988-1989: Bryan Morgan;
1989-1990: Bryan and Richard John Green;
1990-1992: Bryan Morgan;
1992-1994: Michael John Burgoine;
1994-1995: Peter Joseph Cartwright