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The White Horse Public House Stagsden

Z50-107-24 White Horse
White Horse about 1920 [Z50/107/24]

White Horse Public House: 48-50 High Street, Stagsden.

This building is constructed of wattle & daub with later [c.1860s] limestone additions. The first reference to it as a public house in any record held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service is in the register of alehouse licences commencing in 1822. It is interesting to note that at this early date and for over a century Stagsden had three public houses on the High Street within the proverbial stone's throw of one another.

This part of Bedfordshire was valued in 1926 under the Rating Valuation Act of 1925; every piece of land and building was inspected to determine the rates to be paid on it. The valuer visiting the White Horse noted that it was a Charles Wells house comprising a tap room, bar, club room, kitchen, larder and cellar downstairs. He also noted that the Free Gardeners used it one day a month. Trade was hardly brisk at half a barrel and six dozen bottles of beer and a quarter of a bottle of spirits per week and four bottles of wine a year. The valuer commented: "Roomy place but inconvenient for private purposes"; he also noted that the licence was about to be transferred to the Fox & Hounds, Clapham, to convert it from a beerhouse into a public house. The public house duly closed on 22nd March 1927. The licensee still sold soft drinks and tobacco until Charles Wells sold the property in 1945 to a Mr Doggett.

 former White Horse December 2007
The former White Horse in December 2007


  • CLP13: register of alehouse licenses: 1822-1828;
  • Z50/107/21: view looking east along High Street also showing White Horse: c.1900;
  • Z50/107/22: view looking east along High Street also showing White Horse: c.1900;
  • Z50/107/24: photograph of White Horse: c.1900;
  • PSB9/1: register of licenses: 1903-1935;
  • Z818/82: sepia postcard view of public house: c.1920;
  • Z818/83: sepia postcard view of public house: c.1920;
  • WL800/5 p.47: photograph: c.1925;
  • DV1/C/36: rating valuation: 1927

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known:
1822-1827: John Smith;
1827-1864 John Sleath [also Sheath];
1865-1869: John Bonney;
1876-1894:  Mrs Jane Bonney;
1898-1905: Charles Stevens;
1905-1908: Harry Alfred Southam;
1908-1927: Ebenezer Flute