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The Red Lion Public House Stevington

The Red Lion and Village Cross December 2008
The Red Lion and Village Cross December 2008

The Red Lion does not look like an old building but there has been a Red Lion in Stevington since at least 1781 when Ann Hide was admitted to the copyhold premises, held of the Manor of Stevington, called the Red Lion on the death of her husband John [GK155/14]. The most likely explanation is that the original premises was pulled down and the current building erected in its place, probably in the late 19th century.

In 1817 Anne's son William Hide sold the premises to Bedford brewer George Peregrine Nash [GK155/15] and the public house remained in the ownership of this company and its successors through the next two centuries. George Peregrine's son, George Peregrine the younger was taken on as a partner but died in 1844 and was replaced by his younger brother William Joseph, who was sole owner by 1849. He died in 1884 and his widow Susan ran the business alone until she took William Pritzler Newland as partner in 1890, the business being renamed Newland & Nash. The firm was taken over by Biggleswade brewers Wells & Winch in 1922 and this firm was taken over in its turn by Suffolk brewers Greene King in 1961.

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has the tenancy agreement for Thomas Burridge in 1892 [Z1039/17/1]. Burridge paid £2/1/8 per month as rent. The copyhold premises was enfranchised, that is converted into freehold by paying a fine to the Lord of the Manor, in 1919 [GK155/41].

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. Stevington was assessed in 1926 and the valuer visiting the Red Lion [DV1/C144/14] noted that it was still occupied by Thomas Burridge ("been here 40 years"). The property comprised a bar parlour ("good") and tap room ("good") as well as a private sitting room, kitchen and scullery downstairs and four bedrooms above. A two stall stable, coach house, open barn and store stood outside all of which had a club room over them. Water came from a pump. Trade was about a barrel of beer per week and about twenty five to thirty gallons of spirits per annum. It was, in the valuer's opinion "The best [Public] House in Stevington".

The Red Lion remains a public house at the time of writing [2009]. Stevington is lucky to still support two such establishments, as the nearby Royal George in Silver Street also remains in business.


  • GK155/14: admission of Ann Hide, widow, on death of her husband, John to Red Lion: 1781;
  • GK155/15: surrender by William Hide (son of John and Ann) to George Peregrine Nash of Bedford, brewer: 1817;
  • GK155/17: admission of William Joseph Nash on death of George Peregrine Nash: 1864;
  • GK3/3: schedule of deeds held by Newland & Nash: 1864-1897;
  • GK106/16: deposit of deeds by Susan Nash with Barnard & Company as security for mortgage: 1888;
  • Z1039/17/1: tenancy agreement for Thomas Burridge: 1892;
  • P71/8/3: vestry minutes regarding rating of Red Lion: 1892-1893;
  • GK155/18: admission of Susan Nash on death of her husband William Joseph Nash: 1894;
  • GK3/1a: conveyance of public houses from William Pritzler Newland, Emily Cressy Nash, Florence Mary Nash, Rosa Gertrude Nash and Constance Eveline Nash to Newland & Nash Limited: 1897;
  • GK3/1b: Newland & Nash trust deed to issue debenture stock with various public houses as security: 1897;
  • PSB9/1: register of licenses: 1903-1935;
  • PK1/4/10: auction sale of properties at: the public house 1909;
  • GK155/19: admission of Emily Cressy Nash and Florence Mary Nash on death of Susan Nash: 1910;
  • GK155/41: enfranchisement: 1919;
  • GK155/42: conveyance to trustees in order to issue debentures: 1920;
  • BTNegW83/3: photograph: 1930s;
  • GK297/2: conveyed, with other properties, from Newland & Nash Limited to Wells & Winch Limited: 1938;
  • PSB9/2: register of licenses: c.1955-1995;
  • Z1105/1: liquor licence traders survey form: 1960.

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known:

1781: John Hide;
1781: Ann Hide;
1822-1829: Charles Randall;
1830-1837: Richard Eaton;
1837 -10 March 1838 : Thomas Luddington;
1838 -1842 : James Ruffhead;
1844: James Broughton
1844 - 1869: Isaac Keech (and licensed to let a horse and trap);
1876: George Cox;
1877: William Prentice;
1890: Mrs Martha Field
1892-1940: Thomas
Burridge, directories note that he was also Income Tax assessor and collector;
1960-1965: Charles Edward
1965-1967: Richard James Fenton;
1967-1969: Mary Young;
1969-1973: Brian Llewellyn Alfred Bushby;
1973-1977: Roger Ward;
1977-1986: Peter David Bishop;
1986-1989: Leonard Robert Sydney Davis;
1989-1992: George Arthur Lee;
1992-1994: Brian Thomas Westbrook;
1994-1995: Colin Maurice Avery and Diane Amy Avery