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The Red Lion Public House Studham

The Red Lion about 1920 [Z1306/117]
The Red Lion about 1920 [Z1306/117]

The Red Lion Public House: Church Road, Studham

In the mid 19th century there were two Red Lions in the parish of Studham, one in the village and one in what is now Markyate. This is because until 1866 the parish of Studham included the west side of today's High Street in Markyate. This hamlet was known as Humbershoe or Markyate Street and became a separate parish in 1866, under the name Humbershoe, being abolished and transferred to the new parish of Markyate, in Hertfordshire, in 1897. Thus when one sees a reference to the Red Lion, Studham in the early or mid 19th century, one needs to be careful to find out which of the two establishments in meant!

The Red Lion, Studham, did not appear in the countywide licensing register from 1822 to 1828, though the Red Lion in Humbershoe did. The first reference to the Red Lion Public House in the village of Studham is in a directory of 1841, when it was run by Mary Austin. This, and subsequent, directories differentiate between Studham and Markyate Street.

In 1868 the Red Lion was owned by Luton brewers Henry and Frederick Pearman and was sold, with their business, to John William Green of Luton the following year - the total business fetching £1,614/6/-. The items noted as belonging to the Pearman brothers at the public house were as follows:

  • A boarded and slated shed 33 feet long in front of House (part claimed by tenant);
  • Three pewter Beer measures;
  • Three pewter Spirit measures;
  • Two tap room Screens;
  • Old oak Cupboard;
  • One pair pulleys;
  • Four deal forms;
  • A Sign post as fixed and sign.

The inventory further noted: "The Red Lion Public House: row of Cottages rented of Mr. Charles Herter and underlet to Shadrach Ing" [WB/Pearman4/1/VP1].

Green's company bought out Luton rivals Thomas Sworder & Company in 1897 at which time the firm became a limited company [WB/Green1/1/1]. The Red Lion, Studham was described in the incorporation document as including a carpenter's shop and seven adjoining houses and was in the occupation of Edward Bishop. An amendment in 1935 noted that two cottages and the carpenter's shop had been demolished by that date.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every piece of land and building in the country was to be assessed to determine the rates to be paid on it. Studham was assessed at the end of 1926 and the valuer visiting the Red lion [DV1/C/21] discovered that the tenant, George Allen, paid J. W. Green & Company £6 per annum rent.

The brick, flint & slate building comprised a tap room, club room, bar, cellar, kitchen and scullery downstairs, with three bedrooms above. Outside stood a loose box, wood shed and trap house. Trade was estimated at a barrel and eighteen bottles of beer a week and perhaps a gallon of spirits every two months. The landlord gave the usual answer "Does not know takings – referred to brewers". The valuer considered that the rent was low and would be more realistic at £9 per annum.

The Red Lion about 1950 [WB/Green4/5/Stu/RL1]
The Red Lion about 1950 [WB/Green4/5/Stu/RL1]

Judging from photographic evidence the Red Lion was subject to alterations between about 1920 and 1950. J. W. Green Limited merged with Midland brewers Flowers in 1954 and the new company took the Flowers name. The new firm was taken over by brewing giant Whitbread in 1962 and this company divested itself of all its public houses in 2001. Nevertheless The Red Lion remains a public house down to the time of writing [2010]. At a time when there is a high rate of closure for public houses Studham is lucky to retain both the Red Lion and the Bell in Dunstable Road.


  • WB/Pearman4/1/VP1: inventory of properties of Henry and Frederick Pearman: 1868-1869
  • PSL6/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Luton Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1901;
  • WB/Green5/5/1: register of successive tenants of J. W. Green Limited properties: 1887-1926;
  • WB/Green1/1/1: incorporation of J. W. Green Limited: 1897;
  • PSL6/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Luton Petty Sessional Division but without Luton Borough premises: 1929-1954;
  • WB/Green4/5/Stu/RL1-3: photographs of the Red Lion: 1930s-1950s;
  • WB/Green4/2/4: list of properties belonging to J. W. Green Limited: 1936-1952;
  • WB/Green6/4/1: trade analysis ledger: 1936-1947;
  • WB/Green4/2/10-11: schedules of deeds and documents regarding the Red Lion and seven cottages: c. 1949;
  • WB/Green4/2/5: List of properties belonging to J. W. Green Limited: c. 1952;
  • WB/Green4/2/16: letter as to J. W. Green Limited titles: 1952;
  • WB/Green4/2/17: second schedule of J. W. Green Limited trust deed: 1952;
  • WB/Green4/2/18: certificate of title to J. W. Green Limited properties: 1954;
  • WB/Green4/2/19: loose schedules of J. W. Green Limited deeds: c. 1954;
  • WB/W4/5/Neg1: negatives of various premises: late 20th century;
  • PC Studham 30/1: Transfer of Licences 1976-1987;
  • Z1309/1/24: drawing of the Red Lion: c. 1980s

The Red Lion April 2007
The Red Lion April 2007

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

1841: Mary Austin;
1851: William Holloway
1868: Shadrach Ing;
1881: Eliza Ing;
1882: Charles Edward Cawley
1884: George Forrester;
1887: Ann Forrester;
1889: Thomas Quick;
1891: Albert Bagley;
1892: Heading Fuller;
1894: Alfred Moses;
1894: Charles Clifton;
1896: Edward Bishop;
1912: George Allen;
1936: Sidney Albert Taylor
1946: Robert and Lillie Lloyd;
1985: Roger Frederick Wingrave;
1987: Gordon Michie and Elizabeth Mary Michie;
1988: Richard Kenneth Veale;
1989: Richard Kenneth Veale and Steven George Klamer;
1989: Richard Kenneth Veale and William Thomas Handley;
1992: Paul Graham Foster and Alan Charles Stockton;
1993: Alan Charles Stockton and Richard Kenneth Veale.