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The Queens Head Public House Tebworth

The Queens Head about 1900 [Z1306/26/6]
The Queen's Head about 1900 [Z1306/26/6]

If the Queen's Head had not been demolished and rebuilt in 1926 it may well have been a listed building by now, the photograph above showing a half-timbered and thatched structure which may have dated from the 18th century at the latest and quite possibly around a century previous to that. Superficially it looks a similar building to Buttercup Farm which is dated as 17th or 18th century. The first mention of the pub is in 1795 when it is referred to in passing in a legal document [P103/3/8].

In 1821 James Whinnett of Wingfield, yeoman devised to his eldest son James a building previously called the Three Horse Shoes, then the Queen's Head in Tebworth [B231]. He died in 1824. His son James made his will in 1837 leaving the pub to trustees until his "natural daughter" Flora was twenty one [WL1000/1/CHAL/1/3]. He died in 1838 and Flora married Alfred Hack, by whom she eventually had ten children [WL1000/1/CHAL/1/8]. Hack mortgaged the pub in 1863 to Thomas Linnell and Woburn solicitor John Thomas Green and when he defaulted they were quick to sell the property in 1867 to William Maddocks but he was a speculator and sold it on, at £10 profit, to Leighton Buzzard shoemaker Joseph Reeve [WL1000/1/CHAL/1/3]. He conveyed the pub to Newport Pagnell [Buckinghamshire] brewers Francis and William George Allfrey in 1890 [WL1000/1/CHAL/1/8].

The countywide licensing register of 1903 reveals that the property was "clean and in good repair" and had one front door, one side door and one shop door. In 1905 the Bedford brewer Charles Wells took over ownership.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 legislated that every property and every piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. The valuer visiting the Queen's Head [DV1/C15/120] noted that the tenant paid £10 tied rent per quarter and that: "this house is under construction". It would contain a public bar, a private bar, a living room, a jug and bottle department, a scullery, a pantry and a cellar with four bedrooms on the first floor. Outside stood a weather-boarded and corrugated iron coal barn, a private earth closet and a public urinal and earth closet in yard. 1½ barrels of beer, three dozen mixed bottles of beer and a smiliar amount of minerals were sold each week and between half and one gallon of spirits per month. Gross takings were £30 per month. The valuer commented: "Very nice. Rebuilt 1926. In centre of village. Modern. Easily worked place". Today [2015] the Queen's Head is the last licensed premises in Tebworth.

The Queens Head February 2013
The Queen's Head February 2013

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

1822-1824: James Whinnett senior;
1824-1828: James Whinnett junior;
1869: Edward Bonner;
1876-91: Joseph Reeve;
1891-1909: Thomas Cook;
1909-1914: John Martin;
1914-1915: John Alfred Birch;
1915: Edward Goldie;
1915-1919: William George Nunn;
1919-1928: Ernest Edward Field;
1928: Kate Field;
1928-1929: Albert Payne;
1929-1939: Albert Dougherty;
1939-1948: Harry Arthur Newman;
1948-1950: Sidney James Andrews;
1950-1953: William George Frank Bailey;
1953: Frederick George Rich;
1981: Colin Edwynn;
1993: Elizabeth Anne Ashton Edwynn and Paul Elystan White Archer


  • P103/3/8: mentioned in a list of depositions: 1795;
  • CLP13: Register of alehouse licences: 1822-1828;
  • B231: will of James Whinnett: 1821, proved 1824;
  • PSLB4/3: Register of Alehouse Licences - Leighton Buzzard Petty Sessional Division: c.1860s-1956;
  • WL1000/1/CHAL/1/1: mortgage: 1861;
  • WL1000/1/CHAL/1/2: reconveyance on redemption: 1863;
  • SF10/1: poster for sale of the Queen's Head: 1866;
  • PSW3/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Woburn Petty Sessional Division: 1868-1949;
  • WL1000/1/CHAL/1/3: bond of indemnity: 1869;
  • WL1000/1/CHAL/1/4: mortgage: 1870;
  • WL1000/1/CHAL/1/5: abstract of title of Joseph Reeve: 1890;
  • WL1000/1/CHAL/1/8: assignment of bond: 1890;
  • Z1306/26/6: photograph: c. 1900;
  • WL800/4: exterior photographs: c. 1925;
  • WL801/171: glass plate negative: c. 1925;
  • PSW3/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Woburn Petty Sessional Division: 1949-1953