Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Tebworth > The Shoulder of Mutton Public House Tebworth

The Shoulder of Mutton Public House Tebworth

The former Shoulder of Mutton February 2013
The former Shoulder of Mutton February 2013

The former Shoulder of Mutton Public House was listed by the former Ministry of Works on 29th April 1952. The building dates from the 17th century and is of timber-frame construction, whitewashed and with red brick nogging, or infill. It has a red concrete tile roof. The east wing has two storeys and the west wing a single storey with attics. The first references to the public house are in 1822 when Lower Shoulder of Mutton Close and Upper Shoulder of Mutton Close formed part of the Manor of Wingfield [P103/2/2-3] and when the pub was listed in the countywide licensing register [CLP13].

In 1841 Edward Burr mortgaged his business and licensed houses to Mary Burr and the Shoulder of Mutton was then described as "then for a long time past called or known by the name or sign of the Shoulder of Mutton". It is described as formerly in the occupation of William Odell and Widow Norman, then Thomas Poulton, John Forster and Thomas Bates, then Ann Poulton and Thomas Tearle. These multiple occupations are reflected in the sale particular below.

In 1843 Burr's brewery and its licensed premises was put up for sale by auction in 72 lots. The sale particulars [BH409] describe the Shoulder of Mutton, Lot 14, as follows: "containing Tap, Parlor [sic], lean-to Wash-house, Cellar underground and three Bed Rooms. Range of Stabling &c., Yard and Garden. A TENEMENT under the same roof as the Public House, with Wood Hovel and Garden, and a Tenement at other end of Public House, with Stable and Garden, both let off by the Tenant. In the occupation of WILLIAM TOMPKINS, at an Annual Rent of £9".

It looks as if the pub was purchased by James Whinnett as a later list of deeds [WB/M/4/1/VP2] refers to a "messuage at Tebworth, Chalgrave called Shoulder of Mutton with sites of two former tenements and garden ground purchased from James Whinnett and conveyed to John Morris senior on 16 October 1849". John Morris was a partner in an Ampthill brewing firm. This firm is listed as owner in the countywide licensing register of 1876. In 1907 it was incorporated as Morris & Company (Ampthill) Limited.

The countywide licensing register of 1903 noted that the pub was "clean and in good repair". It had one front and two back doors. The pub closed for the last time in 1912 and became a private house. It was put up for sale by auction on 22nd November 1912. The particulars [HN7/1/Teb1] described the property as a double-fronted house and give a good description of the homestead adjoining: a timber and slated building on brick foundations with accommodation for six horses, fitted with mangers and racks and a brick floor; two large piggeries, timber-built and covered iron with enclosed yards; a timber and tiled cow house for three cows; a fowl-house; a large barn or cart shed; another timber and thatched barn and a well of drinking water with a pump.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 legislated that every piece of land and property in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. The valuer visiting the former Shoulder of Mutton [DV1/C23/3] on 29th November 1926 found it owned by Grove & Sons. The occupier was A Edwards who paid £5/10/½ per half year in rent. The property contained two reception rooms, a living room, a kitchen, a basement cellar, a coal cellar and lumber room with three bedrooms and a boxroom upstairs. A wood and corrugated iron barn and a brick and tile earth closet both stood outside.

The valuer commented: "House has been old "Pub" very old & rambles". Another comment was: "Tenant is carpenter at sawmills. House much too big. Old pub". The aforementioned sawmills [DV1/C23/2] in part comprised: a brick and slate office; an old stable; a brick, weather-boarded and slate blacksmith's shop with forge and bellows; a brick, weather-boarded and tiled stable for five horses; a wood and corrugated iron cart shed and a weather-boarded and corrugated iron carpenters shop ("poor"). The valuer noted: "Smithy only used for own work"

The rest of the sawmills [DV1/C23/9] had: a weather-boarded and corrugated iron saw mill 90 feet by 30 feet with a 16 horsepower compound steam engine on wheels; a woodworking lathe; a rack saw bench with a 20 inch circular saw; a band saw; a planeing machine; a weather-boarded and corrugated iron oil store; a weather-boarded and corrugated iron timber store; a weather-boarded and corrugated iron open timber store and a yard for storage.

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

1822-1823: William Randall;
1824-1843: William Tomkins;
1869-1894: David Stevens;
1894-1902: Thomas Rogers Stevens;
1902-1904: William Walder;
1904-1906: George Arthur Brooks;
1906-1907: David Knott;
1907-1909: Raymond Tanner;
1909: Richard Thomas Bradshaw;
1909-1912: Alfred Lett;
Public house closed 1912.

General references:

  • P103/2/2,3: common recovery to dock entail of Manor of Wingfield properties: 1822;
  • CLP13: Register of alehouse licences: 1822 - 1828;
  • BH53 and BH407: mortgaged by Edward Burr: 1841;
  • BH409: sale catalogue of Dunstable Brewery of Edward Burr: 1843;
  • PSLB4/3: Register of Alehouse Licences - Leighton Buzzard Petty Sessional Division: c.1860s-1956;
  • PSW3/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Woburn Petty Sessional Division: 1868-1949;
  • WB/M/4/1/VP2: mortgage of Morris & Company properties: 1882;
  • CCE5304/1: conveyed to the newly incorporated Morris & Company (Ampthill) LImited: 1907;
  • PSW3/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Woburn Petty Sessional Division: 1949-1953;
  • HN7/1/TEB1: sale particulars of the former Shoulder of Mutton: 1912;
  • PCChalgrave14/5: maintenance of verge land: 1982-1989;
  • PCChalgrave22/6: ownership of land opposite the property: 1992.