The George Inn Tempsford
Tempsford’s George Inn is quite elusive. It appears in the historical record from 1650 to 1769 and then vanishes. In 1650 it was described as the George Inn, six acres of land, one acre of meadow and two closes of pasture containing four acres, occupied by John Butler [BS1382]. The inn was part of the manors of Tempsford, Drayton and Brays which were settled by Lord and Lady pf the Manor Anthony and Anne Saint John to provide a £100 annuity to John Saint John for the life of Anthony. In 1697 Anne Saint John left an inn called the George “and lands appertaining” to her servant Joseph Barnes senior for life [BS1397].
The Great North Road, today’s A1 was formerly a turnpike road, and ran along Church Street rather than in it modern course a hundred metres or so to the east. Between 1725 and 1745 meetings of the Biggleswade to Alconbury Turnpike Trust held their meetings at the George, among other places [X261/1]. The final mention of the George is in 1769: the George Inn with homestall and Malting Close and fields called Little Smarts, Peck’s Wood Ground and Lands Holme Meadow, containing together 39 acres, 1 rppd, 28 poles, still formed part of the three Tempsford manors known as the Manor of Tempsford, the Manor of Drayton and the Manor of Brays by William and Mary Berners and John and Elizabeth Hagar to Gillies Payne [WY102-103].
The George was clearly an old and important inn. It does not seem a bad guess to suggest it stood on today's Church Street.
- BS1382: conveyed as part of a family settlement: 1650;
- BS1397: will: 1697;
- X261/1: Turnpike TRust meetings held at the inn: 1725-1745;
- WY102-103: conveyed as part of three Tempsford manors: 1769