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The White Hart Inn Tempsford

The former White Hart in February 2016
The former White Hart in February 2016

The White Hart Inn: 15 Church Street, Tempsford

Two public houses called The White Hart are known to have existed in Tempsford. The first of these was a coaching inn on Church Street, once part of the busy Great North Road. The building is now a private property known as Gannocks.

This inn formed part of an estate settled on the marriage of Ebenezer Rich of Farndish and Katherine Page of Irchester in Northamptonshire in 1732 [WY352]. Ebenezer and Katherine were married at Podington in October that year but the pub and its adjoining lands were sold to an Abraham Fellowes of North Mimms within twelve months of the marriage. At this time the property was already occupied by a John Fellowes. In his will of 1751 Abraham left all of his property in Tempsford to his wife Sarah and, on her death, to his married daughter Mary Grubb and her descendants [WG1734]. Mary’s second son Abraham sold The White Hart, then occupied by Ann Ward, to William and Mary Keeton of Alconbury Weston in Huntingdonshire in 1779 [WG2256]. The Keeton family appear to have occupied the pub themselves until William’s death in 1804 when, under the terms of his will the pub passed to his second wife Ann and then, on her death, to Mary Barran, the illegitimate stepdaughter of Thomas Peach, groom of Tempsford [ABP/W1804/37]. Mary married a Samuel Bellamy of Thorney in Cambridgeshire in 1813 and on her death the property was inherited by her three children, William, Mary and Sarah [WG2256].

It’s likely that the White Hart on Church Street closed sometime in the early nineteenth century as there is no record for it in the countywide licensing registers of 1822 to 1828 [CLP13].

References to documents held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service

  • WY352: Marriage settlement: 1732;
  • WG1731-1732: Lease and release 1733;
  • WG1733: Bond 1733;
  • WY360-361: Covenant to levy a fine 1742;
  • WG1734: Will of Abraham Fellows of Rowstock, North Mimms: 1751;
  • WG1735: Will of James Grubbe of Southwark, stationer: 1765;
  • WG1736: Probate of will of Robert Cox of Alconbury Weston, Huntingdonshire, ostler 1775;
  • WG1737: Memorandum of agreement for purchase: 1779
  • WG2256: Lease and release with abstract of title: 1779-1845;
  • WG1738: Mortgage: 1780;
  • WG1739: Bond: 1780;
  • WG1740: Final concord: 1780;
  • ABP/W1804/37: Will of William Keeton of Tempsford, innkeeper 1804

Licencees: note that this is not a complete list and that dates in italics are not necessarily beginning or end dates, merely the first/last date which can be confirmed from sources such as directories and deeds.

1732: John Fellowes;
1779: Ann Ward;
1804: William and Mary Keeton