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The Red Lion Beerhouse Upper Gravenhurst

The Green Dragon with the Red Lion beyond about 1900 [Z760/1/5]
The Green Dragon with the Red Lion beyond about 1900 [Z760/1/5]

The Red Lion Beerhouse: 32 High Street, Upper Gravenhurst

The first countwide licensing register of 1876, not always a reliable guide, states that the Red Lion beerhouse was first licensed in 1864, however, entries in directories suggest that it was in business from at least 1853, unless the premises run by beer seller Thomas Cawcutt moved during that time.

In 1851 two cottages in Upper Gravenhurst “some time since erected on part of land of fourteen poles called Barber’s Pightle and in occupation of Shadrach Fisher and Peter Peacock” were conveyed by John Kempson of Shillington and his mortgagees to William Hogge and Robert Lindsell of Biggleswade, brewers for £200[GK57/1]. The land had been conveyed to Kempson in 1844 by John Burley. Hogge and Lindsell were owners of Wells and Company, based at Biggleswade Brewery and in no way connected with the later Charles Wells Limited of Bedford. 

Wells and Company was bought by Kent businessman George Winch for his son Edwin Bluett Winch in 1898 becoming Wells and Winch Limited. At the time of the purchase by George Winch the Red Lion beerhouse had a yard, garden, stables and outbuildings and was in occupation of H Fisher. The firm also owned three cottages with a yard, gardens and outbuildings in occupation of W.Redman, R.Redman and C.Burley, which they had also purchased in 1851 from John Kempson and mortgagees and from devisees of Henry Hare [Z1039/34/2a]. The licensing register for Ampthill Petty sessional Division [PSA5/1] notes that the Red Lion closed in 1918 when no re-appliance was made for the annual license.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. The valuer visiting 32 High Street [DV1/C214/74] found that it was owned and occupied by John Redman. Accommodation comprised three living rooms with three bedrooms above. the valuer commented: “Was a pub, cellar”.

The house had a number of weather-boarded an tiled farm buildings at the rear, a common feature of 19th century public and beerhouses which often had significant land. They comprised: a straw shed; a store barn; a trap shelter; a root house; two horse standings and an implement shed. The four acres they bordered were, at that time, allotments and evenly divided between the parish council, and glebe land.

The former Red Lion 32 High Street September 2017
The former Red Lion - 32 High Street September 2017


  • GK57/1: conveyance: 1851;
  • Z1039/34/1: schedule of deeds: 1851;
  • PSA5/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1927;
  • Z1039/34/2a: conveyed to Wells and Winch: 1898;
  • Z760/1/5-6: photographs: c. 1900;

List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list; entries in italics refer to licensees where either beginning or end, or both, dates are not known:

  • 1853-1864: Thomas Cawcutt;
  • 1869: Ann Cawcutt;
  • 1876-1880: Thomas Dennis;
  • 1880-1883: George Chamberlain;
  • 1883-1893: Alfred Redman;
  • 1893-1898: Herbert Fisher;
  • 1898-1899: Arthur James Welch;
  • 1899-1907: Alfred Redman;
  • 1907-1908: Thomas Smith;
  • 1908-1910: Arthur Dilley;
  • 1910-1913: Robert George Baker;
  • 1913-1914: Frederick Robert Bent;
  • 1914-1916: John Davenport;
  • 1916-1918: Albert George Fisher

Beerhouse closed 1918