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The Chequers Beerhouse Wilshamstead

The site of The Chequers March 2012
The site of The Chequers March 2012

The Chequers Beerhouse: 31 Cotton End Road, Wilshamstead

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has very little information on this beerhouse because it was owned by a Hertfordshire brewery, Simpson & Company of Baldock. The countywide licensing register of 1876 states that it had, by then, been licensed for over forty years. We know that it was not in existence at the time of the previous surviving countywide register, that of 1828, suggesting that the Chequers may have opened for the first time between 1828 and 1836.

The countywide register of 1903 states that the property was in a bad state of repair, though it was “fairly clean” and “apparently sanitary”. It was 30 yards from the nearest licensed premises (The Nag’s Head) and had one front door, one back door and a side gate entrance. The beerhouse closed for the last time on 25th March 1924.

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. Like most of the county, Wilshamstead was largely assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting the former Chequers [DV1/C65/41] noted that it was still owned by Simpson and Company and occupied by the last licensee, Alfred Charles Redman; he commented: “Are buying from Simpsons, was The Chequers”.

The property comprised two parlours, a kitchen, a scullery and three bedrooms. A coachhouse was outside. The property stood next door to the post office but has since been demolished.

The former Chequers Beerhouse about 1938 [Z50/134]
The former Chequers Beerhouse about 1938 [Z50/134]


  • PSB9/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Bedford Petty Sessional Division: 1903-1935

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

1869-1885: Samuel Hebbes;
1890-1894: Henrietta Hebbes;
1898-1904: Alfred Goff;
1904-1924: Alfred Charles Redman.
Beerhouse closed 25th March 1924.