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The Spade Beerhouse Woodside

The area on the left in this picture is the garden of the former Spade
The area on the left in this picture is the garden of the former Spade

The Spade Public House: corner of Grove Park Road and Woodside Road

This public house is known only from a single entry - in an 1853 directory for Bedfordshire and a reference in the conveyance of another public house. When the Red Lion was sold by John Hight Blundell to Dunstable brewer Benjamin Bennett in 1882 [X173/185] it was described as having a frontage of 92 feet to the road from Luton to Markyate Street and a 110 feet frontage opposite The Spade Public House.

This means that the Spade must have stood on the north-west corner of Grove Park Road with Woodside Road, however it would have closed by that date because there is no mention of it in the 1876 countywide licensing register.

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 the former Spade, now called The Grove [DV1/C18/86] found it owned by Henry Abraham, the owner of the former Red Lion and of Woodside Farm.

The property was occupied by J. Fensome who paid rent of three shillings per week for a reception room, living room and washhouse with three bedrooms above. Outside stood a roughcast and slate barn and a weather-boarded and slated earth closet. He noted: “Water from Abraham’s well”.


  • X173/185: cottages opposite conveyed: 1882;

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

1853: Matthew Timberlake