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The White Hart

1796 Enclosure Map shows the White Hart as No. 184

The earliest record of the White Hart is in 1741, when it was purchased by Richard Clare. It remained in the hands of the Clare family until 1811.

Subsequent owners include the Nash, Field, Hill and Chester families, before ownership passed to a number of brewery companies. Various deeds and papers provide further details of the White Hart's owners.

1796 Enclosure Map

Although not actually named as such, the 'White Hart' is shown on the 1796 Enclosure map as plot 184, a 'House and Garden' owned by Richard Clare.

1830 - 1939

The trade directories published between 1830 and 1939, together with the censuses from 1851 to 1901, provide some details of the White Hart's publicans and their families over this period.

PublicanDate (Data source)Notes
John Westley1830 (Pigot)
?1839 (Robson)The White Hart is not listed, but there are 3 other Beer Retailers: Mark Davies, Sarah Greggs and Mark Norman
John Simco(e)1844 (Kelly) to
1854 (Post Office)
    1841 (Census)
    1851 (Census)
1841 Census: Simco, publican, Church End
1851 Census: age 35, born Sherington
Wife: Caroline: age 37, born Biddenham, Beds.
Sons: George (11, scholar, born Emberton) and Charles (5, scholar, born Sherington)
Daughters: Fanny (8, scholar, born Sherington) and Emma (2, born Sherington)
In 1854 he is listed as 'White Hart and Butcher'
There is another older John Simco who is a Blacksmith during this period
John Underwood1861 (Census)
1864 (Kelly)
1861 Census: John Underwood, age 60, born Little Houghton, Northants
Wife: Sarah, 68 (blind), born Floore, Northants
They moved from the Crown and Castle after 1854
Also at the White Hart: nieces Caroline (21) and Mary Ann (19) both barmaids born in Floore,
John Onley (boarder, 73, General Labourer) and Mary Webb (60, visitor) both born in Floore.
Meanwhile, John Simco has moved to the Turnpike Road where he is a Grocer and now has another son (John) and daughter (Caroline)
1871 and 1881 Census: John Underwood is a widow and retired victualler, but still living in Church End
Thomas Payne1869 (Kelly)1871 Census: no mention of the White Hart, but Thomas Payne is listed in Gun Lane as age 43, Farmer (56 acres, employing 2 men and 1 boy), born Pluckly, Kent
Wife: Eliza, 38, born Fulham, Middlesex
Daughter: Georgina, 4, scholar, born Sherington
Son: Thomas, 1, born Sherington
James Burton1876 (Harrod)
1877 (Kelly)
1881 (Census)
1881 Census: James Burton, age 66, born Pipe Hill, Stafford
Wife: Ann, 54, born Little Burton, Oxford
William Aldridge1883 (Kelly)
John Aldred1887 (Kelly)
1891 (Kelly/Census)
1891 Census: John Aldred, 60, born Bramfield, Suffolk
Wife: Mary A Aldred, 59, born Bramfield, Suffolk
Daughter: Emily, 25, born Chichley
Son William (30, Farmer, born Passenham, Northants) and daughter Sarah (37, Housekeeper, born, Bramfield) are listed at Gowles Farm
John Aldred, 1830-1892 (headstone in St Lauds)
Henry George Brown1895 (Kelly)
Edward Lawes1899 (Kelly) to
1907 (Kelly)
    1901 (Census)
1901 Census: Edward Lawes, 39, born Chippenham, Wilts.
Wife: Sarah, 49, born Kempston, Beds.
Mrs Sarah Lawes1911(Kelly)Husband Edward died in 1908, Sarah died in 1918 (headstone in St Lauds)
James Wilson Mainwaring1915 (Kelly) to
1924 (Kelly)
Died 1937 (headstone/kerbs in St Lauds)
Alfred John Simmons1928 (Kelly) to
1939 (Kelly)

Note: there are some inconsistencies in the census data. At present, it is not known if some of these may just be transcription errors, due to difficulties in reading the handwriting, or if they were in the original.

Archive Photos

Click on the thumbnails to see larger size copies of the photos. The first photo shows the White Hart c1900. The others show groups of White Hart regulars, the first being in the 1930's.

White Hart 1900  White Hart regulars - 1930s  White Hart regulars

Recent History

Harry & Huguette (Mikki) Waterhouse were the landlord/lady from 1972 - 1985.

Because of its role in the village social scene, various contests have been held at the White Hart. Click on the thumbnails to see larger photos of a 'Locals v Lodgers' contest and a wheelbarrow race.

'Locals v Lodgers' contestwheelbarrow race
White Hart closure 1996

Kelvin and Mary Locke ran the White Hart until 1996 as tenants of Phoenix Inns. Phoenix Inns were dissatisfied with the pub's profitability and applied to Milton Keynes council for planning permission for an extension, effectively to turn the premises into a licensed restaurant. Having been unnsuccessful, in 1996 they decided to sell. Kelvin Locke raised the £125,000 asking price by means of an appeal in the village, in an attempt to retain it as a village amenity. However Phoenix Inns sold instead to purchasers who intended to use it as a private residence, and the White Hart closed. The new owners applied for planning permission for change of use, but Milton Keynes Council supported the campaign by villagers to keep the White Hart as a village pub, and permission was refused. The appeal was also unsuccessful. Click on the thumbnail on the right to read the local newspaper article on the closure.

The White Hart was reopened as a pub on 21 November 1997 by new owners, Nigel & Pat Aisthorpe. However, they ran into difficulties in 1999, with the licence being suspended.

The current landlord, Keith Shepherd, took over on 1 November 1999. The White Hart is now a Free House and also offers accommodation. The White Hart has its own web site.

Grade 2 Listed Building

On 27 February 1984, the White Hart was included in the Department of the Environment's List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest for the District of Milton Keynes under Section 54 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971. The description is as follows:

No 1 (The White Hart Inn) - II C18, altered C19.
Colourwashed rendered rubblestone. Old tile roof. Originally 2 storeys but third produced by raising front wall in brick, then rendering over, 3 bays. South front has 6 panelled centre door in doorcase of plain pilasters, frieze and cornice hood. Canted bay windows with 4 pane sashes to outer bays. 5 pane 1st floor sashes. String above, formerly eaves line, then 3 flat-roofed dormers with 4 pane sashes. Flanking brick stacks. Rubblestone exposed on rear elevation.

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Latest Revision: 31 October 2019