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.
|Publican||Date (Data source)||Notes|
|John Westley||1830 (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: 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 Underwood||1861 (Census)|
|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 Payne||1869 (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 Burton||1876 (Harrod)|
|1881 Census: James Burton, age 66, born Pipe Hill, Stafford|
Wife: Ann, 54, born Little Burton, Oxford
|William Aldridge||1883 (Kelly)|
|John Aldred||1887 (Kelly)|
|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 Brown||1895 (Kelly)|
|Edward Lawes||1899 (Kelly) to|
|1901 Census: Edward Lawes, 39, born Chippenham, Wilts.|
Wife: Sarah, 49, born Kempston, Beds.
|Mrs Sarah Lawes||1911(Kelly)||Husband Edward died in 1908, Sarah died in 1918 (headstone in St Lauds)|
|James Wilson Mainwaring||1915 (Kelly) to|
|Died 1937 (headstone/kerbs in St Lauds)|
|Alfred John Simmons||1928 (Kelly) to|
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.
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.
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.
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:
SP 89 46 SHERINGTON GUN LANE 11/155
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.