The Fir Tree, Woburn Sands


In 1989, when my parents had The Fir Tree, I was asked by my then girlfriend how old the pub was, and I said I'd try to find out....*

Looking into the history of it is main the reason that I began researching Woburn Sands history. I found it was the story of an inn with three different names, in two different locations, with one family involved in it for over 115 years.

Below are links to what I have been able to find out so far. I have split the information into chapters to keep the pages smaller. I would be interested to hear if you are related to one of the past landlords, or have any old photos of the pub, particularly from the period 1920 - 1970.



From:

To:

Licensee:

Notes:

1753

5th Feb. 1779

Francis Lee1

1753 is the first reference to "The Shoulder of Mutton Inn" on the Woburn Road site. The name changed to "The Greyhound" in 1773.

5th Feb. 1779

1784

Mary Lee (Widow of Francis Lee1)

Name changed to "The Fir Tree" in 1786.
1784 1788 Martha Lee

1788

1810

William Morris

1810

1823

Edward Lee (Son of Francis Lee1)

1823

12th Mar. 1852

Francis Lee2 (Son of Edward Lee)

The Inn transferred to the Aspley Hill corner site in 1838.

12th Mar. 1852

27th Aug. 1860

Mary Lee (Widow of Francis Lee2)


27th Aug. 1860

Jan 1868

Francis Lee3 (Son of Francis Lee2)

Lee family made bankrupt, and sold the inn to Alfred Smith.

Dec 1868

24th Sep 1870

John Litchfield


2nd Nov. 1871

1877

Jesse Cooper

By 1872, Smith had leased it to Rogers and Bull of Newport Pagnell. They sold out to Allfrey and Lovell in 1875, also of Newport Pagnell. The next year they bought the freehold.
1878 1879 Francis Farr

1881

1884

David Giltrow

1885

18th Mar. 1887

William George Cooper

18th Mar. 1887

14th Dec. 1888

Charles Turnock

14th Dec. 1888

13th Dec. 1889

Walter Bailey

The building we now know was erected on the site.

13th Dec. 1889

12th Sep. 1913

Benjamin Garrett

Clubroom built in 1897. Allfrey and Lovell became The Newport Pagnell Brewery Company in 1900.

12th Sep. 1913

20th Apr. 1914

Charles Henry Wynne


20th Apr. 1914

20th Jun. 1924

George Alexander

The Newport Pagnell Brewery Co. was bought out and absorbed by Charles Wells, of Bedford, in 1919.

20th Jun. 1924

23rd Sep. 1927

Brigadier Francis Robert Beresford


23rd Sep 1927

20th Apr. 1928

Tom Saville

20th Apr. 1928

30th Nov. 1928

William Donelly

30th Nov. 1928

10th Jan. 1929

John Henry Osborne King

10th Jan. 1929

9th Sep. 1938

Harold Clements

9th Sep. 1938

1st Aug. 1951

Sidney Hughs

1st Aug. 1951

19th Nov. 1969

Albert Frederick Jenkins

19th Nov. 1969

31st Jul. 1970

Ernest Dennis Hodson Lant

31st Jul. 1970

29th Oct. 1997

John Harvey Cox

The clubroom was converted to hotel bedrooms in 1980.

29th Oct. 1997

3rd May 1999

Dean and Michael Readyhoff


3rd May 1999

Present

Closed for refurbishment, then reopened by Kevin Brewer

Major internal and external refurbishment and remodelling completed. Further refurbishment and remodelling in 2014.

...*By the way, my girlfriend was obviously impressed with the efforts I made to find her an answer, as she married me!