The main named pubs in Wing over time are:
Cock Inn – 16th C to modern-day
Dove Inn – 1853 to c 1990s
Queen’s Head – 18th C to 2017
Royal Oak (in Ascott Green) – 18th C to 1877
Six Bells (in Burcott) – 18th C to 1917
Sportsmans Arms (in Littleworth) – 1868 to 2013
You can find profiles of each pub below, along with lists of licenced victuallers in Wing at various points in time.
The Cock Inn is the largest and most long-lived pub in Wing, and is situated along the High Street. As well as being used for the traditional pursuit of drinking both beer and spirits, it offered accommodation including stabling for horses, was a venue for coronial inquests (newspaper reports for these have been found from 1854 to 1936), and was the location for various post-match dinners, hiring fairs, local militia matters, and other community or county events. It is still operating as a pub.
The Historic England listing for the Cock Inn describes it as follows:
SP 32 SE WING HIGH STREETHistoric England
6/99 No. 26 (The Cock Hotel) (formerly listed as The Cock Inn)
Hotel. 3 C16-C17 bays to right, remainder late C18 and early C19, altered. C16-C17 part has timber frame with herringbone brick infill exposed to rear, and whitewashed roughcast and render to front, part of ground floor and right end rebuilt in brick. Old tile roof, brick chimneys to right and between left bays. 2 storeys, 3 bays, the left bay gabled and projecting with lean-to to right. Irregular wooden casements, mostly 3-light, those to ground floor with minimal board hoods on brackets. Board door between right bays. 2 later blocks to left are both of whitewashed roughcast over brick each with old tile roof and central brick chimney. 2 storeys, early C20 barred wooden casements. Central block has moulded eaves and is double fronted with 4-light windows flanking central 2-light and door. Large inn sign with painted cock to right of centre. Block to left is slightly set back and has 2 bays of irregular casements. Interior has been much altered but retains stop chamfered spine beams and joists in older section.
Helpful descriptions can also be found in advertisements for the sale of the property or reports of the auctions. In 1896 the Cock had “good cellaring, three parlours, one hall and two kitchens, seven bed-chambers, and an attic story, convenient brewhouse, stabling for more than 30 horses, good malt-house capable of making 400 Quarters in the Season, and every other convenient out-building, good gardens, with six acres more or less of excellent pasture land adjoining”. In 1890 it was described as a “valuable old-established and fully-licensed freehold public-house being the principal inn in the village of Wing. There is a large Yard, with brew-house, and capital stabling for the accommodation of thirty horses, which has lately been put in a thorough state of repair, a paddock of old pasture, and large garden, the whole covering an area of 1A 3R 10r, more or less, together with four cottages, with gardens, all adjoining”. The stabling had reduced down to 20 horses by 1893, 16 by 1902, and 14 by 1903. In 1894 a new smoking room was added “the new room is very well adapted for [smoking concerts], being capable of holding a large number of people, having a solid block floor, and a separate entrance, besides being decorated in a bright and comfortable manner.”
The licence-holders and staff that I have located for the Cock Inn are as follows. Date ranges are based on specific documents, however except for where the exact date of licence transfer is known the start and finish years may of course have been sligthly earlier or slightly later respectively.
- 1753 to 1772 Thomas Heley (1710-1772), gave occupation as innkeeper as early as 1733
- 1772 to 1796 Thomas Heley jnr (1749-1796)
- 1797 John Wood
- 1821 to 1830 William Mortimer
- 1839 to 13 Apr 1870 Richard Attwood (1790-1870). Some staff members during this time were Sarah Grace (general servant 1851), George Thorne (ostler 1851), Sarah Griffin (servant girl 1859), Mary Hillsden (general servant 1861), James Row (groom 1861), Joseph Willis (ostler 1864).
- 1870 to 1889 Thomas Stevens. His son later ran the Dove.
- 1889 to Dec 1890 David Darby
- Dec 1890 to 4 Dec 1893 Alfred Secrett. The staff in 1891 included 6 grooms and a general servant.
- 1893 to 31 May 1897 Walter James Osgood, formerly a stud groom
- 1897 to 1898 Fred William Spendiff
- 1899 to 1901 George Samuel Crampin. The 1901 census has 8 boarders, 3 of which were coachmen and 5 of which were grooms – the pub was now being specifically advertised as a hotel with good stabling/accommodation for hunters and travellers, so these boarders may have been visitors or staff (none were born in Wing). George himself moved on to the Queen’s Head by 1903.
- 1902 to 1907 Harry Smith
- 1908 to May 1909 Richard Whitelock
- 1909 to 1911 Samuel Thomas Moxhay
- to Feb 1913 Reginald Dutton
- 1913 Thomas Biggs
- 1914 to 1915 Edgar Bryan Hunt
- 1920 William Dimmock
- 1922 to 1928 George Henry Maynard (moved in on 6 Nov 1922 – there was a theft case associated with the move)
- 1931 Francis William Knight
- 1935 Paul Moffatt Mayne
- 1939 Archibald John Johnson
- 1952 T. Cox
The owners of the property were of course different. At the time of the 1798 Inclosure Act for Wing the owner of the Cock Inn plus yards and gardens was listed as the trustees of Thomas Heley (who had died a few years earlier), so it is likely that the Heley family had owned as well as operated the Cock for much of the 18th century. At the time of the 1850 Tithe Apportionments the owner was Eliza Fountaine, who was the wife of William Fountaine. Eliza owned the Cock through to 16 October 1881 when she sold it to then-licence-holder Thomas Stevens. Thomas sold a back paddock (which is now the south half of Jubilee Green) around 1889, then the Cock itself passed to David Darby who sold off more of the adjoining paddocks in 1889 then sold the Cock itself to J.T. Green of Woburn in December 1890. John Thomas Green died in 1904 and the Cock ultimately passed through to family companies Green & Morris/Morris & Co Ltd as listed in the 1910 valuation books. These family companies (including J.W. Green Ltd) owned the Cock through to at least 1952.
The Dove Inn is situated next to the almshouses on Aylesbury Road and, like the Cock, offered stabling for horses. The building is still there but it is no longer used as a pub.
The Dove Inn was established by Joseph Rogers, a beer retailer and butcher, who first obtained a licence in the name of the Dove Inn at the Ivinghoe petty sessions on 12 September 1853 “although opposed by some of the inhabitants”.
- 1853 to 15 Jan 1878 Joseph Rogers (Joseph passed away in Oct 1877)
- 1878 to 13 Aug 1888 Henry Munday / Elizabeth Munday
- 1888 to 1907 Charles Stevens, who gave up work after a serious accident in autumn 1907 (he passed away the following year) and “under his care [the Dove] had the reputation of being one of the best conducted inns in the neighbourhood”. Charles was the son of Thomas Stevens, who ran the Cock Inn. Staff members during this period include Amy Baker, who is living at the Dove Inn as a domestic servant in 1891, and Fanny Bolton in 1901.
- 6 Dec 1907 to 31 Oct 1910 Jesse S. Eldridge
- 31 Oct 1910 to 1924 Samuel Bridgment
- 1928 to 1931 Herbert Charles Osborn
- 1935 Robert George Osborn
- 1956 to 24 Dec 1974 Albert and Cis Goodman
The original owner of the property was Joseph Rogers. By August 1888 Phipps & Co Ltd, a Northampton-based brewery company, had acquired it as the sanitary authority approved plans for additions submitted by Phipps and Co at that point. There is also an advertisement from the Mundays for the sale of brewing plant/equipment (which wouldn’t have been required once owned by a brewery as the brewing was no longer done on-site).
The Queen’s Head, also a Grade II listed building, is situated in the middle of the High Street. It is still operating as a pub and restaurant.
The Historic England listing for the Queen’s Head describes it as follows:
SP 82 SE WING HIGH STREETHistoric England
6/98 The Queen’s Head
Listed 6 Jul 1984
Public house and shop. Mid-late C18, altered. Colour-washed roughcast over brick, old tile roof, brick chimney between right- hand bays. Originally L-plan. 2 storeys, 3 bays. First floor has 3- light barred wooden casements. Similar window with segmental head to ground floor left. Ground floor of centre bay has canted bay window with barred wooden window to front, 4-pane sashes to sides, and moulded cornice top. Right bay has C20 shop front. C20 extensions with entry in rear angle.
- 1753 to 1754 Robert Cheshire
- 1784 to 1792 William Windmill
- 1821 to 1857 John Windmill
- 7 Sep 1857 to 1883 Henry Charles Windmill (plus his sister Miss Catherine Windmill in the 1850s/1860s, and his nieces Fanny Sophia Claridge and Letitia Windmill as housekeeper in 1871 and 1881 respectively)
- 1887 Edward Durban
- 1891 William Mather
- 1895 Mr Shipley
- 1899 William Hillman
- 1901 Henry Burnell
- 1903 George Samuel Crampin (previously at the Cock)
- 1907 to 1915 James Lee Lawrence
- 1924 to 1928 William H Weatherall
- 1931 Mrs Emily Weatherall
- 1935 Alfred Sidney Bunn
- 1939 Harry T.W. Wheeler
Unfortunately I can’t confirm who owned the Queen’s Head at the time of inclosure in 1798, however by 1850 it was owned by Catherine Lucas (who also owned the Royal Oak in Ascott). Catherine was part of the Lucas brewing family of Rowsham in Wingrave – she died in 1869 and the two Wing pubs she owned passed to Edward Munday Major-Lucas (her brother’s nephew, who adopted the Lucas surname upon his inheritance from Catherine’s brother Joseph) of Rowsham. By 1910 the Queens Head was owned by the Aylesbury Brewing Company (ABC).
The Royal Oak stood at the intersection of Leighton Road and Well Lane in Ascott.
- 1753 to 1784 Guy Rickard
- 1792 Ann Rickard (Guy’s widow)
- 1821 to 1826 William Bone
- 1827 Rebecca Bone (nee Rickard – dau of Guy and Ann)
- c.1832 to c.1842 George Bone (son of William and Rebecca)
- 1847 Mrs Lucy Bone (George’s widow)
- 1850 Thomas Prentice
- 1853 to 1863 John Gates
- 1864 to 1876 Seth Denchfield (son-in-law of John Gates)
By 1872 the pub itself was owned by E.M.M. Lucas of Rowsham (see above under the Queen’s Head). While there was an 1876 directory listing for the Royal Oak it had disappeared the following year – the Ascott estate had been purchased by the Rothschild family in 1873 and the pub was not part of their wider plans for the estate. In August 1875 and again the following year various applications were made to the petty sessions that shed light on this. Leopold de Rothschild wanted to use the Oak premises for one of his servants, so firstly an application was submitted to transfer the full licence to the partly-licensed Plough in Stewkley which was declined, so the license was instead renewed as it was. The Royal Oak was described as a “most useful and well-conducted house” by the magistrates as part of these discussions. By 1876 alterations to convert the property for housing were already underway and an application to transfer the licence to a new house opposite the allotment gardens in Wing was submitted and declined on the grounds it was too close to other licensed premises, so the license was renewed again. One can conclude that, once conversion was complete, the inn simply ceased operations.
The Six Bells stood in the triangular intersection of Soulbury Road and High Street in Burcott. The name refers to the six bells of All Saints Church. It dated back to the 18th century and closed in 1917.
- 1753 to 1754 Francis Collicut
- 1821 to 1827 Elizabeth Denchfield (died 1835)
- 1839 to 7 Mar 1858 Thomas Denchfield
- 7 Mar 1858 to 1877 Mrs Hannah Denchfield (widow of Thomas)
- 1881 to 10 Oct 1892 William Berry Staples
- 10 Oct 1892 to 1901 Reuben Syratt
- to 2 Mar 1903 William Jordan
- 2 Mar 1903 to Henry Jordan
- 1907 Thomas Woodward
- 1911 to 1915 George Woodward
The licence for the Sportsmans Arms which stood at 45 Littleworth was first granted in 1868. The pub ceased operations in 2013 and the building and car park were sold with planning permission to convert into a four-bedroom house plus a second bungalow.
The exact date the Sportmans Arms opened is a little murky. It is true that the first license is recorded as being issued on 24 August 1868. In one newpaper report of that application Edward Sayell indicated that his house had been in operation as a retail beerhouse (i.e. beer sold for drinking off the premises, rather than a licensed property in which beer could be drunk by the public) for at least thirty years, however this was obviously not by him since he was only 23 at the time. In the 1850s Jesse Beckett had operated the “Littleworth Brewery” and beerhouse but had his application for a spirit license declined in 1857. Two years before the official license was issued the wife of “Mr Edmund Rogers of the Sportmans Arms” (also a butcher like Edward Sayell) gave birth, which suggests the name of Sportsmans Arms may have been in use for the property prior to it officially being a public house.
The turnover of licensees at this location appears to have been fairly brisk in comparison to the other Wing pubs, here are some of the licensees I have located.
- 24 Aug 1868 to 20 Feb 1871 Edward Sayell
- 20 Feb 1871 to Aug 1872 Elizabeth Sayell
- 1874 to Dec 1881 George Bandy
- Oct 1886 to 10 Jan 1887 George Eames
- 10 Jan 1887 George V Mockett
- 1887 Robert Davidson
- Jun 1888 Henry Gill
- to 5 Jan 1891 Robert Clarke
- 5 Jan 1891 to 2 Nov 1891 James Cane
- 2 Nov 1891 to Oct 1892 John Hurd
- 1895 to 2 Nov 1896 F. J. Pinfold
- 2 Nov 1896 to 6 Dec 1897 Joseph Robert Boyland
- 6 Dec 1897 to 3 Jul 1899 Miss Mary Boyland
- 3 Jul 1899 Walter Page
- Mar 1901 to 1904 James Wyatt
- 1907 to Oct 1911 Edward Sinkler Huntsman
- Oct 1911 to Jun 1912 Elizabeth Huntsman
- Jun 1912 Thomas Heydon
- 1913 Mr Attley
- 1916 Larman Albert Engledon
- 1924 Frank Wootton
- 1928 Frederick Wootton
- 1931 Mrs Eliza Wootton
- 1935 to 1936 Ernest J Pattendon
Henry Pettit, who appeared in support of the original licence being granted in 1868, was hardly an uninterested party, he actually owned the place! Henry was a Leighton Buzzard solicitor so it’s possible this ownership was in a professional capacity as trustee of a will rather than privately, however the Pettit family had numerous ties to the liquor industry, owning other pub buildings in the region, and James Pettit & Co (his deceased father’s company) was operating as a wine merchant and the local agent for the Bass Ratcliff & Gretton brewery. Henry’s brother-in-law was D.J. Welburn, the curate at All Saints Church in Wing in the 1860s.
On 17 August 1880 the pub, which was then let to Ashdown Bros for £21 per annum, was sold at auction to Wroughton & Threlfall, brewers of Aylesbury, for £380.
There were both births and deaths at the Sportsmans Arms in its capacity as home of the proprietor in family. In May 1868 the birth of the Sayell’s new baby daughter was announced – note that this recorded as taking place at the Sportsmans Arms, although the license was not granted until later that year. Baby Emily then died in 1870, and in February 1871 Edward himself died suddenly one evening aged 25 (the surgeon found ruptured blood vessels at the base of the brain). In 1892 John Hurd’s wife Eliza died there. In non-human news from June 1913 the hatching of a chicken with two bodies, one head, four legs and four wings was reported, as was its subsequent death (in October the same year there is a story that hopefully ended more happily about the cat at the Sportman’s Arms raising a baby chick alongside her two kittens). And in October 1911 proprietor Edward Sinkler Huntsman’s spell at the Sportmans Arms came to a sad end when he committed suicide. He was in debt to the Aylesbury Brewing Company (ABC) who then owned the pub (and continued to own it at least through to the 1980s) and had received his three months notice to vacate the premises. He was unable to recover amounts apparently owed to him so that he could pay ABC, and poisoned himself.
Licenced victualler lists
1577 Transcript of return of vintners, innholders and alehousekeepers in Buckinghamshire
D-X423/1 1577 held at Buckinghamshire Archives
Wing (cum membris)
Richard Godfry Alehousekeepers
William Taylor Alehousekeepers
1752 Buckinghamshire licenced victuallers
Cock – Thomas Healy
Royal Oak – Guy Rickard
Six Bells – Francis Collicut
Queenshead – Robert Cheshire
Faulcon – Thomas Scott
Horse & Jockey – Edward Ebbs
White Horse – William Prentice
No sign – Thos Shackley
1754 Buckinghamshire licenced victuallers
Cock – Thomas Healy
Six Bells – Francis Collicut
Queens Head – Robert Chessher
Faulcon – Thomas Scott
Horse & Jockey – Edward Ebbs
White Horse – Wm Prentice
No sign– Guy Rickard
No sign – Thomas Shackley
1784 Buckinghamshire licenced victuallers
Cock & Stags Head – Thos Heley
Royal Oak – Guy Rickett
Queens Head – William Windmill
1792 Buckinghamshire licenced victuallers
Cock & Stags Head – Thomas Heley
Royal Oak – Ann Rickard
Queens Head – William Windmill
1821 Buckinghamshire licenced victuallers
Cock – William Mortimer
Royal Oak – William Bone
Six Bells – Elizabeth Denchfield
Queens Head – John Winmill
1827 licenced victuallers
Rebecca Bone, widow – Royal Oak – surety Isaac Hare & Edward Lucas, both Wingrave
Elizabeth Denchfield – Six Bells – surety George Denchfield and Thomas Heley, both Wing
William Mortimer – Cock – surety William Wyatt of Wing
John Windmill – Queen’s Head – surety Isaac Hare of Wingrave
1872 Beer Houses of Buckinghamshire
Cock (license first granted over 50 years) – Thomas Stevens – owner Mrs Fountain of Plank House Dorset
Dove (1853) – Joseph Rogers – owner Joseph Rogers of Wing
Queen’s Head (license first granted over 50 years) – Henry Windmill – owner E.M.M. Lucas of Rowsham
Royal Oak (license first granted over 50 years) – Seth Denchfield – owner E.M.M. Lucas of Rowsham
Six Bells (license first granted over 50 years) – Hannah Denchfield – owner E.M.M. Lucas of Rowsham
Sportsman’s Arms (1868) – Elizabeth Sayell – owner James Pettit of Leighton Buzzard, leaseholder Messrs Ashdown of Leighton Buzzard
none (1866) – William Bolton – owner John Gates of Wing