Biggleswade’s London Road pubs

White Lion just before closure PNL-150906-103627001
White Lion just before closure PNL-150906-103627001
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The Yorkshire Grey at 140 London Road, Biggleswade was built for Wells & Co, Biggleswade Brewery in 1839 on a plot of land known as Gallows Ditch next to The Union Workhouse. It was fully licensed to cope with passing trade on the Great North Road that then came right through the town.

Considerable alterations were carried out between 1953 and 1965 and again in 1987. More recently, in 1997 the pub became a Greene King Hungry Horse that now includes Flame Grill.

Yorkshire Grey inn c.1890 PNL-150906-103639001

Yorkshire Grey inn c.1890 PNL-150906-103639001

Just 300 yards to the north is the former White Lion pub at 108 London Road which dates back to circa 1790. Wells & Co, Biggleswade Brewery purchased it from John Hill Day, The Priory Brewery of St Neots who had surplus pubs for sale. When Lord George Sanger arrived in Biggleswade with his huge circus in 1891, he pitched on Mr Page’s field opposite the Yorkshire Grey whose licensee was Michael Mooney. Levi Brown then successfully applied to the magistrates for a late licence at The White Lion for the express purposes of catering for the circus employees.

The White Lion had a parlour, bar, cellar and six letting bedrooms, plus a granary, stabling for six horses, shop, yard and garden. The original intention was to close it, but it continued trading until 1957. The last licensees were Mr and Mrs Frank Housden. Now a private house, a detached garage was added in 1994.

Wells & Winch Ltd purchased a house, farmyard and orchard at 59 London Road, intending to build a super public house after WW2. This did not materialise and an onion loft on the site was burned down in in 1952. The property was sold to Jack Bygraves who established his garage business there in 1954.

Thanks go to Ken Page for this history of London Road pubs.