Blunham Pubs: The Queen's Head

Charles Wells

By Bill Exley

Note the childen's Victorian clothes and adjoining cottages

The Queen' Head, now a private dwelling and formely 5, High Street, overlooks the village square and the start of The Hill. The name 'The Ragged Staff' is above its door, so preserving history of a bygone day. Any history of licensed premises in Blunham is complicated by the fact that there have been two seperate Pubs / Beerhouses both starting as the Ragged Staff and later The Salutation , so I will keep them seperate to avoid confusion.

The Queen's Head Beerhouse was originally called the Ragged Staff in the years prior to1786, then from 1786 until 1847 it was called The Salutation . This original Ragged Staff (or Q.H.) was a Beerhouse, see my link / The Beerhouse, ref 12, serving pints well ‘before’ 1846, but these records were not found.

It is interesting to see from my records researched of Blunham Pubs / Beerhouses, that the tenancies changed hands many times after short periods. The owners even took the previous name with them on a move, as regards The Salutation being renamed The Old Salutation trying to attract their regulars to follow. There were many, many Land workers, as farming was so labour intensive and reliant on man power, before the advent of machinery. All were regular drinkers due to the very nature of their work using most of the 8 village ’drinking holes’. This Beer House was formely called The Ragged Staff changing to The Salutation in 1786 and finally The Queen's Head sign outside from 1847 to c.1925 when it closed it's doors.

Henry Usher sells The Salutation for £345 to a Joseph Lovell 1846-1865
1st Licence granted and re named The Queen's Head 1847
Lovell sells the Inn to a Herbert, Albury Dunnage 1865-1869
Oliver Steed , Brewers of Baldock  
James Boness (Bonus ?) 1869-1889
Robert Beadle 1889-1891
Eliz. White 1891-1893
William John White 1893-1894
Records show a James John Kither and
Jane Arthur [Arthur Jane?] were domicile in 1894
William James Phipper (Kither?) 1894-1897
Sold to Charles Wells, Bedford Brewers
William Giggle 1897-1904
Mrs Hannah Giggle 1904-1908
Grandad and Grandmum of a Mr Brown, Gamekeeper at Tempsford Hall  
John Burton 1908-1914
Herbert Currant
Herbert Currant then moves to The Horseshoes pub for a 30 years stay

The Queen’s Head is sold by Chas. Wells to a father & son ‘both’ called Harry Thom. Dennis then Closes . between :


The 'Q.H.' site was also locally known as ' The Police House' and as such occupied by -

PC Harry Ashton and family 1927-1934
P.C. Whitemore, then P.C. Jack Frith and families 1934-1942
Henry, Stanley Green ( fm Great Barford) 1942-1957
Peter and Rosalie Davis Oct 1957 to 1983


My researches into the origin of the local Pub name "The Ragged Staff" used by two Pubs, led me all the way back to 1268 and the coat of arms of the Earls of Warwickshire. It is here we find within the Quarterings of the shield, a Bear and Ragged Staff (A ragged staff is from the branch of a ‘young’ tree stripped of its leaves). There is no obvious local historical connection, as I first thought, but a nationwide usage of the Pub names "The Bear" or "Ragged Staff" in general. The usage by a Public House/Beerhouse in olden days, was to show allegiance to the King. -- Bill Exley - Nov 15th / .2011.

O - O - O

Answer to 'Cell of Doom' - Ref 15 'Misc & Mash'., The Question the prisoner deduces is "will you ask your mate which door do I walk out of to my Freedom" ? What ever answer he gets from 'any' Guard, he will Reverse it, so he walks out to certain Freedom. Assume he asks Gd/1 and say he is the truthfull one, he asks Gd/2 (the Liar) he gets a lie and our Gd/1 repeats the reply he got, to our prisoner, who now Reverses it, so walks out. So it must apply in the reverse assumption of Guard choice. / Back to Misc and Mash , if Req .

Page last updated - 3rd Jan 2021 - by Bill Exley

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Page last updated by Bill Exley 29th June, 2012 .