By Bill Exley

My research of the Blunham Public Houses and Beer Houses of bygone years, came about by interesting conversatioms with an old Blunham Gent called Ernest Jeffries. We used to walk slowly up The Hill, due to his advanced years, and he would point out old sites to me with his walking stick. I then got the bug to compile a comprehensive listing of these sites using Bedford Archives and Records held at County Hall, together with visits to the Brewers of Charles Wells of Bedford and Greene King at Biggleswade, now closed down and replaced by an Asda Store.

The project started in 1985 taking a year with visits in my spare time after work at Texas Instruments Ltd (Then in Bedford) It was here due to our jobs I met Colin Hinson, the Web-Master for the Blunham Web Site. I came to the village in Dec. 1969 leaving Guernsey and Tektronix Ltd after 7 Years.. Later, around 1990, Colin kindly suggested that I publish my work ( then just neat Hard Copy) onto the Internet, with his help and Site, then after a few years, due to his own personal workload, gave me my own Editing responsibilities.

The Queen's Head closed as a pub in 1926. when Herbert Currant left it to go to The Horse Shoes for 30 yrs, however I have no evidence to show anyone else went in. Another slight twinge of doubt is the description for The Wheatsheaf, I assumed it was a Beerhouse and not a Pub for Beer sales, Beerhouses had no Bar, (See my Link to 'Misc & Mash' Ref 12) . I always thought that Beerhouses had phased out by the 1920's, though there were exceptions e.g. 'The Oak ' 1958 and the 'Quaint' Beerhouse in nearby Ravensden, The Case Is Altered. This was set amogst a row of cottages on a hill in the village, but sadly closed during the 1990's, always a popular Must visit by American visitors to Bedford. The room where you drank was like a Time Machine set in the 1950's, with Prints of our Royal Family, Flags and Ornaments of a bygone era.

Enter the 8 Links below to explore our Public House Histories, then English Fifty Pence Varieties, and other work, also a Thesis 'First Guernsey Sea Scouts' (1946 - 1953) by Bill Hill / Guernsey.

Addendum 22nd May 2012- There has been some speculation as to the existance of a 9th Pub in Blunham and upon further investigation , I have uncovered a White Hart Inn ( Public House/Beer House ? ) that was somewhere in Blunham village , to date the excact location remains a mystery. The owners were a William Astell & son Richard as mentioned in the Luton & Bedford archives of 1737. I have researched 'The White Hart' of the nearby village of Gt. Barford and this did not match. There is currently (in 2011) only one pub left in Blunham and that is -

The Horseshoes

In days gone by there were 7 other pubs in Blunham, shown in order of closing, plus Links to other work.


Greene King and Charles Wells Brewers
Bedford Borough Council Archives for access to records, Colin Hinson - for his expertise and inputs, Philippa Exley, John Lihou, Bill Hill, Guernsey Press Office and Geof Baker

Page last updated - 23/12/2019 - by Bill Exley.