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 old Woburn Sands. I found it was the story of an inn with three different names, in two different locations, with one family involved for over 115 years.
Above 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.
|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.|
|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.|
|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||Father and son who also ran the Wheatsheaf in Bow Brickhill.|
|3rd May 1999||20th Sep. 2021||Kevin Brewer, then his son Dominic Brewer||Major internal and external refurbishment and remodelling completed in 1999. Further refurbishment and remodelling in 2014, renamed to Fir Tree Inn.|
|20th Sep. 2021||Emilie Geary||Refurbished and redecorated before reopening.|
…*By the way, my girlfriend was obviously impressed with the efforts I made to find her an answer, as she married me!
Page last updated Sep. 2021.