|From the north, the first house on the right was The Barley Mow|
There is a long history of an inn on the site of the Barley Mow going back to the 14th century when it was called Grik's Herber (The Greek's Auberge). We are not told the location in the deed of 1317 but we an infer it from 17th century documents which locate this parcel of land here and call it "Gregg's Arbour". Being on the west side it was part of the Calverton manor but during the 13th century, when there were a number of disputes between the de Veres and the de Wovertons, Sir John de Wolverton acquired a strip of land on the west side to safeguard his market tolls.
It was on record as The Angel in 1677 but by 1770 it was known as The Barley Mow - a name it kept until it was converted to a private residence. It is quite possible that its tenure as The Angel did not last long. At the time the manor changed hand in 1713, Gregg's Arbour was "in Sir Edward's hands" and in succeeding years it was leased by one of the millers, with mooring rights. So while there has been a long history of an inn on this site, it should not be assumed that there was continuity. We might guess that as roads improved in the 18th century some entrepreneurial spirit decided to try his hand once more and the new inn was named The Barley Mow.
|The Plough on the left in the 1930|
Which brings me to another curiosity. In 1629 Lettice Ashby, the widow of William Ashby, transferred her lease for The Angel Inn, east side, to Richard Hearne. In the course of this deed we learn that it had been originally leased by Sir Henry Longueville in 1613 to George Walton, a saddler. We can't necessarily assume that George Walton ran it as an alehouse, although he could have combined both jobs. Richard Hearne does not make a further appearance and there is no mention of The Angel in any early 18th century documents.
One last fragment of information: in 1700 Sir Edward Longueville sold n inn known as The Gate to one Joseph Bird. Sir Frank Markham has determined that this lay at 12 High Street and was demolished during rebuilding in 1872. Given its location near the beginning of the town this might well have been the former Angel.
On balance I incline to the idea of The Gate being the location of the former Angel. The location does fit in with the reported tale of there being two Angels at the entrance to both towns and it is possible that the Angel survived through various owners in the 17th century before Joseph Bird, coming into a more secular age, decided to modernise the name.
|On the right hand side, the location of The Gate and possible site of The Angel.|