Saturday, February 16, 2013

Obscure Stony Stratford Inns - Part II

Following on from the previous post here are three more inns which make a brief appearance in Stony Stratford's history.

The Rowbuck Inn

This was leased to William Sheppard in 1642. That is is only appearance ever. It was on the Wolverton side and it might possibly have been the same building that appeared later in the century as The Queren's Head. We don't know that, but a change of name is more likely than the idea of an inn appearing out of nowhere and then disappearing.

The Crown Inn

This was leased in 1654 by Sir Edward Longueville together with "parts of Mill Meadow and Bridge Meadow, totalling two roods." Sir Frank Markham identifies this with the Crown on the Market Square, but I am not so sure. To start with I am not aware of the Longuevilles ever owning any land around the Market Square. Secondly the land attached to this lease is meadow on the east side of the Watling Street - in other words part of the Wolverton estate. Now although it was not unknown for innkeepers to lease fields in other parts of the manor it does seem odd in this instance for James Barnes to lease a property on the Square together with relatively small strips of land in the north east of Stony Stratford.
I am therefore inclined to believe that this was another Crown altogether, possibly in the north end of town on the east side. It was short lived because it does not appear in the documents of 1710-15 which detail all the leases associated with the Longueville estate.

The Bell

There was a Bell on the Square at one time, but this is not it. Again this was a lease from the Longuevilles on the east side. For the privilege he is paying 22s 8d per annum and two fat capons at Christmas. It is obviously more money than the rent for the Nags Head I wrote of in the previous post but falls way short of the £5 10s paid for the Queens Head, so my guess is that it was more of an alehouse than an inn.

Once more we cannot locate it. Pubs with the name The Bell are often found close to churches so it might have been in the vicinity of St Mary Magdalen.

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