Nostalgia: The Last one still standing

PARTS of the White Horse at 1 High Street are more than 300 years old. The pub was originally known as The Last and identified in the 1691 Hearth Tax Return when George Magoon occupied it. He was described as a cordwainer (shoemaker) and a last is still

PARTS of the White Horse at 1 High Street are more than 300 years old.

The pub was originally known as The Last and identified in the 1691 Hearth Tax Return when George Magoon occupied it.

He was described as a cordwainer (shoemaker) and a last is still the main shoemakers' tool, so that is where the name originated.

Samuel Wells, the Biggleswade brewer, purchased the property in 1771.


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The brewery became Wells and Co in 1830 then Wells and Winch Ltd in 1899.

It amalgamated with Greene King in 1961 and the pub is still a Greene King house.

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In 1823 another White Horse in High Street closed and the name transferred to the present building.

In 1839 John Robins, who carried goods from Potton to Bedford and Northampton, called each Tuesday.

There is evidence that the site was in multi-occupation from time to time. Robert Holland was a coach painter in the yard from 1861 to 1881

When Arthur Stoten took over the pub in July 1897 he advertised:

Noted Ales & Stout, Wines & Spirits of the finest quality.

Ham & Beef 6 pence (3p) a plate.

Good accommodation for Cyclists.

Don't forget it when you come to Biggleswade Fete!

Arthur Stoten was also a tailor and ran a grocers shop in 1897.

A travelling bazaar at the pub was advertised in 1899 with 25,000 articles for sale at 6 pence (3p) each.

An American bazaar advertised in 1902.

Elias Carter, builder, decorator and plumber operated from the yard in 1910, but moved to Hitchin Street in 1914.

The large clubroom on the first floor was used by the Oddfellows (a friendly society) and by many other local groups.

Considerable alterations were carried out to the pub in 1982 but some of the original wooden construction was retained.

The pub was refurbished again in 1998.

Nowadays it is still a busy town pub occupying the original site, but the licensee no longer has a garden in Chapel Fields.

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