The Nag's Head (39 Sheep Street)

39 Sheep Street became a pub in 1832 but the building itself is rather older. The Nag's Head apparently prospered because it was next to Dudleys' sale yard where livestock markets were held until 1881 (most of it is now the pub car park). It is now Winslow's third-oldest surviving pub. The building was listed Grade II in 1984 and described like this:

Public house. C18. Red and vitreous brick, first floor band course,
colour washed plinth, moulded brick eaves. Old tile roof, flanking
brick chimneys. 2 storeys, 2 bays. Ground floor has canted bay
windows with barred sashes. First floor has small 6-pane sashes.
Central 6-panelled door has C19 wooden surround of pilasters with
incised lines and small cornice hood on cut scroll brackets. Blind
window panel above with painted inn sign.

Colour postcard of Sheep Street
The Nag's Head is beyond the tree in the centre of the photo; you can see the bay windows

It can first be identified in documents from 1781:

1781: Land Tax
William King (owner), Paul Parkins (occupier): 4s 1d

1781: Fire insurance

Sun Insurance 11936/302/461932
William King of Winslow carpenter [policy includes the following]  
One house separate in the tenure of Paul Perkins  thatched £50
Barn separate  thatched £20

1784: Will of William King, proved 1795
I Give and Devise unto my said Daughter Sarah wife of Anthony Ridgeway All that my Copyhold Messuage or Tenement situate in Sheep Street in Winslow aforesaid now or late in the Occupation of Paul Parkins

1786:  Land Tax
William King (owner) Edward Smith (occupier): 4s 5d

1795: Manor court
William King late of Winslow carpenter held a copyhold messuage in Sheep Street late in the occupation of Paul Perkins and now of [  ] Clarke widow.  He died since last court.  By his will dated 9 April 1784 he devised it unto his daughter Sarah wife of Anthony Ridgeway for her life, then the heirs of her body, or his own heirs.  Sarah is admitted tenant.

1795 Land Tax [part of the original premises must have been separated as the tax was reduced; this was either to make no.41 a separate dwelling or because the land which later became the sale yard was sold off]
Late Wm King A. Ridgway (owners), Widow Clark (occupier): 3s 6d

1805 & 1814: Land Tax
Anthony Ridgway (owner), Jos. Seweing (occupier): 3s 6d

1823: Land Tax
Anthony Ridgway (owner & occupier): 3s 6d

Circa 1832 painted on front of Nag's Head1827: Burial of Anthony Ridgway aged 75 at Winslow

1832: Land Tax
Sarah Ridgway (owner), Robert P Harding (occupier): house, 3s 6d

1832: Burial of Robert P. Harding at Little Horwood
He was a plumber & glazier with a shop at 10 High Street (see advert below), and it seems that his wife Lydia started the Nag's Head.

1832: Northampton Mercury, 3 & 17 November

TO LET,
WITH IMMEDIATE POSSESSION,
A SHOP and PREMISES, suitable for a PLUMBER & GLAZIER, situate at WINSLOW, Bucks, commanding an extensive business of 23 years’ establishment – is every way adapted for an increase in business – and the coming-in is moderate.
Apply, post paid, to Mrs. ROBT. HARDING, Nag’s Head, Winslow.

1833: Burial of Sarah Ridgway aged 75 at Winslow

1833: Manor court
William King of Winslow carpenter held a messuage in Sheep Street formerly in the occupation of Paul Perkins late of Sarah Ridgeway and now of Widow Harding.  By his will of 1784 he devised it to his daughter Sarah wife of Anthony Ridgeway for her life, then to the heirs of her body.  She was admitted 1794, died since the last court, leaving William Ridgeway of Paddington carpenter & joiner her eldest son and heir.  He desires to be admitted.  Rent 3d, fine 5s

1834: Manor court
At the last court William Ridgeway of Paddington carpenter & joiner was admitted as eldest son & heir of Sarah Ridgeway to a messuage in Sheep Street now in the occupation of Henry Cheney.  Now he & Sarah his wife for £100 paid by Matthew King of Winslow gamekeeper surrender to him for the purpose of barring all estates tail.  Rent 3d, fine 5s.
[The last clause was inserted to break the entail under William King's will.]

1838: Register of Electors
Elector: Matthew King. Qualification: Copyhold house, Henry Cheney tenant

Side view of Nag's Head1838-43: Church rates
Henry Cheney

1839: Robson's Directory
Chaney, Henry ..... Beer Retailer

1841: Census
Henry Cheney, publican, aged 45(+), Jemima Cheney aged 45, Eliza Read aged 21

The photo of the Nag's Head on the right shows that the roof is much more steeply pitched at the front than at the back, the opposite of the arrangement found at e.g. 14 High Street. The use of clay tiles to replace thatch indicates that the reroofing was done before the arrival of the railway made slate available.

1842: Manor court, 19 April
Matthew King of Winslow gamekeeper held a messuage now used as a public house called the Nags Head in Sheep Street, formerly in the occupation of Paul Perkins, afterwards Sarah Ridgeway widow & Widow Harding, now Henry Cheney. ... He died intestate leaving William King of Abbotts Langley gent his eldest brother & customary heir.  William desires to be admitted. 

1842: Will of William King made 28 April, proved 30 Aug 1843 (National Archives, PROB 11/1984/154):
I William King of the parish of Abbots Langley ... nominate and appoint my two friends David Gibbs of Abbots Langley baker and John Honnor of the same place (now in the service of James Mure Esquire as Bailiff) executors ... whereas I am seized of ... certain copyhold hereditaments ... situate at Winslow ... consisting of a messuage tenement or public house with the yards and other the premises and appurtenances thereto belonging called the Nags Head now in the occupation of Henry Chaney ... [The trustees are to sell as soon as possible; proceeds to be equally divided between his sons William & John King and 4 daughters.]

1844: Manor court
William King of Abbotts Langley gent held a messuage in Sheep Street now used as a  public house called the Nags Head, formerly in occ of Paul Perkins, afterwards Sarah Ridgway widow & Widow Harding, now Henry Cheney. ... He made his will on 28 April 1842, and ppointed his friends David Gibbs & John Honour executors & trustees, and directed them to sell.  Under an indenture of bargain & sale of 10 Nov 1843 between them and Edward Terry of Aylesbury common brewer the hereditaments were conveyed in consideration of £400.  Now Edward Terry desires to be admitted.  Rent 3d, fine 5s.

Map showing Nag's Head and sale yardHenry Cheney must have lost his job when an Aylesbury brewery took over (he was gardener at Selby Villa in 1851). A rapid succession of landlords followed including two Charles Keys, father and son. The plan on the right is from the 1880 OS 25 inch map. The pub eventually came into the ownership of the Aylesbury Brewery Company. Terry's Brewery also acquired The Bull and The King's Head.

Church rates
1843-45: Francis Hurst
1845-46: William Lomath

1845: Bucks Herald, 28 June
Licence transferred from F. Hurst to William Lomath.

Church rates
1846-53: Charles Keys

1851: Census
Sheep Street, Nags Head
Eliza Keys was nee Lomath.

Charles Keys Head mar 37 Cordwainer & publican b. Mursley
Eliza Keys Wife mar 41 Shoe binder b. Winslow
John Keys Son   14 Shoemaker journeyman b. Winslow
Charles Keys Son   12 Scholar b. Winslow
Harriett Keys Dau   6 Scholar b. Winslow
Sarah Ann Keys Dau   5 Scholar b. Winslow
Eliza Keys Dau   1   b. Winslow
Francis Coleman Lodger unm 43 Drover b. Turweston

1853: Musson & Craven's Directory
Kays Charles, victualler, “Nag’s Head,” Sheep street [=Keys]

1853: Bucks Herald, 23 July
Nag’s Head indorsed to John [=William] White.
Charles Keys moved to The Stag, which was kept by him or his son Thomas until 1896.

Church rates
1853-64: William White

1861: Census
Sheep Street, Nags Head

William White Head mar 50 Horse breaker b. Lt Horwood
Hannah White Wife mar 37   b. Witchampton, Dorset
Eliza White Dau unm 17 Dressmaker b. Lt Horwood
Sarah White Dau   9 Scholar b. Whaddon

1864: Post Office Directory
White, William, Nag’s Head, Sheep street

1864: Bucks Herald, 3 Sep
Winslow Licensing Session on 30 Aug: Licence of the Nag's Head transferred to Charles Keys [son of the previous landlord].

1871: Census
Sheep Street
This Eliza Keys was nee Biggs.

Charles Keys Head mar 31 Cordwainer & innkeeper b. Winslow
Eliza Keys Wife mar 30   b. Launton
William Keys Son   4 Scholar b. Winslow
Edith Keys Dau   3 Scholar b. Winslow
Charles E. Keys Son   1   b. Winslow
Harriett Viccars -   12 General servant b. Winslow
Joseph Verney - wid 77 Hurdle maker b. Whittlebury

1871: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 12 Sep
  PUBLICANS’ RESTRICTIONS.- At the petty sessions last week, Charles Keys, licensed victualler, Winslow, was charged with selling beer during prohibited hours, on Sunday morning, the 6th of August.  Police-sergeant Clear said: On Sunday morning, August 6, at half-past ten he went to defendant’s premises by the back way, and found three men with a glass and jug of beer on the table.  This was the first offence and there had been no previous complaint.  Defendant said a sheep had been left in Mr. Dudley’s yard for three or four days without anything to eat or drink.  On Sunday morning Mr. Ridgway and his man came to look at the sheep, and the man being hot and thirsty, and having travelled a long way, Mr. Ridgway told him to fetch some beer.  Defendant was out, but his wife served him.  Had he been at home he should have done the same.  The Bench said if defendant could not abide with the terms of his license he had better give up keeping a house.  Fined 18s. 6d.

1872: Return of Public Houses
Nag's Head: first licensed 1832; occupier Charles Keys; owners Wroughton & Threlfall, Aylesbury

1877: Post Office Directory
White, Thomas, Nag’s Head, Sheep street

1881: Buckingham Advertiser, 15 Jan
HAND IN HAND BENEFIT SOCIETY.- A general meeting of this Society was held at the Market Room of the Nags Head Inn, on Tuesday, January 4th.  After the transaction of the usual business, and the balloting in of a new member, a short financial statement was read, showing the Society to be in a prosperous state, having an increasing balance at the Bank and no member on the sick list.   The health of the Secretary and the Trustees was proposed in cordial terms, and seconded by Mr. Joseph Edwins, and briefly acknowledged by the Secretary, and by Mr George Verney, on behalf of the Trustees.

1881: Census
Sheep Street, Nag's Head

Thomas White Head mar 50 Innkeeper b. Wotton Underwood
Charlotte White Wife mar 38   b. Dulwich
Walter White Son   13 Scholar b. Camberwell
Alice Luckin Dau   12 Scholar b. Marylebone

1882: Bucks Herald, 8 April
The Nag's Head Inn, Winslow, adjoining Messrs. Dudley & Son's sale yard, to let.

1883: Post Office Directory
White, Henry, Nag’s Head, Sheep street

1886: Buckingham Advertiser, 10 April
Sale of furniture at the Nag's Head Inn for Mr Albert Dixon, who is leaving.

1886: Buckingham Advertiser, 3 July
Winslow Petty Sessions: Licence transferred to George Wilden [or Wilding] Bird.

1890: Bucks Herald, 3 May
LOCAL DIVORCE CASE.- In the Divorce Court on Saturday, before Mr. Justice Butt, the case of Dixon v. Dixon was heard.- Mr. Middleton appeared for the petitioner, who sought a divorce by reason of the desertion and adultery of her husband, Mr. Albert Dixon.  There was no defence. – The parties were married in 1873, at which time the respondent was a farmer.  There was one child.  Several quarrels took place between the husband and wife, owing to his conduct with women.  On Dec. 29th, 1884, while staying at St. Albans, he left her, stating that he was going to Aylesbury to look for a public-house;  but he never returned.  She afterwards got a letter stating that he was in America.   In January, 1886, however, she obtained information that he was at Winslow.  She came here, and at the Nag’s Head Public-house she found that he was living with another woman.  From there they went to Lewes, where he now kept a fish shop, the woman living with him.- The case stood over from Thursday, as one of the witnesses was not present.  At the request of the learned Judge, Mrs. Dixon was now re-called when she denied that she had travelled with her husband since March, 1886.- Mr. Justice Butt: The reason I ask the question is because I have received a telegram purporting to come from the respondent.  It might have given a clue which would have been valuable so as to prevent collusion.  I do not accept it in face of the denial, because the respondent has entered no defence, and he had no business to send a telegram at all.   The telegram may now be torn up.  I might say that I receive telegrams and “all sorts of things” in relation to cases.   In one instance I was asked for a divorce by return of post.  (Laughter.)  In this case there will be a decree nisi, with costs.

1891: Census
Sheep Street, Nag's Head

George W. Bird Head mar 52 Licensed Victualler b. Chelmsford
Martha Bird Wife mar 38   b. Ireland

1899: Death of Martha Bird aged 45

1901: Census
Sheep Street, Nag's Head

George Cater Head mar 40 Innkeeper b. Whitlington, Norfolk
Julia do Wife mar 42   b. Hethe, Oxon
Daisy do Dau   3   b. St George's, London
Florence A. Jarraud Visitor   11   do
Harriet Waters Servant unm 34   b. Stratford, London

1902: Buckingham Advertiser, 1 March
Winslow Petty Sessions, 26 Feb: Licence transferred from George Carter [=Cater] to Arthur Crumley [sic].

1903: Kelly's Directory
Crumby Arthur, Nag’s Head P.H. Sheep street

1905: Buckingham Advertiser, 28 Oct
Winslow Petty Sessions, 25 Oct: Licence transferred from Arthur Crumby to Donald Broad.

Nag's Head with sign for D. Broad
Donald Broad (presumably the man on the doorstep) was also a carriage builder

1907: Landlord was Charles William Harrison.

1911: Census
Sheep Street, Nag's Head: 8 rooms

Charles Harrison Head mar 54 Licensed Victualler b. London
Annie Harrison Wife mar 60 Assisting in business b. Ramsgate
married 21 years, 2 children, 1 living
Beatrice Harrison Dau unm 19 Assisting in business b. London
Henry Hillier Boarder unm 37 Groom b. Devizes

1913: Buckingham Advertiser, 29 March
Winslow Petty Sessions, 20 March: Licence transferred to Henry Gell of Watford.

1913: Buckingham Advertiser, 25 Oct
Winslow Petty Sessions, 17 Oct: Licence transferred to Ernest Hubbocks.

Sheep Street looking west
The Nag's Head sign is immediately above the man with the bicycle

1924: Kelly's Directory
Hubbocks, Ernest Lawrence, Nag's Head P.H., Sheep st.

1928: Kelly's Directory
Berrey, Geo., Nag's Head P.H., Sheep st.

1932: Buckingham Advertiser, 3 Dec
Winslow Petty Sessions: Licence transferred from George Berrey to Thomas Ansell.

1939: Register
George Ansell, b.1866, Licensee + wife Florence Ansell, b.1884

1944: Accounts of Eric Hancock, agricultural contractor
Frank Warner of the Nag's Head was a customer.

1949: Buckingham Advertiser, 9 April
The death has occurred of Mr. George Thomas Ansell, for many years licensee of the Nag's Head, Winslow. He was 81.

1949: Official Guide to Winslow had an advert for the Nag's Head.

Copyright 20 August, 2020