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William ALLEN [1271] was a master baker his address in 1851 was Sturches Row. In his book “Chipping Norton Inns” (published by Chipping Norton Museum of Local History, revised 2004) Dennis Lewis states that a deed dated 6th Aug 1857 shows William ALLEN is living in a private dwelling house, that used to be across the bottom of the cattle market, that had been a public house known as The Rising Sun. On the 1871 census he was a master baker living in High Street

He next appears in Harrod & Co’s Directory for 1876 as the innkeeper at The Chequers, Spring Street. However he had been granted a licence in 1873 for The Newmarket Inn. This inn adjoined The Fox and The Red Lion the three pubs forming a corner of the Market Place, known locally as “Hell Corner.”

Although William ALLEN owned The Newmarket,  Henry STANDLEY was the Landlord in 1873-1874. A Henry James STANLEY born 1847 was in directories from 1887-1901 at The Three Tuns. A Henry STANLEY was at the Red Lion in 1857 (Lewis. Chipping Norton Inns) but he appears to move to Aston as a blacksmith by 1861.

William ALLEN was the Landlord from 1881-1886 (Lewis 2004) he is an Inn Keeper in High Street on the 1881 census but the premise is not named. In 1891 he is listed as a retired Baker

William’s Will was dated 20 July 1888 he says he is formerly an innkeeper now out of business. He does not mention The Chequers but directed that The Newmarket was to be sold after the death of his wife along with other property in Spring Street. Mary Ann ALLEN nee BETTERTON died December quarter 1894 and the pub was duly sold 23rd January 1895 to a Banbury brewer for £615.

The name Chequers probably refers to the berries of the Chequers or Wild Service tree (Sorbus torminalis) which were used to flavour beer before the use of hops. Occasionally the pub name refers to a coat of arms of a local land owner. Before 1794 the Chequers had been known as The Blue Anchor, Tyte End (not to be confused with the Blue Anchor 29 High Street which was a later establishment.) William ALLEN was living in Tyte End in 1841.The Chequers is still open.

William ALLEN [6396] son of William [1271] moved to Slough and is described as a tin plate worker and beer retailer in 1871 he eventually became a gas fitter and no longer needed to supplement his pay by selling beer.

The Chequers, Spring Street / Goddards Lane and The Newmarket Inn, High Street, Chipping Norton.

Photograph from “Chipping Norton Inns by Dennis Lewis” and used with kind permission of the publisher The Chipping Norton Museum of  Local History Showing the Inns pre 1893

This photograph taken in 2005 by Christopher Allen shows the former Newmarket Inn

Used with the permission of the photographer.


The Red Lion was demolished about 1893 to make way for the road.


The Three Horseshoes, Banbury Road, Kidlington

Thomas ELLARD [997] was the Publican from 1889 until his death in 1890 when his wife took over. In 1891 Elizabeth ELLARD [2301] was the innkeeper eventually retiring in 1894. Thomas was the grandson of Thomas and Mary GILES of the Bell, Hampton Poyle.  

The Three Horseshoes is described as a large stone built house first used as a public house. It was first kept in the mid 1750s by William and Elizabeth WOODWARD. (“Banbury Road”, a book published by The Kidlington District History Society). In the Quarter Sessions book 1753-1772 which records the Victuallers Recognances William WOODWARD is granted a licence regularly from 1854 for either Thrupp or Kidlington within the Hundred of Wootton. At that time the premises were not named. We have WOODWARD ancestors in the area but as yet can not prove that this is the William [7296] born 1721 in Kidlington son of. Thomas and Mary nee SIMMONDS (direct line)

The house is  now a private residence on the Kidlington to Thrupp road.

The Bell, Cassington

The first mention of a family member in this pub was in the 1864 Post Office Directory. Listed under Inns & Taverns was Bell T. DUNSBY Cassington. On the 1871 census Mary DUNSBY [8614] nee SEELEY was the licensed victualler living with her husband Thomas [8570], who was a shoemaker, at The Bell, Cassington. It appears that Mary was keeping the pub while Thomas continued with the shoemaking. Was Thomas or Mary the licensee?

There is an entry in the Harold & Co,’s Directory of Beds, Bucks....,1876 for Cassington reading ... DUNSBY Thomas, boot and shoe maker and vict.. “Bell Inn”.  From this it appears that Thomas took over as landlord after Mary died in 1873.

John PRICE from Glamorgan took over the Bell about 1880 (He had a son born in Oxford in 1879 or 1880) and Thomas DUNSBY was again a shoe maker on the 1881 census.

However this was not the last family connection with the pub as in 1901 George SAVINS [9380] and his wife Alice were keeping it. George was still continuing to work as a shepherd living at the pub on the 1901 census and is listed in Kelly’s 1903 directory as the publican of the Bell. George was a nephew of Emma GILES [1041] a daughter of Thomas GILES of the Bell, Hampton Poyle.

Upper and lower Cassington are on opposite banks of a small stream which divides the village. The lower village centres on a small green, The Bell Inn was situated to the east of this green.

The Bell is mentioned in a web article which says that a stone dated 1688 was found at the Bell and it was one of five ale houses licensed in the 1750s and 1760s.(from Oxford Record Office, vctlrs' recogs) the others being The Chequers, The Red Lion, The Crown and the Masons Arms. The Bell closed and was converted into a private house in the late 1970s.

There is also a  good description of The Bell on the web in an account called “Childhood Memories from the last century by Dorothy Waters”

It is not known if Thomas DUNSBY used the Bell for his shoe trade or if he had a separate workshop but from Dorothy Water’s account  Mr Pancott had a shop at the inn at the start of World War 2.

Thomas DUNSBY was a first cousin once removed of Mary DUNSBY [975] the wife of Thomas GILES of The Bell Hampton Poyle. Thomas and Mary DUNSBY’s son Edward [8615]  married Mary TAUNT [8622] who was the daughter of Joseph TAUNT and Harriet nee SMITH [10096] who owned the Six Bells, Kidlington from 1832-1856.

See also

Site layout and content © 2007-2018  Eric & Hazel McMullin Except where noted.

The Bell, Hampton Poyle  1990 by Eric McMullin


After Mary the next publican in the Bell was John YOUNG [4658] who had married Eliza the widow of Thomas’ nephew William GILES [1128] John YOUNG died in 1890 and Eliza continued as innkeeper of the Bell at least until the 1901 she died in 1914.

The Bell, Hampton Poyle

In the Quarter sessions book 1787-1800, held at Oxford Record Office, Thomas HOWELL has the licence for The Bell. The first recorded family connection with the Bell is in 1835 when J. Clements held an auction on 7th December 1835 at “Mr. Giles’s, the sign of the Bell in Hampton Poyle.”

Thomas GILES [1072] was recorded as an innkeeper on his son, Thomas’s marriage on 3 Nov 1851. Before this Thomas had been recorded as a higgler or an eggler, collecting eggs from the neighbourhood and taking them to the market town for sale. He continued with this trade while being the landlord, as the Bell is little more than a cottage.

When Thomas died in 1865 his occupation was given as Dealer in Poultry and Publican.

Mary [975] his wife took over the licence until her death in 1870 then their unmarried daughter Mary [1061] took over as the innkeeper until her death in 1879.

Mary’s son Joseph [1048] eventually became the innkeeper of The Six Bells Inn in Kidlington.


Our first known family connection with the property was Joseph TAUNT [10099] who had bought it from John White in 1832. After his first wife died Joseph married Harriet SMITH [10097], a soldiers’s daughter 46 years younger than him! Joseph and Harriet had a daughter Mary born in 1830 she in turn married Edward DUNSBY [8615] a son of Thomas and Mary nee SEELEY who were keeping the Bell in Cassington at the time of the wedding. Joseph TAUNT owned the Beer House but had tenants running it. Known tenants during this time were Richard, William and John TOMS and William LONG up to 1852 and then John and Sarah LONG who were the tenants when Harriet sold the property in 1856 following her husbands death. Mrs Sarah LONG continued keeping the house until 1863.

Joseph GILES [1048], who was a 3rd cousin of Edward DUNSBY, moved from Hampton Poyle to Kidlington some time between 1871 and 1880 and took over as landlord. In Oct 1880 his occupation was given as publican at his daughter’s birth. He was a carrier as well as publican, the previous landlord William W.A.HEATH was publican and coal merchant and Joseph may have taken over both trades from Mr Heath as the Church Wardens accounts show that he was paid £1 for coal this may have been for the church as suggested in the leaflet or for distributing coal to the poor of the parish as we have found happening in other parishes (see Poor Law). There was a canal wharf locally where the coal was delivered to the village to be distributed by carters.

After Joseph GILES the pub passed to Abraham Taylor NEWPORT [10026] who was married to Fanny YOUNG, daughter of Richard YOUNG of the Dog in Kidlington who is on the 1891 census as publican. He had left by the 1901 census when a Fred BOWERMAN had taken up residence.

Our Oxfordshire Publicans have more than a peal of bells!

Six Bells, Kidlington; The Bell, Hampton Poyle; The Bell, Cassington; and more

The Six Bells, 70 Mill Street, Kidlington

The first record of this house is 1535 when it was The Harrow, a beer house situated on the opposite side of the road to the present establishment at no 61. The earliest known landlords were John Hitchcock and John Allen 1708-1727. It is not known if John Allen links to our tree. The present Inn was built after the enclosure map of 1818. The Landlords are listed from 1831 until 1997 in a leaflet prepared by Gerald J Graceley-Cox  for the Kidlington & District Historical Society.

Photograph taken 11 Sep 2010 by Eric McMullin