Mount Bures Community Web Site


Thatchers Arms Public House

Who sold Beer first in the village ?

Before the 1900`s there were very few licensed Public Houses in villages and towns. They were instead called Beerhouses or Brewhouses.
They could be located in shops and private houses where beer was brewed and sold. Beer was brewed on the premises stored in barrels and dispensed by a stone jug.
Beerhouses were so prolific, that it`s very doubtful if they were ever fully recorded.

(a) Original site of the Thatchers Arms:
The land on which it stands was known as the "Rumpes". It can be dated back to 1501 when it was owned by John Intelsham

During this time "The Rumpes" consisted of a cottage and 5 acres of land.
In 1840 it was subsequently owned by Thomas Newman, Miller of Boxted and his wife Rebecca.

NB:- the map indicates the position of "Rumpes" and the cottage, however the "Inn" did not exist at this time.

Before Thomas died in 1851, he sold in 1843 to his son John Newman for £7.10.00, a plot of land amounting to 15 rods on which he built a pair of semi-detached cottages.

Apparently John Newman built some of the walls of flint for it has been reported, it`s nearly impossible to knock in nails for hanging fitments etc. We can only presume some of the material may have come from the railway.

NB:- The property on the map known as "Solliers" - this was the local Workhouse. In 1841 it was closed and sold to Mrs Mary Newman, wife of our John Newman, the miller.

However, the construction of the railway in 1848/9 resulted in:-
(a) Purchase of land throughout the Parish, including strips of land owned by the Newman family (Rumpes) by the Stour Valley Railway Company

(b) The need for an substantial Beerhouse to accommodate the thirsty workers.

The railway workers along the Mount Bures stretch of line had to walk into Bures to quench their thirst. It was downhill when heading for the Beerhouses and a refreshing drink, but the return journey uphill must have been a bit of a struggle. In any case this distance was a mere step compared to the miles some men had to walk from home each morning.
So around the time of the rail works in 1848, the cottages were most probably turned into a Brewhouse, obviously far more lucrative than income from rent


In 1857 Yocklettes Cottage was put up for Sale. The catalogue described it as a "Beerhouse and General Shop with cottage and 5 acres of land situated near the crossing of the Stour Valley Railway" >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

















(c) Records indicate that in 1601, Mary Wood was licensed to keep a Beerhouse in Mount Bures. The "Woods" family owned land somewhere in the region of Peartree Lane.

So there we have it, the first Beerhouse was in 1601 ! (ref Mt Bures Its Lands and People, page 107)

In 1863 it is recorded that James Deal incorporated a shop and it was occupied by William Birch (labourer) and Samuel Grimwood a school teacher. Whether the shop was ever a Beerhouse, is unknown.

However we know for certain in 1869, the the building (we now know as the Thatchers) was sold at auction at the Three Cups Hotel in Colchester as the "Thatchers Public House" with Charles Eley as the Licensee. This was the time it obtained its first full licence.
Some of the registered landlords or Licensees (they may not all have been the owners):-
1869 Charles Eley (Licensee)
1874/Charles Eley
1877/Jeremiah Pettitts (Licensee)

1878/Jeremiah Pettitts (Licensee)
1881/Henry Bull (Licensee)

1882/Henry Bull (Licensee)

Until 1884, the premises was actually located in the Parish of Bures Hamlet. In those days, Hamlet owned parcels of land all around Mount Bures including the site the Thatchers stands on and the field behind. The change came about on 24th March 1884, when the land was transferred into the parish of Mount Bures.
At some unknown date John Newman sold the Beerhouse to Mr Downes.

1886/Henry Bull

1891:- January 20th Newspaper report:- Richard Cook the innkeeper of the Thatchers Arms at Mount Bures was charged with unlawfully selling whisky without a licence. The landlords, Steward and Pattisson of Colchester and Norwich were negotiating a licence. To apologise and pay the costs
Census for 1891 states Sam (publican) and Harriot Adcock.

1892/ it`s presence in the village was assured, when Mrs Ann Downes (now widow) the current owner, conveyed the property over to Greene King, Brewers of Bury St Edmunds. The conveyance also included the two fields known as the "Rumps" (5 acres) and "Backhouse" (5 acres)
Commercial brewers like Greene King established in 1887, started to supply properly managed "Inns" and brought some form of standardisation and hygene to the drinking community.

1893/Sam Adcock (Licensee)
1895/Sam Adcock
1898/Sam Adcock
1899/Sam Adcock
1901/Sam Adcock
1902/Sam Adcock

1908/Sam Adcock
1909/Charles Newcombe Warner (Licensee)
1917/Harry Jaggs (Licensee)
1925/Harry Jaggs
1926/Cyril Cook (Licensee)

1933/Cyril Cook (Licensee)

1960/Cyril Cook died and the Licensee passed to his daughter Corrie (and husband Gerald Lock)

Rumpes cottage was purchased from Greene King by Ernest Chaplin, back into private ownership

Ida McMaster local Historian recorded in 1967:-

An outstanding festive occasion was arranged by the present landlord and his wife, Mr and Mrs Gerald Lock. A whole ox was roasted in the traditional manner on a large mechanical home made spit outdoors and tended by relays of willing helpers from early morning until the first revelers arrived in the evening. Dancing was provided in the nearby marquee with a specially prepared floor with refreshments of all choices. Cars the bugbear of the twentieth century, stretched each side of the road for an amazing distance in spite of the fact the "Rumps" field had been hurriedly baled to provide parking space. Two fatherly policemen eventually arrived to speed up the parting throng.

1977 Corrie and Gerald Lock purchased the Thatchers from Greene King Brewery. Stangely enough the beer on sale continued to be IPA and GK Abbott.
Around this time the Thatchers was the HQ of the Mount Bures Morris Men with the level crossing gates as their logo

The Thatchers was very popular it even had its own helicopter pad for visitors.
A "Major Striker" who worked for a Scottish Distilliary(Queen Anne Whisky) used the pad when he visited the Lowdon-Shands who owned "The Hall" adjacent to the Church.
On another occasion a Chris Clark flew by helicopter from London to visit the pub, returning by taxi.

A restaurant extension was built and named "Garners Tye" after the field of the same name to the rear of the pub.(see map above)
"Tye" means green and in the early 1800`s it would have been used by the community for grazing animals.

1986 Gerald Lock died

1992 Corrie Lock retired.
Considering her father Cyril started in 1926, "The Thatchers had been run by the same family for 66 years
Everyone in the area knew 'The Thatchers' and it was a sad day when Corrie decided to retire. At one of her leaving parties, 18 draymen from Greene King, hired a minibus from Bury St Edmunds to come and say 'goodbye'.

1992 After a short closedown period, Terry & Frances Martin (Licensee) of The Swan at Chappel, re-opened the pub in time for the 9th April, General Election. They were the ninth Full Licensees of the Thatchers since 1869.

Various people managed the pub on behalf of Terry & Frances Martin between 1992 and 2006 (see below)

October 2006:- Enquiries made with Greene King Brewery Museum at Bury St Edmunds to see if they held any surviving records on the property. Unfortunately they disposed of this portfolio many years go (1961) and all the records were subsequently lost.

November 2006 - Mitch, Tony and Janet Adams
(Licensee) now the owners of a new leasehold agreement from Terry Martin.
e-furbished and supported by Adnams Brewery of Southwold.

2014 - New Owners take over the Thatchers

Decades after it was first opened as a Brewhouse, the "Thatchers" is still thriving and well supported.

Historical data supplied by- Ida McMaster,Ian Stratford, Corrie Lock & Kelly`s Directory
Researched and
written by Alan Beales.
Updated 05.03.2012
updated 08/10/2014