Some history of the Nag's Head at Lindridge in the County of Worcestershire


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The Nag's Head at Lindridge has survived as a private house. The building is on raised ground to the north of the old Tenbury to Worcester turnpike road, on the corner of the lane heading up the hill to Frith Common.

The pub was possibly built on an elevated position as the level plain from the road to the River Teme was liable to floods. This resulted in the pub being set back from the road. However, in the days of slower travel, the house was still highly visible from the turnpike and would have benefited from some passing trade.

Lindridge : Nag's Head [2009]

In this photograph the Nag's Head is nearing the end of its life as a public-house. By this time the house was trading as the Spice Restaurant and Bar, though the lettering for the Nag's Head was still in evidence. This was a concerted effort to rejuvenate the pub by combining Indian food with a drinks offering. The venture eventually failed and the pub was closed when I cycled down the hill from Frith Common in 2012.

Lindridge : Nag's Head [2009]

This image is looking south and shows the rear of the building with Pennel's Bank on the opposite side of the river in the distance.

The property was copyhold of the manor of Lindridge with the Flello family occupying or sub-letting to a number of tenants during the 19th century. This was seemingly the liberal type of tenure employed by Lindridge manor and, consequently, the copyhold could be inherited, sold or mortgaged without the permission of the lord of the manor.

A tenant for the Flello family, William Walsh was granted the licence of the Nag's Head Inn during August 1850. He kept the hostelry with his wife Elizabeth but his stay was brief. He was later appointed gamekeeper for the estate of Sir William Smith of Eardiston House.

The licence of the Nag's Head changed hands several times before William Bodenham became a tenant of the blacksmith James Flello during April 1854. This proved to be a stable period for the pub because William, a tailor by trade, and his wife Jane remained in charge for some years before handing over to son Frederick.

Advertisement for a Pigeon Shoot at the Nag's Head Inn at Lindridge [December 1878]

The above advertisement appeared in the Tenbury Wells Advertiser during December 1878 and shows that Frederick Bodenham held an annual pigeon shoot at the Nag's Head Inn.

Frederick Bodenham was declared bankrupt later in the year and Thomas Green signed a tenancy agreement on 30th December 1879 to become licensee of the Nag's Head. Born in Rock, he also worked as a blacksmith no doubt offering his services to passing traffic on the old turnpike road, along with regular trade within the parish. He kept the pub with his wife Susannah who hailed from Hanley William.

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Thomas and Susannah Green were tenants of the building, the copyhold of which was still held by the Flello family. A resident of Boxbush Cottage, James Flello died in August 1889 but the Nag's Head remained in the family under the trustee Henry Knowles. Following his death, the trustees were nephews Henry and James Flello. Thomas Green was a nephew of James Flello and lived with the family after moving from Bliss Gate to train as a blacksmith.

Lindridge : Nag's Head Closed Down [2012]

Following the death of Thomas Green, the licence briefly passed to his wife before the licence of the pub was granted to Richard Bowkett. He and his wife Elizabeth would later run the Ship Hotel at Tenbury. By the turn of the 20th century Albert and Myra Hart were running the Nag's Head. Born in the Gloucestershire village of Sevenhampton in 1845, Albert Hart had followed in his father's footsteps and worked as a stone mason. He and his Herefordshire-born wife Myra moved to Abberley from Hereford where he continued to work as a mason.

Albert and Myra Hart kept the Cross Keys Inn at Menithwood in the neighbouring parish of Pensax. They seemingly kept an orderly house as it was reported in January 1893 that Albert turned out the Pensax farmer Thomas Pugh on account of his disorderly conduct. However, the farmer continued to drink at the nearby Bird in Hand which resulted in the publican of the latter being charged with permitting drunkenness on his premises.

Lindridge : Former Nag's Head [2018]

The Nag's Head once had an air rifle club. I spotted a small item in the Tenbury Wells Advertiser published on February 12th 1907 in which a match between the club and those of the Cross Keys Club was detailed. Six shots per man were fired in the match and the Nag's Head won by 11 points. I will list the members of the club as they were probably regular customers of the Nag's Head Inn during Edwardian times : J. Pound, A. Hart, J. Francis, W. Lambert, W. Barber, E. Francis, J. Cooper, A. Hayes, W. Painter, C. Jenkins, H. Kelcey, H. Painter, W. Blount, F. Jenkins and G. Francis. The list of names includes the publican Albert Hart. He died in the following year and a tribute to the publican was printed in the local press, stating that he was "widely known, and from his consistent life and kindly disposition was much esteemed."

The Hart family's connection with the Nag's Head was maintained as Thomas Aston, a former colliery manager at Mamble, married Leah Hart in 1903. Following Albert Hart's death, the couple continued to run the Nag's Head.

James Bradley was the licensee of the Nag's Head during the inter-war years. The son of a collier, he had grown up at Frith Common, or more precisely, Mount Pleasant. At the turn of the 20th century he and his wife Edith lived next to the New Inn from where he worked as a hewer in a colliery. By the end of the Edwardian period, the couple had eight children living with them in what must have been a cramped household. Walter had another son with his first wife Mary Ann. He married Edith Birch in 1900. The couple's son Frederick would later run the Nag's Head.

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Licensees of the Nag's Head

1845 - Mr. Pearkes
1850 - James Flello
1850 - William Walsh
1852 - 1854 John Adams
1854 - 1854 James Flello
1854 - William Bodenham
1879 - Frederick W. Bodenham
1879 - Thomas Green
1893 - Susannah Margaret Green
1894 - Richard Bowkett
1900 - Alfred Powell
1900 - 1908 Albert Hart
1911 - Thomas Aston
1924 - Walter James Bradley
1940 - Frederick Bradley
Note : this is not a complete list of licensees for this pub. The dates of early licensees are sourced from trade directories, census data, electoral rolls, rate books and newspaper articles. Names taken from trade directories may be slightly inaccurate as there is some slippage from publication dates and the actual movement of people.

Lindridge : Map showing the location of the Nag's Head [1884]

This map shows the location of the Nag's Head on the corner of what is often known as Lambswick Lane. Note the two farms just to the north of the pub. The lane continues on to Frith Common. Note also the location of a barn or stable close to the main road. It is possible that a large horse was housed here and used to haul waggons up the steep climb to Frith Common. I did not think that the Nag's Head Inn was engaged in the exchange of horses for coaches travelling on the turnpike but a newspaper article published in May 1854 does show that such activity took place within the parish - perhaps here at the pub. In the article it was reported that "the driver of the Express coach, Mr. Boden, met with an awkward accident on his way from Worcester to Ludlow. After changing horses at Lindridge, Mr. Boden was about to remount the box, but before he could do so a heavy clap of thunder frightened the horses and he was thrown to the ground. He was placed inside the coach and conveyed to Tenbury, and he is now lying at the Swan Hotel, under the medical treatment of Mr. Sweet." Incidentally, most, but not all, of the path network in the vicinity of the Nag's Head has survived.

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Related Newspaper Articles

"The festivities alluded to in our last newspaper, at Eardiston, in this county, on the occasion of Sir W. Smith, Bart., attaining his majority, did not terminate till the close of last week. On Thursday a sheep was roasted at Newnham, by V. W. Wheeler, Esq., who in addition gave a hogshead of cider. Lady Smith, E. J. Smith, Esq. [uncle of the Baronet], the Rev. Hulme, etc., were present, and gaiety and mirth again ruled the hour. On the same evening two sheep were roasted at Knighton. On Friday, Mr. Pearkes, the Nag's Head, Lindridge, Mrs. Hardwick, of the Broom, and Mr. Lloyd, the New Inn, Frith Common, each roasted an entire sheep, to be given away to all comers, with a proper modicum of cider. A gay and spirited ball was held at the Whitehouse, which was given by some spirited bachelors of Lindridge and its locality. The subscriptions, exclusive of the beasts, sheep, cider, and bread presented, to defray the expenses of these unexampled festivities, amount to nearly £150. Altogether nothing could possibly exceed the exertions which have been made to prove to the Hon. Baronet that all around him are anxious to afford him every help to preserve harmony and prosperity to the house of Eardiston, and to afford a friendly intercourse between himself, his tenantry, and neighbours."
Worcester Journal : October 17th 1844 Page 4

"At the Nag's Head Inn, Lindridge, near Tenbury, may be seen a cat suckling five young rabbits, which were put to her in lieu of her own drowned offspring. The cat displays devoted affection for the changelings."
Shrewsbury Chronicle : April 5th 1850 Page 4

"Alfred Thomas Baynton, of Stourport, auctioneer, was charged by P.C. Edwards with cruelty to a mare by allowing it to be ridden when in an unfit state. Mr. H. Grainger Prior, of Stourport, appeared to defend. P.C. Edwards deposed : On Monday, the 15th August, I was on duty at Lindridge races. I saw a chestnut mare being ridden in the first race; my attention was afterwards called to the mare as having sores upon its back; it was then standing in the stable at the Nag's Head Inn; I saw the mare with a rug over her; I turned the rug down and saw a wound about an inch long and about half-an-inch wide; I turned the rug farther down and found the padding produced; I pulled it off and saw another wound, which appeared to be much swollen, and when I put my hand to it the mare flinched as if she was in great pain; I fetched William Postans, horse breaker, to examine the mare; the padding was covered with blood and matter; I afterwards ascertained the mare belonged to Mr. Baynton. William Postans gave corroborative evidence with regard to the wounds. For the defence Mr. Prior said the prosecution had failed to show that Mr. Baynton had any knowledge of the mare's condition, which was essential in order to convict. The evidence he proposed to offer would prove that from the 11th to the 16th of August the mare was out of Mr. Baynton's charge, and that Mr. Baynton had no knowledge of the wounds. He proceeded to call Mr. Baynton, but Superintendent Pugh raised an objection to the defendant being put in the witness box, and the Bench upheld the objection. Frank Luckman, alias Lowe, then stated: I am a trainer and rider of horses; I know the defenant [Mr. Baynton] in this case; he engaged me to look after the mare to be ridden at Lindridge races. I took possession of her on the Friday before the races, which were on the 15th August; I am thoroughly accustomed to horses; the mare was very fresh, had a low back and high crest; she was in good health; there was no wound on her then, but there had been one; it was calcined over and was on the centre of the back; it was hard, the mare had not got what is called a "sore back"; I padded the saddle that it might not rub the old wound; I subsequently took the mare to Lindridge; I saddled here horse myself whilst a young man named Glover held her head. There was no raw place on the mare when she was saddled; about ten minutes after the race I noticed the old wound was puffed, and called Glover's attention to it; I broke the old wound and extracted a small tumour from it; the padding was on the crest bone, I put it on to keep the saddle from rubbing it; I noticed the crest after the race, and there was a slight abrasion; I did not put the padding on in the stable, but it dropped from the saddle and P.C. Edwards picked it up. Sidney Glover, clerk, of Stourport, stated that he saw the mare which Luckman was in charge of at Lindridge races; after the races he saw a place on the mare's back which was puffed; Luckman squeezed it with his fingers and took out a piece about the size of a pea, which he said was a tumour. Colonel Decie said the Bench had a doubt as to whether the defendant was aware of the condition of the mare, and they would give him the benefit of that doubt and dismiss the case. Frank Luckman was subsequently charged with riding the mare whilst in an unfit state, and was fined 10 shillings and expenses of 8 shillings."
"Cruelty to a Mare"
Tenbury Wells Advertiser : September 6th 1887 Page 5

"We regret to have to announce the death of Mr. Arthur Hart, on May 1st, at the Nag's Head, Lindridge. The deceased gentleman was widely known, and from his consistent life and kindly disposition was much esteemed. The funeral took place on Monday the 4th of May. The service was choral, Mr. Hart being a member of the choir. Many floral tributes were sent by friends. Suitable hymns were sung and the Dead March played on Sunday at morning service."
"Lindridge Death"
Tenbury Wells Advertiser : May 12th 1908 Page 5

"A terrific impact. which caused his head to smash a pane of glass at the back of the cab of his lorry when the vehicle was struck head-on by a fast-approaching motorcycle, was described by the lorry driver, Walter Oliver Priest, of 12, Tanhouse Lane, Colley Gate, Cradley Heath, at yesterday's inquest at Kidderminster on the motor-cyclist and his pillion passenger. The dead men were Harold Bradley, aged 16, of the Nag's Head. Lindridge, the rider of the machine, and Wilfred Knott, of Hari-Shell, Eardington. his 21 year-old companion. Priest said the motorcycle came round a bend on the Frith Common Road [between Clows Top and Lindridge] at a fast speed. The motorcycle, embedded in the radiator. was dragged 106 feet. One of the men on the motorcycle was thrown several yards in the air. "Accidental death" was the verdict returned by the jury, who exonerated the lorry driver from any blame."
"Terrific Impact"
Birmingham Daily Gazette : June 24th 1936 Page 9

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