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Earliest information: 1617
Original estate: Hungerford
Common Rights? Yes (Frontage 53ft + 17ft = 70ft; 2 horses or 4 cows)
Date of current building: c1800
Grade II Listed

Thumbnail History:

Common Rights; Quit Rent 5d.
Workhouse (c.1764 -1782)
Inn from c1790s to present day.

This inn is owned by the Feoffees (Trustees) of the Town & Manor of Hungerford. Property on this site has been in the Town & Manor's ownership since the feoffment of 1617.

It became (at least by 1764) Hungerford's first workhouse, but when a larger workhouse was required in 1782, the paupers were moved to the "High House" (now Charnham Close) in Charnham Street. Follow these links for more information on workhouses and Charnham Close.

It is unclear exactly when it became an inn, but probably soon after 1783. It is clearly marked as "John of Gaunt " on the Enclosure Award map of 1819. It has remained an inn every since, although between 1847 and 1891 it was called "The Lancaster Arms", and even (in 1864) the "Duke of Lancaster's Arms". Locals usually refer to it simply as "The Johnny".

Description of property:

From Listed Building records: House, now public house. Early 19th century. Tiled, hipped roof with dentil course eaves, painted brick. 2 storeys. First floor 4 glazing bar sashes, large oriel canted bay to left. Ground floor has 6 panelled door to right, one sash, recessed entrance door under heavy flat hood on cut brackets and canted bay to left.

Photo Gallery:

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bs133 1953
bs133 1953

Drawing of John o'Gaunt Inn, 1953

bs133 1953
bs133 1953 bs133 1953
19970623 John O'Gaunt Inn [Ivor Speed]
19970623 John O'Gaunt Inn [Ivor Speed]

John O'Gaunt Inn, Jun 1997 [Ivor Speed].

19970623 John O...
19970623 John O'Gaunt Inn [Ivor Speed] 19970623 John O'Gaunt Inn [Ivor Speed]

John O'Gaunt Inn, Mar 2007.

P3271091 P3271091

- John O'Gaunt Inn, Jun 1997 [Ivor Speed].

- John O'Gaunt Inn, Dec 2012, after its major refurbishment

- John O'Gaunt Inn, Mar 2007


The report prepared for Parliament in 1905 stated that the "John o' Gaunt" public house was acquired by the feoffment of 1617, following the grant of the Manor in 1612 by James I. The present building appears to date from c1800. The big question is - when did it become an inn? The Trustee Minute books date from 1821, and it clearly pre-dates these.

1617 (Feoffment) Refers to the site and building – not as an inn. The Town & Manor has no deeds, so history largely gleaned from records of adjacent properties (20 Bridge Street and 19 Bridge Street)

The First Workhouse, c1727-1783:

The earliest Overseers' Accounts for Hungerford date from as early as 1727. They mention the workhouse, although the site of this building is not yet known for certain.

However, it was probably here at the building which now is the John of Gaunt Inn in Bridge Street. Records confirm it was the site of the workhouse at least between c1764 and 1778. A parliamentary report of 1777 recorded that the parish workhouse in Hungerford could hold up to 30 inmates.

1753-61 (QR) Thomas Potinger for his house late Atkin's, q.r. 5d.
1754 (Deed 20BS] ".. on the E side of the High St. (now Bridge Street), bounded by dwelling of William Atkins and then of Thomas Pottinger on the N and with the tenement of Joseph Wineatt formerly Thomas Andrews and then Moses Burch on the S with Common on the E."

1774-80 (QR) William Alexander for house late Thomas Atkin's, q.r. 5d.

1776 (Deed 20BS) John Toe
1778 (Deed) A Release describing "a Messuage or Tenement then in the possession of William Tuttle and now of John Toe and then and now used as a Workhouse for the parish of Hungerford on the north side thereof."

1779 (Deed 20BS) Refers to "old workhouse, lately in possession of Ed. Brooks ". ".. on the one side adjoining the house formerly Ed. Westall (now Ed. Dismore) and on the other side the house formerly the Worhouse, and then the Old Workhouse, lately in occupation of Ed. Brooks".

1781 (CL) ?Charles Gibbs

In 1783 entries in the Constables' Accounts started referring to "the old workhouse" and the workhouse moved to a larger building, Charnham Close in Charnham Street.

John of Gaunt Inn, c1795-present:

The original Bridge Street workhouse became an inn at about the same time, although the exact date is unclear - but it is clearly mentioned in the 1812 Constable's Accounts, and labelled as "John of Gaunt" in the 1819 Enclosure Award map.

1795-1804 (QR) M. Brooks for house late Atkin's, q.r. 5d.

1799 (Deed 20BS) A Release refers to the adjoining north property as "the dwelling house formerly called the Workhouse and now the Old Workhouse as now or lately in the occupation of Edward Pocock and John Sayer."
1799 (Constable's Accounts) Received from Mr Brook half a year rent for old workhouse
1802-1811 (Constable's Accounts) Received from Mr Brook for rent £12.0.0.
1806 (Constable's Accounts) Paid property tax 16s 10½p; Land Tax 14s 7d.
1809 (Constable's Accounts) Expenses at Brooks collecting rents 13/6 and 13/7

1811 (Constable's Accounts) Expenses at Mrs. Brooks collecting rents £1.5.6s
1810 (Deed 20BS) Probate of the will of Mordecai Brooks.
1812 (Constable's Accounts) Property tax late Brooker and by the side "John of Gaunt" £1.4.0d

1812 (Constable's Accounts) Received of Mr William Lye for rent of house £12.0.0.
1813, 1814, 1815 (Constable's Accounts) Rent John of Gaunt William Lye £12.0.0d

1817 (QR) Mordecai Brooks (deleted) William Worrell for house late Green formerly Atkin's, q.r. 5d.
1818-32 (QR) William Worrell for house late Green formerly Atkin's, q.r. 5d.

1819 (EAM) Marked as it is today – "John of Gaunt", with footpath as Borden Carriage to swing bridge or Cow bridge.

1821 Feoffees often held their meetings there.

1824 (Constable's Accounts) Mr Franklin is shown as paying £12.0.0. rent of John of Gaunt; succeeded in 1828 by Mr Brown.

1826 (Deed 20BS) A Conveyance describes the property as "bounded on the north by a public house called the "John O'Gaunt".

1828 (Constable's Accounts) Mr Brown paid the same rent until 1839
1831 (CS) Alehouse and garden. Proprietor and occupier "Widow Brooks".
1832 (QR) Mary Brooks for house formerly old Workhouse, q.r. 5d.

1836 (QR) ?Constable for house late Mary Brooke's, q.r. 5d.

1841 (CS) John Walker for "Lancaster Arms"

1841 (Constable's Accounts) Mr Matthews became the landlord

1847 (Constable's Accounts) Mrs Cicely Walker took over the licence
1847 (Kelly) Mrs Cicely Walker, "Lancaster Arms", High Street.

1847 (CL) Feoffees of Hungerford (own); Widow Walker (occ)

1851 (CS) John Welch (34), innkeeper. (John Welch was Landlord at The Bear soon in 1863)

1861 (CS) John Annetts (34), innkeeper
1861 (CL) Feoffees of Hungerford (own); John Annetts (occ)

1864 (Billings-out of date?) John Welch, Duke of Lancaster Arms, victualler and licensed to let horses.

1866 (Lacks Directory) Friendly Brothers Society held at "Duke of Lancaster Arms Inn".

1869-91 John Annetts, brewer and innkeeper, Lancaster Arms.

1896 (CL) Feoffees of Hungerford (own); Albert Charles Hance (occ)
1900 (Cosburn's Dir) A C Hance "John o' Gaunt, Bridge Street".
1903 (T&M Register) Albert Charles Hance (occupier until ?1924)
1908 Now Town & Manor of Hungerford Charity.
1914 (CL) Trustees of Hungerford (own); Albert Charles Hance (occ)
- ("Jock" Rolfe: AC Hance was known as "Colonel" Hance)
1915 (Kelly Dir) Albert Charles Hance, "John of Gaunt PH"

1925 (T&M Register) Jesse Randall (occupier until ?1934)

1932 (QR) Town Trustees (deleted) Usher Wiltshire Brewery for "Alehouse formerly Cicely Walker then Edward James Payne ", q.r. 5d.

1935 (T&M Register) Edward James Payne (occupier until ?1939)
1939 (Blacket's) "John O'Gaunt" Inn (E.J Payne)
- 22: Miss M.J. Liddiard, greengrocer
1939 Edward J. Payne, "John of Gaunt".

1940 (T&M Register) Joh nH Hares (occupier until ?1942)

1943 (T&M Register) E Millford (occupier)

1947 (CL) Ernest Milford

1952-1956 (CL) Gerald Gibbs Face. [According to Robert James, Gerry Face was a Gloucestershire man who was renowned for his best Bass for the serious drinkers, and Ansells for those who could not stand the pace!].
1963 NWN 17 Jan 1963 reported "One of Hungerford's most popular landlords, Mr Gerald Gibbs Face, licensee of the John o'Gaunt for the past 14 years, died on Friday after a short illness."
1963 (CL) Cynthia Face (John of Gaunt)

1968 (CL) ? (John of Gaunt)
<1968 (T&M Register) Robert Wallis (occupier until 1971)

1970 (CL) Robert Wallis (John of Gaunt). [Another note by Robert James records that Dick Wallis, of the well known farming family, set the Johnny alight with much "bonhomie", good fun and plenty of pub grub.]
1972 (T&M Register) Mary Brenda Wallis (occupier until 1973)

1976 (CL) Ronald John Huxley (amend to) Richard Duffield (John of Gaunt)

1983 (CL) James Windsor Pritchard / Roger Brooker (John of Gaunt Inn)
1984 (CL) Roger Paul Brooker
1985 (CL) Roger Paul Brooker

1988 Tenancy taken over by Morlands Brewery of Abingdon

1996 Chris and Beverley Barrett.

2000 (CL) Void

c2000-Dec 2003 Ian & Neiline Morris

c2003 a "John O'Gaunt Loyalty Token was produced. See "John O'Gaunt Loyalty Token" - Token Corespondence Society Bulletin, Jun 2003.

Feb 2004 Charlie & Emma Hill (chef Martin Osbourne)
See "Town's charm wins over inn's new tenants", NWN 26 Feb 2004
2005 (CL) Charles Henry Hill

2008 Licencees: Andrew & Suzy Treson
2011 (CL) Patrick Abbitt

2012 From April until December 2012 the John o'Gaunt Inn underwent a full structural refurbishment. The work was undertaken by the specialist builders in hotel work Fergal's of Standlake near Witney on behalf of Greene King the outgoing tenants.

Mar 2013 Re-opened after the major refurbishment. Let by the Town & Manor on a twenty year lease to The INNformal Pub Company, owned and run by Mark Genders FBII, (who also runs the Five Bells at Wickham and the Lord Lyon at Stockcross. See "Historic pub to reopen this week" NWN 28 Mar 2013. See also:

2016 (CL) Mark Genders

In June 2018 a car smashed into the front of the John O'Gaunt Inn causing considerable damage. See "Car smashes into busy pub", NWN 14 Jun 2018.

Innkeepers of the Lancaster Arms and John o'Gaunt Inn have included:

1832-35 (Quit Rent) - Mary Brooks
1841 (census)- John Walker
1847 (Kelly) Mrs Cicely Walker
1851 (census) John Welch (34)
1861 (census) John Annetts (34)
1864 (Billings) John Welch
1869-95 John Annetts "Lancaster Arms"
1895 (Kelly) John Annetts "Lancaster Arms" PH and brewer
1896-1914 (Commoners List) Albert Charles Hance (apparently, always known as "Colonel")
1924 (Kelly) Albert Charles Hance "John of Gaunt" PH
1931 (Kelly) Jesse Randell
1932 (Quit Rent) Usher Wiltshire Brewery
1936 (Kelly) Edward Payne "John o' Gaunt" PH
1939 (Blacket's) Edward J Payne
1947 (Commoners List) Ernest Milford
1952-56 (Commoners List) Gerald Gibbs Face
1963 (Commoners List) Cynthia Face
1970 (Commoners List) Robert Wallis
1976 (Commoners List) Ronald John Huxley (amended to) Richard Duffield
1983 (Commoners List) James Windsor Pritchard / Roger Brooker
1986 Michael & Dee McCarthy
1996 Chris and Beverley Barrett
2008 Andrew & Suzy Treson
2013 Mark Genders

Maltster's Yard (behind John of Gaunt Inn):

1841 (CS) Richard Hughes (35), grocer
William Chapman (30), miller

1851 (CS) William Robeson (28), master tailor
Joseph Rumboll (29), maltster
William Bance (45), cordwainer
John Swatton (25), maltster
Isaac Bray (36), mill carter

1861 (CS) Joseph Rumboll (39), maltster, mealman & farmer
William Pocock (62), miller's man
Isaac Bray (44), carter

1871 (CS) Robert Goodman (51), miller
Charles Stockwell (36), labourer
Board and Carriage:
Henry Burfield, labourer
William Sopp (69), shepherd
James Talmage (30), sawyer

1881 (CS) John Morris (33), grocer
Jane Clift (58), widow

Keeper's House (owned by Town & Manor Charity)
1975 Built in similar design to (then existing) Swimming-pool house. Paul & Maureen Hill.
1992 Rob Starr

See also:

- John o'Gaunt Inn website

- John o'Gaunt Inn, by Robert James - Hungerford & District Times, 7th Nov 1990

- Notes for a talk on the John o' Gaunt Inn given by Mr Jim Davis 27th Feb 1980

- John o'Gaunt Inn - letter from Mr Jim Davis to Constable c1980

- John o'Gaunt Inn - letter from Dr Hugh Pihlens to Mr Jim Davis 14th Feb 1980

- Workhouses