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The Stag & Hounds Public House

The above two photographs were taken in 2014. The Stag and Hounds has remained virtually unchanged through the years apart from the porch visible on the left in the top photograph This was added in 1983 when the pub became a Harvester Restaurant.


On the earliest, 1762, map of Basingstoke Down, Kempshott, as we now know it, there are only two buildings; Down Grange Farm and The Ship, a beer house or pub on the site of what we know as The Stag and Hounds making it the location of one of the oldest original buildings in our area.

Why was there an inn, beer house or pub there? There was no village around it. It was not a coaching inn; there were plenty of those a mile away in Basingstoke. And the name? The Ship? Thirty miles inland?

One reason must have been the pub’s proximity to the site of The Basingstoke Fair, held twice yearly on the Down for nearly two hundred years until enclosure of Basingstoke’s fields in the 1780s. Somewhere to quench the thirsts of the shepherds, farmers and visitors would have meant excellent trade for the pub. There is also a clue to the pub’s name here: The Hampshire accent would have made it difficult to hear the difference between ‘ship’ and ‘sheep’. There were so many sheep around everywhere it was humdrum. ‘The Ship’ sounded more adventurous and so the name stuck; for a while. (See below)

There was another ‘Ship’ in Basingstoke, situated in the Market Place about where Lloyds Bank is, a change of name may have helped to avoid confusion. Basingstoke Down was deer hunting country; The Prince Regent hunted from Kempshott House, a change of name with noble and royal connotations may have raised the pub’s profile.  

In 2017 the local historian, Ken Smallbone, published his encyclopaedic work on Basingstoke’s pubs, Gone But Not Forgotten. He has graciously given permission for me to update this article from his research. To simplify matters I have added the superscript KS where I have used Ken’s research

Ken Smallbone’s research reveals that the first inn on this site was named The Royal Sovereign and was recorded in a list of Basingstoke’s inns and alehouses in 1713, the landlord was Richard Binstead. The warship, The Royal Sovereign, was a famous 102-gun ship of the line originally launched in 1637. A second ship of the same name was launched in 1701. By 1716 the name of the inn in Winchester Road had changed to The Ship in The Field. This research refutes my theory of the confusion between ‘ship’ and ‘sheep’ above. Ken Smallbone’s research also records that the land belonged to Merton College Oxford and that John Ingram succeeded Richard Binstead as licensee in 1718 and that Thomas Ingram was licensee in 1719/20. Twenty years or so later the name had been shortened to The Ship by which name it was known for a hundred years. When William Hack died in 1745 he had three leases one of which was a leasehold messuage or tenement and a small piddle of land situate in the fields of Basingstoke called The Ship Inn (KS)

The Ship or Stag and Hounds’ location on the bend of the ancient Drove Road, The Harrow Way, made it a good resting place for travellers. There were many who made their own way, walking, riding or in various carts, carriages and gigs.

Basingstoke was an established market town: farmers would travel into the town conduct their business and would welcome a refreshment stop on their journey home. On nearly every main route out of the town there were pubs and beer houses to provide refreshment, to meet other farmers and dealers away from the market’s bustle. The Stag and Hounds was one of these; but a study of the location of others such as The Golden Lion on Cliddesden Road, The Lamb on Hackwood Road, The Soldiers Return on Sherborne Road and others show that there was a network of pubs to provide this service.   

Bob Clarke’s opening chapter, ‘BEER AND BASINGSTOKE’ of his book ‘THE BASINGSTOKE RIOTS’    gives us many reasons for the popularity of pubs in nineteenth century in our town:

‘Beer was important to the people of Basingstoke. There were some 50 pubs and beer houses in the town. Their warmth, comfort, companionship, conviviality and good cheer at the end of a hard day’s work was a welcome alternative to cold, ill-lit and often overcrowded homes.’ 1

Back in 1836 John Hall of Church Street counted 75 pubs in Basingstoke, which given that the population was about 3,600 meant that was one for every 48 inhabitants2.

The Mayor of Basingstoke sold the rights to run The Basingstoke Fair to a Tollman. In 1712 this right was sold to one Daniel Budd, victualler. Could this gentleman have also run The Stag and Hounds? In 1735 the churchwardens of St Michael’s paid him 3 shillings for providing beer to those beating the bounds of the parish.3 Baigent and Millard also recorded that on 7 October 1720 Daniel Budd, flax dresser, was elected as one of the Borough’s Sergeants at Mace and that he was buried on 6th August 1747.4

The Hampshire Record Office provided me with a more substantive piece of evidence: On 8th January 1819 Richard Curtis of Basingstoke, gentleman leased from Merton College, Oxford

 ‘ The  premises capital messuage and outbuildings of the Manor or Farm of Basingstoke, with  171 acres of land, parts of Great Deep Lane Meadow  and Wildmoor, land  in Flaxpool Meadow, Stratfield Turgis Meadow, Basingfield and Audley’s Coppice, the Stag and Hounds (formerly The Ship) public house, a malthouse, and house at Cliddesden and six cottages.’

The document goes on to state that Richard Curtis was given permission to transfer the property to the Basingstoke and Odiham Bank (perhaps as security for a loan).5   

Richard Curtis was a prominent business man in early nineteenth century Basingstoke. In 1808 he prosecuted a former servant, George Binfield, for stealing a quantity of oats and beans. George Binfield was found guilty and eventually transported6. He was the proprietor of The Angel Inn in Basingstoke’s Market Place, one of the prominent coaching inns of the town a coach proprietor, a town councillor, a guardian of the poor and in 1849 the clerk of the course for Basingstoke Races . He was a business partner of the brewer, Thomas May they leased some land together as evidenced by a public notice for the diversion of a footpath in Basingstoke in The Hampshire Advertiser of 9th February 1839: the owners of the land were Merton and Magdalen Colleges and the leasees William Curtis, Richard Curtis and Thomas May. However, unlike the May family Richard Curtis and his sons did not prosper. The most likely explanation for his downfall was the coming of the railway to Basingstoke.  The 1851 census records Richard’s occupation as ‘late innkeeper’ and his address as Church Street:  his sons were unemployed. On 26 July 1851 The Hampshire Advertiser carried a notice of a creditors meeting for the creditors of Richard Curtis. However, the same newspaper printed the following obituary on 20th July 1867:

 Lately, at Basingstoke at a very advanced age Mr Richard Curtis formerly owner and proprietor of The Angel Inn in that town and coach proprietor to the West of England and Southampton.

The pub was part of The May’s Brewery chain from 1783 when the lease was transferred from the widow of William Downs, common brewer. (KS) The May family owned a malting house beside the River Loddon from the middle of the eighteenth century. Two brothers Thomas May, born 1765 and Charles May, born 1768 expanded the business and bequeathed it to Charles’ son Charles May ( junior)and finally to his grandson John May. Between them the four May gentlemen were Mayors of Basingstoke seventeen times. Bob Clarke describes May’s brewery In Brook Street in the 1880s as enormous and employing large numbers of townsfolk7 John May is well known as a benefactor to Basingstoke. On 3rdOctober 1903 there was a large civic ceremony to honour Colonel May as he was known; there was a church service, an unveiling of plaques on a plinth in The Market Square and a bust in the Town Hall and a grand dinner in the Drill Hall paid for by John May himself. 

The following extract from The Berkshire Chronicle of 4 September 1830 tells of an amusing occurrence at The Stag and Hounds. I thought that Carey Corfe might have been a licensee of the pub but he was the landlord of the other Ship Tavern in Church Street Basingstoke. (KS)

                … We have frequently had to record the feats of that keen sportsman, Carey Corfe of the Ship Tavern but we believe the one we are about to relate will out-achieve all his former exploits... after a hard day’s shooting over the demesnes of Mrs Hankey, of the Down Grange, repaired to the Stag and Hounds, a public house on the verge of the estate, to take refreshment, and a pipe; he had been imprudent enough to place a quarter of a pound of gunpowder loose in his pocket, and, while in the act of smoking, some of the hot ashes fell from his pipe and came into contact with the pocket, which immediately ignited the gunpowder, and a most dreadful explosion followed, which blew him across the room, but, fortunately, he was more frightened than injured.’

What follows are some biographical notes on the licensees of The Stag and Hounds and their families. I used the census returns from the eight published censuses; 1841-1911, entries from trade directories and research online and at The Willis Museum. Some of the 20th century information was passed on by Jane Hussey from her research with telephone directories and electoral registers. In some cases where there are common names I have made best matches – I may be wrong. Again, I am grateful for Ken Smallbone’s research which I have used to fill in gaps.

Studying these results and thinking beyond the facts to the people themselves I have come to some conclusions:

·         The licensees tended to be a more mobile section of society than others. Many people of the nineteenth century did not venture very far from the village or town of their birth; this does not appear to be the case with the licensees.

·         Often wives would run the pubs while the husbands pursued another occupation.

·         Many of the licensees were childless; running a pub may not be conducive to family life.

Richard Binstead  Licensee The Royal Sovereign 1712-1713; The Ship in the Field 1716-1718(KS)

John Ingram d.1720 Licensee The Ship in the Field 1718-19

John Ingram was elected Sergeant at Mace 31 December 1688. He, or his son also John, held licensees for The Ship in Church Street and The Cross Keys in Wote Street(KS) .

Thomas Ingram d. 1731 Licensee The Ship in the Field 1719-1720

Thomas Ingram had been the licensee of The Feathers in Wote Street. (KS)

Edward Ellum 1735-1794 Licensee The Stag and Hounds 1783-4(KS)

Thomas Hart 1787-1826 Licensee 1824-1826(KS)

Ann Hart 1791-1851 Licensee 1826-1844

Ann Hart was born in Hampshire in about 1791.The record of the 1841 census for the Stag and Hounds does not specify family relationships or status. She was the widow of Thomas Hart. Their son, James Hart was baptised in Basingstoke on 27 May 1808. I could find no marriage record. A James Hart died in Basingstoke in 1850.Ann Hart died in 1851.Their daughter, Rebecca Hart. married John Pritchard in Basingstoke in 1851 but she was widowed in 1855. The 1861 census records her living in Winchester Road with two young daughters and working as a tailoress. 

William Franklin 1798-1856 licensee circa 1851-1856

There were several men sharing this name in Basingstoke in the middle of the nineteenth century which has made my research difficult. The only reliable records are from the 1841 and 1851 censuses. In June 1841 William and his wife, Mary were living in Winchester Street Basingstoke with their 4 daughters; ages 20-1 years, their son, Charles, age 14, and two lodgers. The census enumerator’s handwriting is difficult to decipher but it appears that William may have been a shoemaker.

The 1851 census records William Franklin as a ‘retailer of beer’ in Winchester Road Basingstoke, though The Stag and Hounds is not specified. The two eldest daughters have left home but there is another; nine-year-old, Sarah. Charles Franklin is unmarried and employed as a baker.

Both William and Mary died in their fifties. I have not been able to find a reliable record because of their common name.

Sarah and Eliza Franklin were in service in Overton in 1861.The other daughters married Basingstoke men.


Charles Franklin 1827-1896 Licensee 1857-1875

Charles was the longest serving licensee of The Stag and Hounds. He most probably succeeded his father in 1857. He married Elizabeth Smith in Reading in 1856 but I have not been able to find any children born to this marriage.

The 1861 census records his occupation as cattle dealer, this could be a supplementary occupation, being an innkeeper of The Stag and Hounds would offer opportunities to meet farmers and provide congenial accommodation to transact business. Elizabeth would probably have run the inn when his dealings took him out and about and in 1861her sister, Ann Smith was living with them to help out. It should be noted that the inn was surrounded by fields at this time. Perhaps there was grazing for cattle very close by.

In 1871 the census records that Charles was a ‘licensed victualler’. Sarah Ann Franklin was living at the inn; she is described as a niece but if previous census records are correct she was Charles’ youngest sister. However, there is always the possibility that she could have been the illegitimate daughter of one of Charles’ sisters. There was also a servant, John Othen, living at the inn.

Charles left The Stag and Hounds sometime between 1875 and 1877. The 1881 census records him as living at Livingstone Villa Essex Road Basingstoke and having reverted to his previous occupation as cattle dealer.

Elizabeth Franklin died in Basingstoke in early 1891. Charles most probably survived her by five years until 1896. I have not found any record for him in the 1891 census.



Charles Lawes 1841-1883 licensee 1875-1877

Charles Laws (or Lawes) Senior was born in January 1841 in Hurstbourne Priors. The census of 6 June 1841 recorded him as a baby of 6 months in a very overcrowded extended family of 18 living in adjoining dwellings called Arch Lodge. It is not clear from the census returns who his parents were.

At the age of 10 in the 1851 census he is recorded as still living at Arch Lodge Hurstbourne Priors. His mother, Mary is widowed and has six sons. The four eldest boys are working on the land as plough boys and agricultural labourers, while Charles and his younger brother, Leonard were at school.

I could not find any record of Charles in the 1861 census.

In the summer of 1865 Charles married Lydia Hughes in the registration district of Droitwich Worcestershire. She was born in Clanes Worcestershire in 1840.

From a report in The Hampshire Advertiser December 3rd 1870: Charles Lawes a coachman in the employ of Mr John May prosecuted a William Wickens, a labourer, for stealing a pair of trousers from a stable. The thief was apprehended at Blackwater found guilty by the Basingstoke magistrate and sentence t o six weeks hard labour   

In the 1871 census the couple were living in Chapel Street Basingstoke. Charles was employed as a coachman.

The Basingstoke Trade Directory of 1878 lists a Charles Laws as licensee of The Stag and Hounds there are no other details given but there is a strong possibility that it is the same Charles Lawes.

As The Stag and Hounds was a part of the May’s brewery chain it is likely that John May promoted his loyal coachman.    Also, in 1878 Charles married Alice Batt who was born in Bentworth near Alton in 1852. I have not been able to find the registration of the death of Lydia Lawes. 

Three years later in April 1881 the census recorded Charles as innkeeper at the Red Lion Tap New Road Basingstoke. He now has a son, Charles (junior) age 8. Also recorded is Mary Andrews, age 16, servant and two grooms described as visitors who may have been employed at the main Red Lion Hotel and living at the pub. On 15 August 1882 Charles Lawes as proprietor of the Basingstoke Omnibus Company and William Fisher, omnibus driver, were fined for working a horse while in unfit condition. (KS)

Charles had a short life; he died aged 42 in Basingstoke in the second quarter of 1883.

Newsworthy events

Many nineteenth century newspapers have now been digitally scanned and published online with a search facility. I have managed to find three events from The Hampshire Advertiser:

4th January 1868, Joseph Cordery a fitter at North Hants foundary while pigeon shooting in the field next to the Stag and Hounds bent down to pick up a wounded pigeon accidentally shot himself in the wrist with a double barrelled shotgun.  His arm was completely smashed and was subsequently taken off by surgeons Webb and Hayes.  He is now progressing favourably.

4th December 1869 Edward Samuel Ensull a soldier of the 64thRegiment of Foot stole clothes from Andrew Oxford, a licensed victualler of North Waltham. PC Beavis informed the court that he arrested the prisoner at The Stag and Hounds between Popham Lane and Basingstoke.

11th May 1878 Silas Munlay, a labourer living at Hatch Warren and William Thompson of Down Grange  pleaded guilty to being at The Stag and Hounds at 12 o’clock on the night of 22nd April and were fined one shilling each.

 Thomas Lee 1822-1894 Licensee 1877-1894

Thomas was a retired sergeant major. He was born in Winslow Buckinghamshire in December 1823. On 29th November 1841, a month before his 18thbirthday he joined 10thRoyal, Prince of Wales, Hussars. He served in the East Indies for nearly nine years until April 1855 and then in the Crimea until 29th June 1856. The 1861 census records him as a sergeant stationed in Norwich. When he left the regular army he moved to Dulverton, Somerset, to be a troop sergeant major in West Somerset Yeomanry. His discharge certificate of 7th May 1866 has been amended to record his eleven years service in Somerset. It also gives this description: height; five feet nine inches, complexion; fresh, hair; brown, eyes; grey.

 In 1868 he married Elizabeth Lawes in Dulverton. She was born in Hurstbourne Priors in 1829 and had been a nurse for the surgeon in Whitchurch. She was also the eldest sister of Charles Lawes.

Thomas took over the licence of The Stag and Hounds from his brother-in-law on 26 June 1877.He is recorded at The Stag and Hounds in The Basingstoke Trade Directories of 1880 and 1889 and in the censuses of 1881 and 1891. Neither census records any children of Thomas and Elizabeth, but they did have a niece, Emily Lawes, living with them in 1881. She was the daughter of William Lawes Elizabeth’s brother and his wife, Sarah Holmes. In April 1891 the census recorded Charles Lawes (junior) living at The Stag and Hounds. He was the son of Charles Lawes the former landlord and at 17 was a printers’ apprentice.

Thomas Lee died in Basingstoke on 2 September 1894 aged 72. The record in The National Probate Calendar describes him as a retired publican. His estate was £39 11s. 9d.  Elizabeth survived him by 14 years. I think that she died in Christchurch in 1908 aged 78.

Charles Lawes (junior) stayed in the printing trade. He is recorded in the 1911 census living in South Norwood as a compositor with his wife, Emily Elizabeth and two young sons.

Aldophus Everett Licensee 1894-1895

This name appears as that of the licensee in the 1895 Basingstoke Trade Directory. In spite of the unusual given name I have had some difficulty in identifying the gentleman.

Searching the 1891 census I found Adolphus Everett age 48 employed as farm bailiff at Woodgarston Farm Wootton St Lawrence. He and his wife, Louisa and their son, Aldophus Frederick, age 22, came from Stalbridge Dorset. I am not sure whether it was father or son who was licensee at The Stag and Hounds in 1895.

In 1901 Aldophus (senior), Louisa and Aldophus’ mother were living at the Barm Farm Crawley near Winchester. Adolphus was still there in 1911 but was a widower. He died in Winchester in 1922.

Adolphus Frederick Everett moved to Tisbury Wiltshire where he, too was a farm bailiff.

In 1911 he was farm bailiff at Gerrads Cross in Buckinghamshire. He was married to Emily Clara and had two daughters and a son.  He lived to be 80. He died in Buckinghamshire in 1948.

William Charles Albury 1853-1895 Licensee Feb- Sep 1895(KS

Mary Albury 1855-1941 Licensee 1895

Mary was the widow of Charles Albury. She held the licence of The Stag and Hounds for one week in October 1895(KS)

James Derrick 1836-1903 Licensee 1898-1903

James is recorded in Kelly’s Directory of 1899 and 1903 as landlord and in the 1901 census which gives his place of birth as Clerkenwell and the year as 1836.

The 1901 census for The Stag and Hounds records James and his wife, Helen who was born in Drayton Somerset in 1856. Again I have not been able to find a matching record for their marriage.

James died suddenly in service on 11 September 1903. As evidence by this newspaper article. (KS)

James Derrick, the landlord of the Stag and Hounds, Basingstoke, after working in his garden walked indoors and drank some beer which had been drawn about an hour. Directly he did so he expressed to his wife the fear that he had swallowed a wasp, and a quarter of an hour later he expired. A wasp was found in the stomach and there were indications of internal stings which, according to the doctor, caused shock and heart failure.

This was printed in The Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald on 26th September 1903.


James Hope 1850-1911 Licensee 1903-1908

In the 1901 census James was the landlord of The Dolphin at 213 Lake Road Portsmouth. He was born in Kensington in about 1850.

In 1911 he was the publican of The Swiss Cottage in Reading Road Fleet. I have not been able to find his date of death.

Thomas William Barrick Ward 1845-1932 Licensee July 1908- April 1910(KS)

Alfred Henry Freeman 1856-1911 Licensee April- Sept.1910(KS)


Adrian Caleb Johnson 1863-1937 Licensee 1910-1911

Caleb was born in Lytchett Matravers Dorset in 1863.

In the 1871 census he is recorded age 8, the youngest of four sons of Caroline a widowed tailoress living in Lytchett Matravers.

Ten years later the seventeen-year-old Caleb was a builder’s clerk boarding with William Green in Tisbury Wiltshire.

In 1887 he married Sophia Boone in Brighton. She was born in Cheltenham in about 1864.

The 1891 census records them as lodging at 55 Clifton Street Brighton; Caleb, was then using his first name, Adrian, and working as an insurance collector.

In 1901 the couple were living at 10 Gloucester Terrace Paddington; Adrian Caleb was a railway clerk and Sophia a housekeeper.

Kelly’s Directory for Basingstoke for 1911 lists Caleb as publican at The Stag and Hounds; as directories were prepared for publication up to a year ahead I presume that the couple were established there from 1910. Sophia completed the form for the pub for the 1911 census which included a Mary Freeman from Richmond Surrey as a visitor. She may have been a friend or perhaps she was a paying guest, the first to be recorded on a census for the pub.

Jane Hussey has researched the difficulties with the water supply to Kempshott in the first decades of the twentieth century: The name C Johnson appears amongst those petitioning the council for an improved supply.

Adrian Caleb died in the Tendring area of Essex in 1937 age 74.

Like many of their fellow Stag and Hounds hosts the couple remained childless.

Thomas Sainsbury 1868-1928 Licensee 1911-1915

The only evidence that Mr Sainsbury was a licensee is a report in the Hampshire Chronicle of 6th February 1915 that Mr. J. Swayne (representing Messrs. J. May & Co. Ltd.) applied to the annual licensing session at Basingstoke for the licence of the Stag & Hounds Inn, Winchester Road to be transferred from Mr. T. Sainsbury to Mr. L. Barnes.

I think that this licensee was Thomas Sainsbury who in the 1911 census was an innkeeper at The Plough, Barton Stacey. He gave his age as 51 on the census form and his place of birth as Newbury. The other occupant of the inn was Elizabeth Sainsbury, described as Thomas’ wife and married less than one year. In 1901 a Thomas Sainsbury, aged 51, bricklayer, was living in Goodworth Clatford near Andover and married to Caroline. Caroline Lansley married Thomas in Andover in 1884. She was born in 1839 and was about 19 years older than Thomas. I believe she lied about her age to the census enumerator in 1901. She died age 70 in 1910.

 Thomas married his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Lansley a few months after Caroline’s death in Islington. Thomas was licensee of The Stag and Hounds from 5 December 1911 until 2 February 1915. From 1917 until 1928 he was the landlord of The Hare and Hounds in Flaxfield Road Basingstoke. (KS)  

Lemon Barnes 1874-1926 Licensee 1915-1923

Lemon was born in about 1874, the second child of agricultural labourer, John, and Sophia Barnes in the village of Hoxne on the borders of Suffolk and Norfolk. He stayed in Hoxne until he married Margaret Chapman in 1896.

The 1901 census records Lemon and Margaret living in Congham Norfolk with their two young sons Walter aged four and Lemon (junior) aged one. Lemon (senior) is now employed as a gamekeeper.

In about 1903 the family moved to Hampshire; their second daughter, Eva Maud, was born in Micheldever and their third daughter and son in Wonston. The 1911 census records the family of six children living at Roundwood Cottages Laverstoke. Lemon is a gamekeeper and his eldest son under gamekeeper (possibly on the Portals’ estate?).

Kelly’s Directories for 1915 and 1923 record Lemon Barnes as licensee of The Stag and Hounds. It is likely that for the first time in nearly 50 years there were children living at the pub. The Barnes was the largest family to live there since the Franklins in 1851.

Lemon Barnes died aged 55 in Epsom in 1929.

Albert Thomas Strange 1863-1923                 Licensee 1923-1932

 I think that Albert was not very truthful when he completed official forms which has made it difficult for researchers. I believe that he was born in Mile End in 1863. (On census returns he said he was born in Aldershot.)  He worked as a sorter at The Royal Mail sorting office and lived in Westminster and Walworth London. The census of 1911 records that he married Rosina Jane about 1887 but I could find no record of their marriage. Their son, Sydney Albert Strange was born in Westminster in 1888. Albert and Rosina ran The Stag and Hounds from November 1923 to 31 May 1932(KS) when Albert would have been 69. He died in Basingstoke later that year.

William Henry Young 1888-1976 Licensee 1932-1949

William was born in Hartlepool on 8 February 1888. He married Florence Hilda Hobden in 1915. Their son, Kenneth was born in Devonport in 1917. They lived in Farnham and Honiton before taking over The Stag and Hounds on 31 May 1932. They retired on 5 July 1949 when Kenneth took over the licence and went to live in Ardmore Winchester Road where William died on 22 July 1976(KS)  

Kenneth Guy Young 1917-  licensee1949-1982

Kenneth was the longest serving landlord of The Stag and Hounds. It was his home from the age of 15.

Kenneth married Merle Restorick in Basingstoke in 1940. She was born in Lewisham on 23 May 1915. They had a son, Malcolm, born in 1947 and a daughter, Helen, born in 1953.  Merle Young died on the Isle of Wight in August 1984. I have not found any record of Kenneth Young’s death.

Mervyn Hughes has told me that he remembers photographs on display in the pub of the landlord as a chauffeur to royalty. There are also tales of a Rolls Royce mascot, The Spirit of Ecstasy, on the bar.

I do remember that a former colleague of mine was a regular customer of The Stag and Hounds over thirty years ago. She spoke highly of the Youngs as licensees. They took great pride in their pub garden and won prizes with it for several years. She was sad when The Youngs announced their retirement and the pub closed to be turned into a Harvester.

The pub was very popular with many different groups: amateur dramatic groups and choirs would go there after rehearsals; the teachers from Richard Aldworth were often to be found there.   In the Basingstoke Oral History collection there is a recording made by Mrs Janet Gibbons in which she recalls going on dates to The Stag and Hounds in the 1960s; she recalls a nice atmosphere in a nice pub where she would drink lager and lime or Babycham. She too regretted the changes made to the pub8   

Alan Schofield                Licensee 1982-1983

Alan was the last landlord of the pub before it became The Harvester. He and his wife, Sheila, had run The White Hart in London Road from 1975 and went on to run The Bounty until 1984(KS).



In 1988 Robert Brown, a local historian and photographer published a book of photographs showing the same scenes in Basingstoke in the sixties, or earlier, and 1988.9 On pages 74 &75 are photographs taken on Winchester Road very near to The Stag and Hounds. The pub is not shown but the earlier, 1962, picture is a very good social history document; It shows a car crash between two cars and their occupants, thankfully uninjured, surveying the damage. Most of the people in the picture are of Afro-Caribbean origin and presumably were driving past Basingstoke from London to the coast. Robert Brown’s caption gives this detail:

WINCHESTER ROAD 1962. This was the junction of Winchester Road and the Basingstoke By-Pass, which was quite often the scene of road accidents similar to this one. The By–Pass, built in 1931, took most of the traffic away from the town and at holiday times there was one long line of vehicles stretching for miles past this point. The construction of the M3 motorway in1970 relieved the situation considerably.

Also, in the sixties, small crowds would gather on summer weekends to see the convoys of motor bikes zooming from the by-pass up Winchester Road and Kempshott Hill on their way to Thruxton Racing Circuit.

The traffic has changed from carts and carriages and farmers riding back from market or drovers with their flocks but The Stag and Hounds was still there to provide refreshment.


Forty to fifty years ago finding somewhere to eat in Basingstoke after five o’clock was difficult. Apart from The Red Lion Hotel or the original Wimpy in New Market Square I cannot recall anywhere. Sometime in the late sixties some pubs started to provide evening meals: one popular venue was The Deane Gate on the Overton Road which started serving chicken or scampi in the basket. Like many ‘spilt over’ Londoners we were used to Berni Inns and similar chains. We had to travel to Hartford Bridge to find one of those.

As Basingstoke’s population grew there was a demand for restaurants that were open every evening and weekends, provided reasonably priced food and drink and would welcome families.    More local pubs did start cooking in the evenings but the way was open for the breweries that owned the pubs to follow the lead of others like Berni. Nationally this became big business with the likes of Grand Metropolitan and Whitbread entering the market.


To return to our local, or locality; The Mays Brewery Empire of the Brook Street Brewery, 81 pubs, 2 off licences and 28 other houses was sold in 1947 to H & G Simonds of Reading. In 1960 Simmonds became Courage, Barclay and Simonds which a few years later became Scottish Courage.10 In 1983 Courage opened the first Harvester in Morden Surrey. The Stag and Hounds was converted to a Harvester soon after.

 Harvesters had to promote a marketing image which was readily recognisable: There was a farmhouse theme with the salad cart being a reproduction farm cart, The Stag and Hounds in its early years had life-sized models of Wurzell Gummidge and Aunt Sally from a children’s television series in its entrance. The ‘self- serve and come again’ salad cart was an innovation which most customers had not met before and has lasted over thirty years.  

 When Courage was sold to Elders IXL owners of Fosters Lager in 1986 The Harvesters were sold to Trust House Forte with the agreement that Courage would provide the beer.

Next came the Travelodge; what was left of The Stag and Hounds prize winning garden was built on to provide the budget hotel.

In 1995 Bass bought 78 Harvesters for £165 million. Bass were successors to two Midland brewing empires Mitchels and Butler who had merged in 1898. For the past 50 years with several changes of name Mitchels and Butler have become one of the most successful and profitable companies in the hospitality industry. Today they own over 1600 pubs and restaurants catering for a wide customer base with sixteen different pub and restaurant brands. They are all family friendly, as evidenced by the fact that their busiest and by far the most profitable day of the year is Mothering Sunday. The average weekly takings for each pub is £23,000.

Pubs are very much part of our heritage. There is much more to entertain a modern family than there was for the farm labourer 250 years ago, so it is inevitable that we have far fewer pubs. But perhaps we can see a comparison between our labourer trudging along the dark beech-lined Winchester Road seeking the warmth, comfort, and conviviality of The Royal Sovereign three centuries ago and the electronics engineer, hundreds of miles from home, driving his Mondeo estate down Kempshott Hill from junction 7 to seek warmth, a hot meal and a comfortable room in the Travelodge at The Stag and Hounds where he can plug in his laptop and call home on Skype.

                                                                                                                Geoff Palmer April 2013 revised May 2017



 KS Smallbone, Ken; Gone, But Not Forgotten; The Histories of Basingstoke’s Historic Inns & Pubs. The Changing Seasons 2017 www.the-changing-seasons.com  ksmallbone@aol.com.

1         Clarke, Bob; The Basingstoke Riots, Massagainians v The Salvation Army 1880-1883; pp3-4 BAHSOC 2010

2         Quoted by Willis George, McKenzie Barbara (ed); Historical Miscellany of Basingstoke chapter 12 Crosby Press 1972

3         Baigent & Millard; History of Basingstoke ;p531 C J Jacob 1889

4         Ibid  p704

5         Hampshire Record Office Basingstoke Museum miscellanea ref no. 11M 94/21.

6         Hampshire Chronicle 19 Sept. 1808 & 24 July 1809

7         Clarke; p4

8         Basingstoke  Oral  History M51 -1995

9         Brown , Robert ;Basingstoke Past and Present Ensign Publications Southampton 1988

10     Osborne, Keith; Hampshire Hogsheads Vol. 1 North Hampshire  Self published 1996



                                Findmypast; Hampshire Records Office; Family search; Mitchels & Butler; Harvester; Wikipedia

                Basingstoke Discovery Centre Local History Collection:

                                Whites Directory 1859 transcribed by Bob Applin

                                Hampshire & Berkshire Gazette microfilm collection

                Willis Museum Local Studies

                Basingstoke Oral History

                Inns of Basingstoke file

                Also thanks to John Holland

                Kempshott History Group Members

Barry Dale,
Jan 28, 2015, 5:20 AM