The Lion

The Lion was located on the west side of St Mary's Road and first appears as a "beer house" in the 1871 Census, with 29 year old Susan Gurd, show as being unmarried (but having a ine year old daughter, Agnes), being listed as the "Housekeeper".It is not uncommon for this period to find womwn running pubs or beer houses, but they are almost invariably considerably older than Susan was and are shown as being widowed - the licence having been granted to their husband - Susan Gurd must have been a somewhat exceptional woman.

The property had been coverted from the private house shown in the 1861 Census as being occupied by John A Pickering who was a "Professor of Music", his wife Francis, four sons, one daughter and a "House Servant" named Eliza Howard,

By the time of the 1881 Census, the premises - still listed as a "Beer House" - were occupied and being run by William Harrington, who had taken it on at some time prior to 1877 as he is also shown in the 1878 Post Office Directory.

William Harrington died in 1885 and his widow, Emma, took over the licence and she is shown in the 1891 Census  with the occupation of "Beerhouse Keeper".

The Lion was being run by William Lillington in the 1901 Census and Frederick Smith in the 1911 Census and the 1913 edition of Kelly's Directory in both cases it is shown as a beer house..

The 1938 edition of Kelly's shows L W Eastaff in residence and The Lion is listed as "PH" (public house) but that does not necessarily mean that it posessed anything 'stronger' than a beer licence. Hereafter, things become more than a little confused...

The licensing justices records (which are far from complete for this part of Surrey) show that Royston Bartlett transferred the licence to Frederick Saunders on the 11th of March 1956 but there is no indication of when Bartlett had acquired the licence. This is further complicated by Leonard Eastaff being listed in the telephone directories with an address of "The Lion, St Mary's Road" throughout the period of both of the known transfers, up to and beyond the closure of The Lion closed as a pub on the 11th of March 1956.

It is known that the property was acquired for conversion back to a private house by the Hull family in 1958 and they were living there during and after the conversion which was more or less completed by 1959 - but Leonard Eastaff still gave it as his address in the telephone directories up to and including 1961... All very confusing...

The photograph at the top of the page shows The Lion at some time between its closure as a pub and its purchase by the Hull family (or so we believe) which would date it to around 1957 and the photograph below shows the rear view of the property and a gentleman who we believe to be Leonard Eastaff.

Can anyone help us to unravel this?

If you can, please contact our Research Coordinator using the contact form...