The Village PubsSepia image of drinkers

Oatlands continues to be fairly well endowed with watering-holes - The Prince of Wales, The Flint Gate and the Working Men's Club each have their own character and are all 'original', if a bit knocked about' from their former layouts. The 'Oatlands Chaser' (and let's not forget its numerous other names over the last few years), is - despite its appearance – a remarkably recent addition to the list of hostelries.

We are currently working on what we hope will be a fairly definitive history of the village pubs to be published in book form, but in the meantime you can read brief accounts of the older pubs - some now long gone - by selecting from the choices on the left.

One of the major headaches when researching the pubs of Oatlands is that, with the exception of The Working Men's Club and the Oatlands Chaser, they all came into being during the time of the 1828 Licensing Act and the subsequent licensing Acts...

Whilst the Licensing Act of 1828 had made the grant of a full licence by the local justices was required to sell any type of exciseable (taxable) liquor by retail, this was watered-down by the 1830 legislation. On July 23rd 1830, Parliament passed An Act to permit the general Sale of Beer and Cyder by Retail in England. 

Commonly known as the Beer Act of 1830, this law called for a major overhaul of the way beer was taxed and distributed in England and Wales. In place of a sixteenth-century statute that had given local magistrates complete control over the licensing of brewers and publicans, the Beer Act stipulated that a new type of drinking establishment, the beer shop, or beer house, could now be opened by any rate-paying householder in England or Wales (Scotland and Ireland had their own drink laws). For the modest annual licensing fee of two guineas, rate-payers in England could now purchase a license to brew and sell from their own residence. This act was in response to the rising popularity of gin and consequent drunkardness and a statement in Parliament that "The sovereign people are in a beastly state". The Beer Act was replaced by the Wine and Beerhouse Act of 1869

Whilst these acts gave the British people many of the pubs that they continue to enjoy, they had one major flaw from a historical research perspective - the name of the licensee and the address of the premises to which the licence applied were not recorded...