People and Places of Geddington

Welcome to a new series of feature articles:

People and Places of Geddington.

Our first ‘place’ is The Star Inn at the corner of Bridge Street and West Street, once on the main route through the village and passed by many; from children fetching water from the well to royalty in carriages.

Although too detailed to be told in full here, the story of the public house at the centre of the village will be seen to be a colourful and varied one.

1905

We look too at the characters who have lived there as landlords and who have contributed to the life of the village in more ways than one!

The Star Inn

The Star has been part of village life for over 150 years, though it may have had other names in earlier times.

Now, in 2017, it has new owners, is being refurbished and is set to pick up again its role as one of the key hubs for village events. It has hosted numerous pig roasts, welcomed Boxing Day Squirt teams, run skittle teams, football teams, darts teams, quiz nights, New Year and millennium celebrations as well as offering a warm welcome to villagers and visitors alike, but did you know …

… it has also been an auction house?

Approximately 1910

On 1th March 1895 The Northampton Mercury informed its readers that a property sale had been conducted at The Star Inn. The sale consisted of a stone-built slated dwelling house which was purchased by Mr J Gotch of Kettering for £190. Also sold was a field of arable land (6 acres) on the Stamford Road bought by Mr G Chapman of Geddington for £33.

… it has also been a coroner’s office and mortuary?

Malting Lane 1930s

In September 1887 the Northampton Mercury reported the coroner’s 3 hour inquest session at The Star in connection with ‘The Geddington Murder’ and subtitled ‘A Curious Clue’.  Mr. J.T. Parker was the coroner who had the gruesome task of investigating the circumstances of the death of a female child whose body was found in a ditch on the road between Geddington and Grafton Underwood. The body had been discovered by a woodsman, William Clipstone, who told his ‘mates’ and informed Police Constable Lines. The body was removed to The Star Inn where it was examined by Mr J. W. Dryland. Subsequently a village woman, Mary Ann White, was found guilty of ‘Wilful Murder’ of the child because the child was wrapped in the newspaper found in her cottage.

… it has also played host to The Ancient Order of Forresters – Geddington Chase Branch?

In June 1892, 70 members of the Order sat down to ‘an excellent repast provided by the hostess of the Star Inn. After the cloth had been removed, Mr Cruchington was unanimously voted to the Chair and several songs were rendered by the members. At 5 o’clock the members paraded the village headed by the Walgrave Prize Band with Bros. Wapples, Clipstone, Cooper and J. Clipstone on horseback and Bros Wapples and Lee as attendants in old English costumes. The usual places were visited: The Rectory, Mr Redhead, Mr. Kyle’s, Mr Wetherall’s, The Priory etc where the band played lively airs. Great credit is due to Bros. Wormleighton and Talbot for the able manner in which the marshalling arrangements were carried out. Dancing around the Cross was indulged in, after which the friends sat down to supper when a few songs terminated a pleasant and enjoyable evening.’

These festivities were an annual event and there is a record that at one such celebration Joe Clipstone rode his horse through The Star from the back entrance and out at the front!!

… it has also been a court?

1870 Miss Croot as young girl in doorway, possibly?

A travelling barrister met claimants at the Court of Geddington in The Star in 1862, to resolve a dispute over a will which would determine the rights of two brothers of a business and property their father had left.

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The licence was often passed down from father to son, William Abbott taking on the licence from his father John in 1862. By 1871 Frederick Croot, his wife Annie and his family were established as keepers of The Star and remained there for many years. Their daughter Constance became a teacher and is shown in the photograph from the school magazine. Both William and Frederick were charged on occasion for keeping an ‘unruly house’ or opening their premises out of hours! Frederick certainly, and probably William too, brewed his own beer in the kiln down what is now Malting Lane, but was also known as Star Lane and Kiln Lane.

Miss Croot 1926

Next time you drop in for refreshment at this village pub just take a moment to imagine thatch on the roof, an extended corner as it joins West Street, no car park, but instead Granny Hipwell’s cottage at the side of the building and the smell of home brewed beer and a fine fire in the grate. It is unlikely these days that you’d find a horse ridden through the building, but there are other long established traditions of hospitality and community spirit that will  continue on for many years yet.

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As always, click on the images to enlarge.

If you have more stories to tell or photographs to share, please contact us via the website home page on Contact Us.

    10 Comments

    1. Hazel Freeman

      Thu 17th Aug 2017 at 6:25 pm

      When I was a child, Malting Lane was called Star Lane, we lived at the top in number 5. Does anyone know why the name of the lane changed when the ‘Star’ public house is still there?

      Reply
      • Janet

        Mon 21st Aug 2017 at 10:10 pm

        Hi Hazel. Kiln Lane, Star Lane, sometimes Hipwell’s Jitty, and now Malting Lane; I don’t know why the name changed but I’m looking into when it officially became Malting Lane and that might help us with the answer…of course someone reading this might know the reason …

        Reply
        • Janet

          Mon 21st Aug 2017 at 10:38 pm

          Just one more thing Hazel, in the census of 1841,1891 and 1911 the address logged for residents is Malting Lane in all cases.

          Reply
    2. Tricia Kirby

      Thu 17th Aug 2017 at 9:07 pm

      Very interesting article – thank you. The building itself is presumably older than 150 years? Can anyone say what it was before it became a public house? Geddington is such a fascinating village with much history to unfold – look forward to seeing more articles such as this

      Reply
      • Janet

        Mon 21st Aug 2017 at 9:49 pm

        Hi Tricia. I’m glad you liked the article. It was great fun to research. The next ‘place’ will be Lee’s Way – another great story – watch this space!

        Reply
    3. bob patton

      Fri 18th Aug 2017 at 11:13 am

      I live in geddington until I was 17/halfe in the oddfellow hall across the back gates off the star and go boxing there

      Reply
      • Janet

        Mon 21st Aug 2017 at 9:52 pm

        Hello Bob. Thanks for your comment. We’d love to know more about The Oddfellows Hall and your boxing club. When did you live in the village?

        Reply
        • stephenbrown

          Fri 01st Sep 2017 at 2:40 pm

          Hi Janet, I have a wonderful photo that probably dates from the ’50s, which is taken from the door of the Star across to what was more recently a tea-shop. It shows a large amount of flooding, beer barrels in the water and two ladies who I would love to identify. Are you interested in seeing it?
          Steve Brown

          Reply
          • Janet

            Sat 02nd Sep 2017 at 11:05 am

            Hi Steve, Yes it would be good to see the photo and perhaps we can find out who the ladies are.

            Reply
    4. Hilary Aslett

      Thu 31st Aug 2017 at 9:08 am

      I lived in Geddington from ’46 to ’67 and remember Connie Croot – a very vivacious elderly lady who lived in Newton Road. She was producer for a small group of ladies who
      performed plays in the area – the one I particularly remember was Progress to Fortheringhay with Win Elliott as MQS and Gwendoline Ambery as one of her companions

      Hilary Aslett nee Knight

      Reply

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