2. 52 College Street
The White Hart
At one time there were ten public houses in Higham Ferrers
Directories used to be published detailing the various amenities in a town, and the details were often gained from postmen who regularly walked around the area. The information was then collated and published. Nine public houses were listed for Higham Ferrers but there also used to be one called The Red Cow at the junction of Kimbolton Road and Station Road.
In 1841 James Sargeant was the publican at The White Hart. The White Hart also contained the Excise Office where Thomas Barker was the supervisor. By 1851 George Newman, who bequeathed the money to build the Almshouses, was living in Higham so is very likely to be using The White Hart as an office. The pub was listed continuously until 1861, and then again in 1876. Abraham Brown was the last person recorded as having a licence but he died in 1871, so the recording of the pub's existence in 1876 would suggest human error.
Women were not officially allowed to be licensees of pubs at this point, although some records do suggest that they did have a major part in the running of such enterprises, often as the chief brewer. In White’s directory of 1896, Mrs Eliza Sargent is listed as the publican of The White Horse. John Sargent who was a tenant of The White Hart pub in 1905 purchased the property in 1914 from Rt Hon William Charles de Meuron, the 7th Earl Fitzwilliam, when the Earl had a major sale of properties he owned in Higham.
IT IS HEREBY AGREED AND DECLARED by The Right Honourable WILLIAM CHARLES DE MEURON EARL FITZWILLIAM, D.S.O., K.C.V.O., the Vendor of hereditaments described and comprised in the foregoing Particulars, and
in the County of (herein called "the Purchaser"), that the Purchaser has this day purchased the hereditaments described as
Lot in the foregoing Particulars at the sum of
and that the sum of
has been this day paid by him by way of deposit and in part payment of the said purchase-money, and that the foregoing Particulars and Conditions of Sale shall be taken as the terms of the Agreement for the sale and purchase respectively and be observed and fulfilled by the Vendor and Purchaser in all things.
Dated this day of ,1914.
Deposit... ... ... ... ... £
Balance... ... ... ... ... £
Now a private property
The old White Hart has been a private property for many years. The present owner, who is the fifth generation of the same family to own the property, has done much to restore both the exterior and interior.
Among the treasures found during the restorations, was a coin from 1700 and receipts nestling in an old beam in the house. The original fireplace has been opened up and the beam exposed.
The house has a long heritage. On the 1591 map of Higham Ferrers, it is possible that the footprint of the home today was present in the 16th century. If so this, together with The Old House and Church House, would make it one of the oldest buildings in the town to have been continuously inhabited.