The History of ‘The Marquis of Granby’ … Konfusion.

Written by Jamie Fowler

Ok, so today I was invited in to have a look around the Marquis of Granby and using the front door was quite novel for me as this isn’t my usual way of entering these kinds of places.  Before I start I’d just like to quash any rumours of it being turned into an Indian restaurant, a block of flats or worse, it being demolished. It’s going to remain as a bar but it’s going to be vamped up somewhat.

On first appearance, it does seem to have been neglected, with it’s flaking paint and crumbling windows but having said that, after meeting the people who are going to run this place I’m pretty sure they know what they’re doing.

This is by far not the oldest pub in Harlow but luckily in 1981, it was given Grade II status. The streets it sits between though, Market Street and Fore Street are some of the oldest in Harlow and situated with ‘The George’ and ‘The Chequers’ next to it, this must of got pretty rowdy in the past. If you can look past the work that needs doing you can really see the beauty in the old pub. The outside is white weatherboarded at the front (though this wasn’t always the case, the white is fairly new) and plaster at the back. The roof is done in the typical red tiles with two standard three pot chimneys and a wonderful crooked chimney up the side. Outside the front door is a lovely old lamp which I personally think makes the front much more appealing and I do hope they keep it.

The inside is made up of two storeys which once inside seem exceedingly large compared to what it looks like outside, it also has a small loft and a two-part basement, though this isn’t of any size really. As you enter, the first thing you see to your right is the quite quaint fireplace with a copper hood, the brickwork has taken some damage over the years but the most fascinating thing about it is the large indents in the sides that stick out which look like they have been worn down by years of people sitting by the fire. The upstairs seems huge but I cannot stress enough how small the door frames are, I’m quite short but they made me feel very tall for a change, they must only be about four and a half foot high! There is an incredible amount of work that needs doing to this place but the actual old beams seem in great shape and I also hope these get an appearance.

So what of the history of this pub? well as with all the original old pubs of Harlow it’s hard to get an exact date of its age, so we have to go on what we do have. It’s first listed in 1722 as ‘Ye Wheate Sheafe’ when a man called ‘Jolly Stone’ from Harlow was granted it. The deeds state “All that customary or copyhold messuage or tenement with ye houses, outhouses, edifices, buildings, barns, stables, yards, and appurtenances, thereto belonging commonly called or known by the name of ye Wheate Sheafe, as ye same is situate and being in Harlowe Towne in ye middle Row there.” Middle Row was the name for the shops and market stalls that run through the middle of the once connected Fore street and Market Street.
Lieutenant General John Manners (1721-1770) was the Marquess of Granby, he was a distinguished soldier and very popular with his troops. He fought at Minden (1759) and Warburg(1760). When his soldiers got too injured to fight or too old he would set them up with their own pub. We don’t know the soldier’s name who got the Wheate Sheafe but one obviously did. When John Manners died he was understandably £37,000 in debt and all of his ex-comrades changed the names of their pub to honour him. When James Langfill took over the pub in 1782 it was described as ‘Late called by the name of Wheate Sheafe and now ‘The Marquis of Granby’s Head’. This is now the most common name in the country of a pub named after a man.

Landlords: J.Knight 1791
Thomas Forster 1822
Thomas May 1832
Thomas Smith who also owned the butchers, the hairdressers and the Post Office 1845
Thomas Smith and Sarah Smith 1851
John Henry also butcher 1870
James Bingham 1874
James Reed 1878
James Dorkins and Sarah Dorkins 1881
Mrs John Jex 1882
William Andrews 1886
Mrs Hannah Leach 1890
Robert Girling also coach builder 1899
Harry Chandler 1906
Walter Henry Lane 1908
Charles William Patmore 1922
Albert Goodwin 1933

That’s as far as the pubs inns and taverns index goes but of course we know the much loved Vince Dunn later took over …

That’s it for now but I’m going to be popping back to see how it’s going and I’ll be adding info to here as I get it ..

Two interesting things I forgot to mention, the front door was once around what we would now call the back and that Vince Dunn now has a street opposite Jocelyns named after him!