One of the oldest standing farmhouses certainly held a prime 18th century orchard plot in rural Hucknall-under-Huthwaite, long before opening up a beer house to centrally serve increasing mass of worker homes beyond crammed length of Main Street. Just marking potential extent of land proportionally sold off in late 1800s notes significant downsizing prior brewery purchase.
Two early gazetteers identifying Jeremiah Burrows as victualler does help assert first choice of pub name. That for whatever reason, surely recognised Colonel Thomas Wildman from c1818 purchase of Lord Byrons former estate at Newstead Abbey. What is not so obvious though, are complications relating Burrows generations through changing interests plus tied keep.
Acknowledging private 1835 burial of Mr Burrows in his own grounds offered some intrigue behind this pubs long history. Whites 1864 directory fuelled modern speculation about where unmarked plot might still be found. A walled off rear garden, or weathered pet gravestones belonging The Beeches all dismissed time when this wealthy landowner had owned far larger orchard grounds.
Quoting recent discovery from a slightly updated 1895 entry offers better understanding for a remoter setting, just by confirming purchase of a significant portion of land by Mr Boot. Reason for their own nearby private burial grounds could similarly justify the senior Burrows choice from having his own non-conformist beliefs.
Heading 1841 Burrows household are Joseph and Ann employed in common trade of Frame Work Knitting. That brings an inconclusive closure for a brief opening chapter, before returning back to the same elusive Jeremiah Burrows who next established the signed Peacock Inn.
Certified marriage of a daughter in May 1849 at Chesterfield gives her fathers name Jeremiah Burrows in profession of Farmer and Victualler. Bride could entertain more family intrigue by identifying herself a 25 year old spinster Anne Woodhead Burrows.
But as 1851 Hucknall census shows groom witness George Elliott is a close neighbour, attention can turn towards her 27 year old Sutton Frame Work Knitter husband next inheriting Publican role of the Peacock Inn.
1851 Hucknall Census
Rowland Kesteven 29 Publican
Ann Kesteven 37 wife
Eliza Burrows 11 Dau-Law
Ann Kesteven 1 Dau
Edward Kesteven 84 Bro FWK
Eliza Wright 17 Servant
1881 Peacock Inn
Rowland Kesteven 59 Head
Mary Anne Lowe 31 Dau
Harriet Kesteven 28 Dau
Arthur Row. Lowe 8 Son
Edwin Howard Lowe 7 son
Mr Rowland Kesteven consistently claims role of licensed victualler and publican of the Peacock Inn throughout all subsequent trade directories until 1895. Family seems to have more farm land possibly in Sutton, so residential households might confirm licensees being employed caretakers, until 1881 finds Rowland settling back home.
A 59 year old Mr Kesteven heads a significantly changed household when accommodating one daughter who had married George Lowe. Mary Ann and her two sons thus introduce his surname. Kesteven also boasted Farmer of 9½ acres, despite selling off greater part rear adjoining Hucknall Huthwaite land owned by J T Boot, to address more than his prestigious 1872 property named The Orchards.
Reading Kesteven above original doorway comes a rare glimpse of the 19th century Peacock Inn. Shape typified older stone built farms, when wealth afforded larger rooms and windows favourably faced southern sunlight.
Yard buildings on left are defined by large L shaped structure on clearest 1899 mapping. It furthermore plots houses and shops closely stood surrounding the Peacock years after. A short row of small worker cottages on right side this yard look to have stood under Burrows early keep.
Adding ten years onto an otherwise unchanged Kesteven household precedes Rowland's 1894 registered death aged 72.
Easily recognised now is elder grandson Arthur Rowland Lowe timely becoming listed publican. Marriage to Agnes results in Arthur and wife heading three 1911 children, plus two domestic servant girls. But 1912 listing for John Elliott Gower as licensed manager can trace a self titled gentleman probably recently appointed after selling off this families long inherited pub interest, because 1913 proposals to add a serving bar lobby were soon after submitted by Mansfield Brewery Co. Ltd.
A newly signed Peacock Hotel subtly marks changed ownership under Mansfield Brewery. Corporate investment kept pace with modern demands while trade directories thereafter identify tenant landlords tied to Mansfield Ales. Proposed 1930 alterations might well date bricked frontal entrance porch inviting less draughty main access.
Special Constable and Ex-Serg Jim Wardholds his families proud focus, when Jim just happens to front this background, uniquely exposing more historic properties.
The Orchards at far back inspired current address off Boots Yard. Central is end terrace of small Peacock Yard cottages behind later Main Street shops. Former addressing off Market Place, Town Street then Main Street sees where wider entry retained some visibility tucked behind a grand dwelling prominently cornering Station Road. The ultimate widening of Chesterfield Road also took our rear roadside shops, promoting viewed location of the Peacock.
Reducing size of Inn outbuilding eventually presented a rear garden area. Upper floor of the remaining rectangular outer stone barn became club house for the Huthwaite Amateur Boxing Club. Ground level was utilised partly to replace outside toilets initially added rear end the public house. Lowered height finally proved too unsafe for garaging, and was last seen used for clocking pigeon club racers before witnessing c1999 demolition.
Enclosure of central door fronted by this 1900 prize winning Hucknall Huthwaite brass band, increased working space behind bar. Additional kitchen and storage room dates from larger roadside extension. That gave necessary c1979 access from both comfortably furnished bar rooms into public washroom facilities all under one roof. Swapping internal divisional wall for the glassed door partitioning lastly broadened staged entertainment.
Path left aside a front corner lawn replacing driveway entrance results from all broader 1960's Huthwaite modernisation. Accessing a car park was thereafter gained via a poorly surfaced private road entering the modernly addressed Boots Yard. Discreet opening below a Top Ten Cafe went on baffling some visiting motorists, plus the invitation of newer pub teams.
Reportage exposes several common examples of how larger roomed public houses catered for various communal use. Hosting 1886 inquest concerning fatal injury of a Huthwaite miner at Silver Hill Colliery highlights that workers extreme destitution, besides sobering use of the Peacock Inn. December 1933 reported how members of the Peacock Hotel Sick and Dividing Society had one of their more enjoyable meetings paying out dividends, updating Dobb surname as current host and hostess.
A competition for the best potatoes (plate of three, any variety) was held at the Peacock Hotel. There were 14 entries, ...
In an open buttonhole competition held at the Peacock Hotel there were 37 entries, some very artistic efforts being on view. ...
Larger auctions selling off Huthwaite lands and properties weren't only reason for enticing broader interest. The Huthwaite Peacocks Football Club claimed Tommy Maddison from Mansfield Town in a strongly contested division among the Sutton and Skegby League.
The annual Huthwaite Flying Club meeting was presided in 1932 by my own Great Grandfather William Elliott. He was also one regular prize winner among pigeon breeding shows. Veg and flower competitions invited growers also from surrounding localities, offering just a few choice examples 25 years after reporting how the Peacock Hotel hosted some very influential local personalities at their annual Huthwaite Horticultural Society Dinner.
A very unique collection of coins is still prominently fixed into a solid wood mantle piece above the open fireplace. These, plus others aside that chimney breast, were left as lucky tokens awaiting safe return of customers after war service. The landlord personalised each one with names formed by hand punched lettering. Although the legend is vague regarding other details, it insists that all represented individuals did prove lucky enough to get back home to enjoy another drink.
Unable to find any witness beyond the late 1970s landlord (names often elude me), an otherwise good memory can nonetheless recall hearing him best relating the breweries story that still merits irrefutable historic basis backing up some additional research.
Accessing 1939 census can now identify George Edward Wilson, whom with a similarly aged 38 year old wife Dorothy was then tenant Innkeeper of the Peacock Public House. Cursory inspection of these coins will realise they come from oversees. Just a few readily recognisable examples suggests he took over brewery pub possession that started this collection of mementos brought back by World War One veterans. Ranging from older 2 cent Belgium coins alongside Irish 1d and sixpences into later circulation of 1 Franc French currency might date some from active service leave. Perhaps the holed 10 centimes Belgium coins inspired George on how to purposefully display jar contents. Drilling all others for brass screw fixture featured along the mantle piece had also initially arranged a row around the bar. Realising they had tendency to snag in customers clothing was reason given behind their relocation afterwards upon side wall to keep them above harms reach.
National decline of the entire pub trade began noticing ever more frequent landlord changes from around 1990. The Peacock Hotel retained favoured popularity for weekend custom, while darts, dominoes and pool teams realised widespread dwindling numbers of weekday patrons. The largest independent Mansfield Brewery sold off 1999 interests to Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries, which basically gives a timely introduction for photo coverage identifying The Peacock corporate branding.