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 ARCHIVES: Public Houses 

The Bulls Head

The first reference to an alehouse on this site is in the inventory of Thomas Browne the Elder, innholder of Desford, made 8th June 1665, which includes a list of goods in the Bullhead Chamber. Although he was described as an innholder, the inventory shows that the greatest part of his wealth was in his farm.

The next mention is not until the Alehouse Recognizances of 1825 & 1826, when there were 2 licensed alehouse keepers and victuallers: Benjamin Elliott & Charles Heap. In the 1841 census, Benjamin was an innkeeper at The Bumper, with his wife and family.  We do not know whether this was part of the Bulls Head or a separate property, but John Bailey was recorded at the Bulls Head Inn with his wife and 9 children, two of whom were a maltster and butcher.

The Bailey family continued here, with the next generations working as beer retailers, butchers and bakers until a last mention in an 1888 trade directory.  However, William Brooks Headley appeared in 1861 and carried on at the Bulls Head until 1894.  He was born in Leicester and recorded as a farmer and butcher rather than a victualler and perhaps if we researched the family, we might find that he married a Bailey girl. He probably died in 1894 as after this his wife, Ann, replaces him in the directories. In 1901 she was still there as an innkeeper and farmer, with her son, married daughter and family. The last reference to her was in 1904.

After a brief spell under the ownership of William Jackson, the pub was run by Charles Faulkner between 1912 and 1925. He was followed by Thomas Cherry, William Leigh and Stanley Hammond.  There is a gap in the directories between 1941 and 1965 by which time H Ramsell was landlord.  The records run out in 1969 so we are dependent on help from residents to fill us in with names after this. Paddy and John Saxton were landlords at some time.

Bull's Head Desford.jpg


People remember the Skittle Alley and the Produce Shows, so we hope that someone will be able to provide us with some memorabilia from this time. 

The Bulls Head closed about 12 years ago and has been converted to a private residence.  In 2021 houses were built on the former car park.


Further Reading:



Copy of Thomas Browne’s inventory 

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