Although no longer the public house it was, the Red Lion has been around some time. The exact time it was built is unknown but it was trading in 1665. John Farmer was the landlord. Prior to this it is reputed that in 1644 King Charles I stayed over night on his return to Oxford after the 2nd Battle of Newbury.
Thomas Dale was the landlord in the late 18th century and organised a collection which purchased the first Lambourn fire engine. It was put to good use in 1832 when Mary Browning was landlady. Villager, John Carter, set fire to the stables belonging to The Red Lion after a row with his employer over extra wages. (nothing changes!) For this and other acts of arson, he was found guilty and hanged in Reading prison. He was the last person hanged for arson in this country and was buried in Lambourn churchyard where his stone tells the story as a warning to all.
In 1840, landlord William Ford, used the stables for racehorses and he trained on behalf of John Drinkald of Wisborough Green, Sussex.
In 1848 the landlord was Charles Dubber and according to records it was 'a commercial inn and excise office. David Dubber held the licence for the Malt Shovel at Upper Lambourn.
In 1880 John East Penfold took over the tenancy at an annual rent of £60! He was there on the 1881 and 1891 Census and in the 1901 Census Lousia, his wife (widow) was the licensee.
One particular incident outside the Red Lion, a 16 year old boy was crushed to death by a farm roller, his 'mangled remains' were taken into the bar. The local Doctor confirmed death, Sargent Smith took charge and called the boy's father and Coroner. After an investigation into the circumstances, an inquest was held, returning a verdict of accidental death....all in the same day.
The Red Lion was also the place where many auctions took place. This is an extract from the Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette, Thursday May 23, 1833.
|To be Sold by Auction, by William Davis, at the Red Lion Inn, Lambourn, on Friday the 31st day of May, 1833, at three o'clock, a compact Freehold Stock Farm, Land-tax redeemed; situate in the Tithing of Bockhampton, in the parish of Chipping-Lambourn, Berks, consisting of 208A. 2R. 20P., of sound healthy Land, of which 175A. 1R. 6P., are Arable, and 33A. 1R. 14P. Pasture or Down Land; together with a spacious Barn, Cart-house adjoining, Yard and Well for watering of Sheep, all in good state of repair, having been for several years past in the occupation of the proprietor.|
The Red Lion Inn in 2007 - Now called Lion Mews