People and Places of Geddington

Welcome to a new series of feature articles:

People and Places of Geddington.

Our first ‘place’ is The Star Inn at the corner of Bridge Street and West Street, once on the main route through the village and passed by many; from children fetching water from the well to royalty in carriages.

Although too detailed to be told in full here, the story of the public house at the centre of the village will be seen to be a colourful and varied one.


We look too at the characters who have lived there as landlords and who have contributed to the life of the village in more ways than one!

The Star Inn

The Star has been part of village life for over 150 years, though it may have had other names in earlier times.

Now, in 2017, it has new owners, is being refurbished and is set to pick up again its role as one of the key hubs for village events. It has hosted numerous pig roasts, welcomed Boxing Day Squirt teams, run skittle teams, football teams, darts teams, quiz nights, New Year and millennium celebrations as well as offering a warm welcome to villagers and visitors alike, but did you know …

… it has also been an auction house?

Approximately 1910

On 1th March 1895 The Northampton Mercury informed its readers that a property sale had been conducted at The Star Inn. The sale consisted of a stone-built slated dwelling house which was purchased by Mr J Gotch of Kettering for £190. Also sold was a field of arable land (6 acres) on the Stamford Road bought by Mr G Chapman of Geddington for £33.

… it has also been a coroner’s office and mortuary?

Malting Lane 1930s

In September 1887 the Northampton Mercury reported the coroner’s 3 hour inquest session at The Star in connection with ‘The Geddington Murder’ and subtitled ‘A Curious Clue’.  Mr. J.T. Parker was the coroner who had the gruesome task of investigating the circumstances of the death of a female child whose body was found in a ditch on the road between Geddington and Grafton Underwood. The body had been discovered by a woodsman, William Clipstone, who told his ‘mates’ and informed Police Constable Lines. The body was removed to The Star Inn where it was examined by Mr J. W. Dryland. Subsequently a village woman, Mary Ann White, was found guilty of ‘Wilful Murder’ of the child because the child was wrapped in the newspaper found in her cottage.

… it has also played host to The Ancient Order of Forresters – Geddington Chase Branch?

In June 1892, 70 members of the Order sat down to ‘an excellent repast provided by the hostess of the Star Inn. After the cloth had been removed, Mr Cruchington was unanimously voted to the Chair and several songs were rendered by the members. At 5 o’clock the members paraded the village headed by the Walgrave Prize Band with Bros. Wapples, Clipstone, Cooper and J. Clipstone on horseback and Bros Wapples and Lee as attendants in old English costumes. The usual places were visited: The Rectory, Mr Redhead, Mr. Kyle’s, Mr Wetherall’s, The Priory etc where the band played lively airs. Great credit is due to Bros. Wormleighton and Talbot for the able manner in which the marshalling arrangements were carried out. Dancing around the Cross was indulged in, after which the friends sat down to supper when a few songs terminated a pleasant and enjoyable evening.’

These festivities were an annual event and there is a record that at one such celebration Joe Clipstone rode his horse through The Star from the back entrance and out at the front!!

… it has also been a court?

1870 Miss Croot as young girl in doorway, possibly?

A travelling barrister met claimants at the Court of Geddington in The Star in 1862, to resolve a dispute over a will which would determine the rights of two brothers of a business and property their father had left.


The licence was often passed down from father to son, William Abbott taking on the licence from his father John in 1862. By 1871 Frederick Croot, his wife Annie and his family were established as keepers of The Star and remained there for many years. Their daughter Constance became a teacher and is shown in the photograph from the school magazine. Both William and Frederick were charged on occasion for keeping an ‘unruly house’ or opening their premises out of hours! Frederick certainly, and probably William too, brewed his own beer in the kiln down what is now Malting Lane, but was also known as Star Lane and Kiln Lane.

Miss Croot 1926

Next time you drop in for refreshment at this village pub just take a moment to imagine thatch on the roof, an extended corner as it joins West Street, no car park, but instead Granny Hipwell’s cottage at the side of the building and the smell of home brewed beer and a fine fire in the grate. It is unlikely these days that you’d find a horse ridden through the building, but there are other long established traditions of hospitality and community spirit that will  continue on for many years yet.


As always, click on the images to enlarge.

If you have more stories to tell or photographs to share, please contact us via the website home page on Contact Us.

15 comments on “People and Places of Geddington

  • Hazel Freeman says:

    When I was a child, Malting Lane was called Star Lane, we lived at the top in number 5. Does anyone know why the name of the lane changed when the ‘Star’ public house is still there?

    • Hi Hazel. Kiln Lane, Star Lane, sometimes Hipwell’s Jitty, and now Malting Lane; I don’t know why the name changed but I’m looking into when it officially became Malting Lane and that might help us with the answer…of course someone reading this might know the reason …

      • Just one more thing Hazel, in the census of 1841,1891 and 1911 the address logged for residents is Malting Lane in all cases.

  • Tricia Kirby says:

    Very interesting article – thank you. The building itself is presumably older than 150 years? Can anyone say what it was before it became a public house? Geddington is such a fascinating village with much history to unfold – look forward to seeing more articles such as this

    • Hi Tricia. I’m glad you liked the article. It was great fun to research. The next ‘place’ will be Lee’s Way – another great story – watch this space!

  • bob patton says:

    I live in geddington until I was 17/halfe in the oddfellow hall across the back gates off the star and go boxing there

    • Hello Bob. Thanks for your comment. We’d love to know more about The Oddfellows Hall and your boxing club. When did you live in the village?

      • Hi Janet, I have a wonderful photo that probably dates from the ’50s, which is taken from the door of the Star across to what was more recently a tea-shop. It shows a large amount of flooding, beer barrels in the water and two ladies who I would love to identify. Are you interested in seeing it?
        Steve Brown

  • Hilary Aslett says:

    I lived in Geddington from ’46 to ’67 and remember Connie Croot – a very vivacious elderly lady who lived in Newton Road. She was producer for a small group of ladies who
    performed plays in the area – the one I particularly remember was Progress to Fortheringhay with Win Elliott as MQS and Gwendoline Ambery as one of her companions

    Hilary Aslett nee Knight

  • Terry Greenwood says:

    My Greatgrandmother and father Eliza Florence Mary Lawson (nee Talbot), and Arthur Lawson, lived in Geddington with their 5 daughters. Violet Brocket Lawson, my grandmother, was born in 1899
    and baptised in St Mary Magdalene on 24/09/1899. I remember visiting my Greatgrandparents who lived in a cottage next to the bridge. Greatgrandmother was rescued from the Ise Brook floods on several occasions.
    My great, great, grandparents are buried in the churchyard, Row 1 William Henry Talbot and Harriet Talbot. I have no idea what they did for a living.

    • Terry, thank you for details of your family history and where it connects with Geddington, the church and churchyard.
      I looked for the grave of William and Harriet Talbot in the Northamptonshire Family History Society’s book “Memorial Inscriptions of St Mary Magdalene”, which has a plan of the churchyard with it marked out in sections and all (well most) of the graves in them. According to the book, Section C, plot 8, is where your grandparents’ grave is situated. This book is a very useful tool for finding out past generations of families and their final resting places. ISBN 1 902073 63 0.

    • Hello Terry. I have checked the 1911 census for Geddington. The records show that William and Harriet lived in Queen Street in 1911 . He was a platelayer on the railway – probably at Geddington/Little Oakley. Harriet was born in Little Oakley but William was born in Hampshire. They had 4 children, all of whom were alive in 1911. They had been married 37 years at that point.
      The 1881 census shows them living in Sykes Lodge in Newton with their 3 children, Florence, Thomas and Jane. William’s job is also shown here as a platelayer.
      I hope this helps you build a bigger picture of your great great grandparents’ lives.

    • Melvyn Hopkins says:

      I remember the flood of 4th July 1958. Mrs Lawson was rescued by Mrs Mary Abrahams and her daughter Mrs Dorothy Welsh (who featured in the last Newsletter) who’s homes were also flooded. They moved 83-year-old Mrs Lawson upstairs in her home until boats from Wicksteed Park were sent out to rescue her. She was taken to an old people’s Hospital at Oundle where she could properly be looked after. I took a photograph of the rescue.

  • Miranda Barclay says:

    My Great Grandfather was Mr Redhead, and he owned the White Hart Inn. His son Michael was my grandfather and his daughter Diane is my mother & his second daughter Margaret is my aunt. We live in Australia now.

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