Photo of Duke Inn

grid reference TL 659 482

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CAMRA West Suffolk & Borders branch.

last updated 21/01/2020

Withersfield Duke Inn

also traded as as: Duke of Wellington

historical closure era: mid 20th century

closed between 1951 and 1960?

Rose Hill

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The Duke Inn has been found on OS maps as late as 1951, but is not shown on subsequent sheets (the next being 1960, so perhaps it closed between those dates?)

Unfortunately the building is completely surrounded by high vegetation; our photo is the best that could be obtained without trespassing.

The 1891 census lists the pub in Willow Bank. This is shown as an area on the south side of Church Street, opposite St Mary's Church, on an 1886 map. However, this old OS map from about the end of the 19th century clearly shows the Duke Inn to be in the north-east of the settlement. larger map

old OS map

The pub was known as the Duke of Wellington before 1874.

I'm contacting you in relation to the page on your website devoted to the now closed Duke (of Wellington) in Withersfield, Suffolk. In doing family history research, I discovered from the 1891 census that my great grandfather, Henry Farrant, was at that point in time the landlord of the Duke. It's clearly the same person in 1892 as well. Thank you - and by the way your website is great. It's been fun for me, a 62 year old grandmother, to discover this family connection. I've been a real ale drinker all my life (unlike anyone else in my family) and I wonder if I inherited my great grandfather's genes!from Hilary Coffman

The Duke

Brick-built and slated roadside House.

On the First Floor: 3 Rooms and an Ante Room.

On the Ground Floor: Tap Room, Smoking Room, Parlour, large Kitchen and 2 Cellars.

2 Stables, Barn, Pin Shed, Range of Piggeries and 5 Acres of Land.

Let to Mr. Henry Farrant for about 8 years.Details of pub premises belonging to William Ward & Son sold, along with the brewery, by auction, January 23rd 1894***. Taken from the original source of documentation at Suffolk Record Office

(Most pub, location & historic details collated by Nigel, Tony or Keith - original sources are credited)

(some old PO directory information courtesy of londonpublichouse.com)

(1861 census information from Malcolm Fairley)

(***Original source of documentation transcribed by Graham Nunn)

Old OS map reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.


In 1830 the Duke of Wellington was Prime Minister when the the Beer Act was introduced to help create Beer Houses - a new lower tier of premises permitted to sell alcohol. Under the 1830 Act any householder who paid rates could apply, with a one-off payment of two guineas, to sell beer or cider in their home (usually the front parlour) and even brew on the premises. The permission did not extend to the sale of spirits or fortified wines.