The 17th Century Buildings

It isn’t known when The Tite Inn first became a pub or even exactly when the building itself was built but records show it existed in the late 17th century, at least from 1688 when Thomas and Sarah Bugg, wool weavers by trade, were recorded as living here. The part of Chadlington where The Tite Inn is located was known as the Mill Close Estate which at the time consisted of “divers odd lands” and “two allottinients”, consisting of around 7 acres and several outbuildings. The road is still called Mill Close, and this end of Chadlington is today known as Mill End.

One of the buildings in 1688 was called the “Edifice” and had been converted into the Bugg’s weaver’s shop. Not knowing exactly which buildings were part of the estate it’s impossible to know for certain which building was the Edifice, but there is a good chance it was The Tite.

For more than 100 years and for four generations, the Buggs lived and worked within the Tite’s four walls until, in 1806, their lineage comes to and end when the 3rd generation outlived their children. Because of the lack of heirs, the property was bequeathed through various transactions to the Holloway family, with the “property lifehold” being granted to the Lord of the Manor, Sir Edwyn Bayntun Sandys*, who leased the properties back to the Holloways.

Typically for a small village like Chadlington, the historical records are opaque and not much is known about the Tite in the first half of the 19th Century until it comes under the ownership of Thomas Hands in around 1849, although it isn’t clear who lived here as Thomas himself doesn’t move to Chadlington, from Chipping Norton, until 1861. It is around this time when the old weaver’s shop is converted to its true calling and trade is set up as a beer house.

 

The Tite Inn

Thomas Hands was a butcher by trade and we know that by 1860, as well as owning a beer house, he used one of the buildings on Mill Close as a butcher’s shop. The details aren’t clear but as Thomas was officially recorded as a “beerhouse keeper”, this is the first clue that our building had become a pub by the mid 19th Century, although there is no record of its name in those early days.

There is remarkably little detail about Chadlington, the pub or people at this time but one snippet of gossip that survives the centuries was that in 1852, Thomas’s wife, Sarah, died in apparently suspicious or unsatisfactory circumstances as her body was disinterred for a post mortem by order of the Coroner’s Warrant. Despite the gravity and rarity of such events, no records survive to record the verdict and Thomas was certainly a free man as he remarried in 1864 to Mary Lvnall of Birmingham. Thomas didn’t have much luck with his wives and Mary, too, was dead within a year. Probably in the rooms above the bar!

Thomas didn’t have much luck with his wives and Mary, too, was dead within a year

Thomas died in 1878 aged 72, appointing his nephew, Edwin Hands, as trustee and executor of his will. The disposal of the estate shows that “The Inn, together with the butchers shop, barn, hovel, buildings and garden, all late in the occupation of Thomas Hands”, were to be sold to William Sheridan and Henry Charles Lardner for £920 (£120,000 in 2016 terms).

The Lardner’s owned an established brewery and wine merchant company in Little Compton and by 1881 The Tite Inn was being rented to Charles Ions (or Ivins), a publican from Broad Campden. On his death it was passed on to Ann Betteridge in 1890, a widow who ran the pub with her 18 year old son, Walter.

In 1898 one of the Lardners died and the family sold all of their public houses, including The Tite Inn, to Hitchmans Brewery of West Street, Chipping Norton, the following year.

Very little is known about The Tite Inn under Hitchmans’ ownership. There are suggestions that it was a rather poor, run-down place, not making much profit and Hitchman’s books show no record of repairs or alterations to The Tite despite their other inns benefiting from regular maintenance and attention. While Hitchman’s evidently had little love for the Tite, it is probable that they at least gave The Tite Inn its modern name.

A surviving rent ledger shows that Ann’s son, Walter Betteridge, served as landlord between 1905 and 1910 before moving his family to London. He was replaced by A.Kerry until 1914, who we know paid an annual rent of £12 (£1,236).

Considering we are now narrating modern times, we still know very little about The Tite in the early 20th century. We know there were a succession of landlords including Philip Cooper (1914 to 1916), John Holloway (related to the Holloway’s of 1806?) in the 1920’s, a Mr White and a Michael Flint.

contraptions such as rockets and trebuchets were used to race-launch eggs

Hitchman & Co. sold The Tite Inn to Hunt Edmunds Hotels Ltd in 1966 along with other properties for the sum of £597,588 7s 11d (if the figure is correct, it’s equivalent to more than £10,000,000 so there must have been a lot of land and business changing hand in the one transaction), after which the trail goes cold again until the 1980’s.

In 1986 The Tite Inn was bought by Mike and Sue Willis who owned the pub until 2007. The pub became well known for offering a large selection of real ales and won Camra’s North Oxfordshire Pub of the Year in 2005.

The Tite Inn also became well known for hosting a number of eccentric events such as Easter Egg Rolling (including a Dad’s category where contraptions such as rockets and trebuchets were used to race-launch eggs), very adult pantomimes, annual charity bike rides and The Great Brook Run, which The Tite still hosts annually to this day.

In 2007 the pub was taken over by Kitty and Robert Dyke and enjoyed a brief time as a successful gastro-pub before falling into a rapid decline and eventually closing its doors in 2010.

The Tite Inn by this time had long been the only pub in Chadlington (the Sandys Arms and The Malt Shovel having closed their doors in the 1970s) and it was seen by Chadlington residents as a vital part of community life. Some residents formed a group to look into buying it as a village co-op (as Chadlington Quality Foods had been in the 1990’s), but the plans stumbled amongst the complexities involved. Then, just when everything looked its bleakest and The Tite looked to have run its course, in January 2012 David and Ann stepped in and bought, what was by then, a building in a very sorry state, and set about the loving refurbishment you see today.

While they Lived in a caravan behind the pub, over six months the interior was practically gutted and rebuilt while carefully keeping the historical ambience intact. New kitchens were built, windows replaced and the structure made good. The bar was rebuilt, the building redecorated, the home above gutted and renewed and the garden landscaped into what is now one of the best beer gardens in this part of the Cotswolds.

The Tite Inn is now enjoying a well deserved renaissance, having a roaring trade with locals and tourists alike. It’s in better shape now than it probably has ever been and is ready to welcome guests, serve beer and great food for the next 335 years!

*The Sandys Arms on Bull Hill took its name from Sir Edywn Sandys. Sadly both it and the Malt Shovel closed some years ago.

 

Chadlington – The First 3,000 Years

There have been settlements along the Evenlode valley and around what is now Chadlington from at least the late Neolithic period, 3,000 years ago. Throughout history, people have left their mark, most notably in the form of Knollbury, an ancient defensive hill fort enclosure which can still be seen from the road in a field 500 yards to the north-west of the pub.

Reginald The Archer owned two of the households, four slaves and two plough teams while Siward the Hunter owned three households, one slave, two plough teams and a meadow of 3 acres.

A mile or so to the west is a bowl barrow from the same period and evidence of Roman occupation exists just to the north of Bury Hill in the fields opposite the campsite where the remains of a Roman farm are visible, albeit only from the air. The Saxons also settled here and in the 1930’s a 7th century Saxon burial ground to the south of the village just off Catsham Lane (opp. Shorthampton turning) was excavated with several finds of jewellery and pottery, rather than weapons, hinting that life in the valley was settled and relatively peaceful prior to the Norman invasion.

As is the norm in rural Britain, little is known about how, why and when villages and hamlets came into being. Certainly Chadlington existed as a hamlet by the 10th century and it is briefly mentioned in the Domesday book (as Cedelintone) as a Hundred of Shipton, where it is listed as having a total population of ten households. Reginald The Archer owned two of the households, four slaves and two plough teams at a taxable value of £2, and Siward the Hunter owned three households, one slave, two plough teams as well as a meadow of 3 acres. He was also rated to have a taxable value of £2.

You wouldn’t expect much architecture to survive from this period but St Nicholas’ Church was built in around 1100, and the remnants of a saxon arch in the nave is evidence of a much older church occupying the same spot. The church retains much Norman stonework as well as later rebuilding. The north and south aisles were added in the 13 century which retain some lancet windows from the period. The bell tower was added in the early 14th century and the chancel was extensively rebuilt in 1870.

 

St-Nicholas-Church,-Chadlington

St Nicholas’s Church, Chadlington. Courtesy of Oxfordshire Villages

 

Chadlington Manor (1650) sits next to the church, originally built for the Rollinson family who were vintners from Bristol. The Rawlinson’s owned the manor in 1770 and was the birthplace of assyriologist and crown director of the East India Company, Sir Henry Rawlinson. There are many other buildings in the village from this period, of which The Tite Inn is one.

The village itself seems to have evolved from five hamlets, known locally as “Ends”. Green End, Brook End, Mill End, West End and East End were probably formed around individual farms and gradually merged together to form the village we see today. The village has always been a farming community and Chadlington prospered from sheep farming as the Cotswolds became one of the most important wool producers in Britain from around the 13th century. The Cotswolds also became very wealthy, to which the many manor houses atest, with wool at one time accounting for 50% of the entire English economy.

 

The sheep that roamed the hills here were known as Cotswold Lions, a long haired, shaggy ancient breed introduced by the Romans, of which William Camden wrote in 1610; “In these woulds there feed in great numbers, flockes of sheepe, long necked and square of bulke and bone, by reason of the weally and hilly situation of their pasturage; whose wool being so fine and soft as had in passing great account among all nations.”

The dawn of industrialisation meant wool became less important through the 19th century and Chadlington’s farms were forced to adapt. As the 20th century came and went, farming was still the major land use but increasing mechanisation and falling prices for livestock and dairy saw most of the land set aside for arable farming instead, employing fewer and fewer hands. Despite the thin soil overlying a rocky ‘Cotswold brash’ which results in relatively meagre crop yields when compared with surrounding counties, Chadlington’s farms are now almost exclusively arable.

In the 21st century, the Cotswolds, and Chadlington, still prosper. Small businesses are able to thrive here in a rural idyl thanks to the Internet, and excellent road connections mean we are just an hour from both Heathrow and Birmingham airports. The nearby train line at Charlbury can have you in central London in just over an hour on a good day. Or not at all. It is notoriously unreliable!

Many residents commute to Oxford or London, craft businesses and artists are in abundance, the land flourishes verdantly through hot summers and we sometimes get cut off from the rest of the world during harsh winters.

Both Chadlington and the Cotswolds have a long and rich history which has shaped the beautiful landscape in which we live. What better way to soak up the history and atmosphere than in front of the fire, or out in the beautiful garden, enjoying a pint of beer or a glass of wine at The Tite Inn!

The 17th Century Buildings

It isn’t known when The Tite Inn first became a pub or even exactly when the building itself was built but records show it existed in the late 17th century, at least from 1688 when Thomas and Sarah Bugg, wool weavers by trade, were recorded as living here. The part of Chadlington where The Tite Inn is located was known as the Mill Close Estate which at the time consisted of “divers odd lands” and “two allottinients”, consisting of around 7 acres and several outbuildings. The road is still called Mill Close, and this end of Chadlington is today known as Mill End.

One of the buildings in 1688 was called the “Edifice” and had been converted into the Bugg’s weaver’s shop. Not knowing exactly which buildings were part of the estate it’s impossible to know for certain which building was the Edifice, but there is a good chance it was The Tite.

For more than 100 years and for four generations, the Buggs lived and worked within the Tite’s four walls until, in 1806, their lineage comes to and end when the 3rd generation outlived their children. Because of the lack of heirs, the property was bequeathed through various transactions to the Holloway family, with the “property lifehold” being granted to the Lord of the Manor, Sir Edwyn Bayntun Sandys*, who leased the properties back to the Holloways.

Typically for a small village like Chadlington, the historical records are opaque and not much is known about the Tite in the first half of the 19th Century until it comes under the ownership of Thomas Hands in around 1849, although it isn’t clear who lived here as Thomas himself doesn’t move to Chadlington, from Chipping Norton, until 1861. It is around this time when the old weaver’s shop is converted to its true calling and trade is set up as a beer house.

 

The Tite Inn

Thomas Hands was a butcher by trade and we know that by 1860, as well as owning a beer house, he used one of the buildings on Mill Close as a butcher’s shop. The details aren’t clear but as Thomas was officially recorded as a “beerhouse keeper”, this is the first clue that our building had become a pub by the mid 19th Century, although there is no record of its name in those early days.

There is remarkably little detail about Chadlington, the pub or people at this time but one snippet of gossip that survives the centuries was that in 1852, Thomas’s wife, Sarah, died in apparently suspicious or unsatisfactory circumstances as her body was disinterred for a post mortem by order of the Coroner’s Warrant. Despite the gravity and rarity of such events, no records survive to record the verdict and Thomas was certainly a free man as he remarried in 1864 to Mary Lvnall of Birmingham. Thomas didn’t have much luck with his wives and Mary, too, was dead within a year. Probably in the rooms above the bar!

Thomas didn’t have much luck with his wives and Mary, too, was dead within a year

Thomas died in 1878 aged 72, appointing his nephew, Edwin Hands, as trustee and executor of his will. The disposal of the estate shows that “The Inn, together with the butchers shop, barn, hovel, buildings and garden, all late in the occupation of Thomas Hands”, were to be sold to William Sheridan and Henry Charles Lardner for £920 (£120,000 in 2016 terms).

The Lardner’s owned an established brewery and wine merchant company in Little Compton and by 1881 The Tite Inn was being rented to Charles Ions (or Ivins), a publican from Broad Campden. On his death it was passed on to Ann Betteridge in 1890, a widow who ran the pub with her 18 year old son, Walter.

In 1898 one of the Lardners died and the family sold all of their public houses, including The Tite Inn, to Hitchmans Brewery of West Street, Chipping Norton, the following year.

Very little is known about The Tite Inn under Hitchmans’ ownership. There are suggestions that it was a rather poor, run-down place, not making much profit and Hitchman’s books show no record of repairs or alterations to The Tite despite their other inns benefiting from regular maintenance and attention. While Hitchman’s evidently had little love for the Tite, it is probable that they at least gave The Tite Inn its modern name.

A surviving rent ledger shows that Ann’s son, Walter Betteridge, served as landlord between 1905 and 1910 before moving his family to London. He was replaced by A.Kerry until 1914, who we know paid an annual rent of £12 (£1,236).

Considering we are now narrating modern times, we still know very little about The Tite in the early 20th century. We know there were a succession of landlords including Philip Cooper (1914 to 1916), John Holloway (related to the Holloway’s of 1806?) in the 1920’s, a Mr White and a Michael Flint.

contraptions such as rockets and trebuchets were used to race-launch eggs

Hitchman & Co. sold The Tite Inn to Hunt Edmunds Hotels Ltd in 1966 along with other properties for the sum of £597,588 7s 11d (if the figure is correct, it’s equivalent to more than £10,000,000 so there must have been a lot of land and business changing hand in the one transaction), after which the trail goes cold again until the 1980’s.

In 1986 The Tite Inn was bought by Mike and Sue Willis who owned the pub until 2007. The pub became well known for offering a large selection of real ales and won Camra’s North Oxfordshire Pub of the Year in 2005.

The Tite Inn also became well known for hosting a number of eccentric events such as Easter Egg Rolling (including a Dad’s category where contraptions such as rockets and trebuchets were used to race-launch eggs), very adult pantomimes, annual charity bike rides and The Great Brook Run, which The Tite still hosts annually to this day.

In 2007 the pub was taken over by Kitty and Robert Dyke and enjoyed a brief time as a successful gastro-pub before falling into a rapid decline and eventually closing its doors in 2010.

The Tite Inn by this time had long been the only pub in Chadlington (the Sandys Arms and The Malt Shovel having closed their doors in the 1970s) and it was seen by Chadlington residents as a vital part of community life. Some residents formed a group to look into buying it as a village co-op (as Chadlington Quality Foods had been in the 1990’s), but the plans stumbled amongst the complexities involved. Then, just when everything looked its bleakest and The Tite looked to have run its course, in January 2012 David and Ann stepped in and bought, what was by then, a building in a very sorry state, and set about the loving refurbishment you see today.

While they Lived in a caravan behind the pub, over six months the interior was practically gutted and rebuilt while carefully keeping the historical ambience intact. New kitchens were built, windows replaced and the structure made good. The bar was rebuilt, the building redecorated, the home above gutted and renewed and the garden landscaped into what is now one of the best beer gardens in this part of the Cotswolds.

The Tite Inn is now enjoying a well deserved renaissance, having a roaring trade with locals and tourists alike. It’s in better shape now than it probably has ever been and is ready to welcome guests, serve beer and great food for the next 335 years!

*The Sandys Arms on Bull Hill took its name from Sir Edywn Sandys. Sadly both it and the Malt Shovel closed some years ago.

 

Chadlington – The First 3,000 Years

There have been settlements along the Evenlode valley and around what is now Chadlington from at least the late Neolithic period, 3,000 years ago. Throughout history, people have left their mark, most notably in the form of Knollbury, an ancient defensive hill fort enclosure which can still be seen from the road in a field 500 yards to the north-west of the pub.

Reginald The Archer owned two of the households, four slaves and two plough teams while Siward the Hunter owned three households, one slave, two plough teams and a meadow of 3 acres.

A mile or so to the west is a bowl barrow from the same period and evidence of Roman occupation exists just to the north of Bury Hill in the fields opposite the campsite where the remains of a Roman farm are visible, albeit only from the air. The Saxons also settled here and in the 1930’s a 7th century Saxon burial ground to the south of the village just off Catsham Lane (opp. Shorthampton turning) was excavated with several finds of jewellery and pottery, rather than weapons, hinting that life in the valley was settled and relatively peaceful prior to the Norman invasion.

As is the norm in rural Britain, little is known about how, why and when villages and hamlets came into being. Certainly Chadlington existed as a hamlet by the 10th century and it is briefly mentioned in the Domesday book (as Cedelintone) as a Hundred of Shipton, where it is listed as having a total population of ten households. Reginald The Archer owned two of the households, four slaves and two plough teams at a taxable value of £2, and Siward the Hunter owned three households, one slave, two plough teams as well as a meadow of 3 acres. He was also rated to have a taxable value of £2.

You wouldn’t expect much architecture to survive from this period but St Nicholas’ Church was built in around 1100, and the remnants of a saxon arch in the nave is evidence of a much older church occupying the same spot. The church retains much Norman stonework as well as later rebuilding. The north and south aisles were added in the 13 century which retain some lancet windows from the period. The bell tower was added in the early 14th century and the chancel was extensively rebuilt in 1870.

 

St-Nicholas-Church,-Chadlington

St Nicholas’s Church, Chadlington. Courtesy of Oxfordshire Villages

 

Chadlington Manor (1650) sits next to the church, originally built for the Rollinson family who were vintners from Bristol. The Rawlinson’s owned the manor in 1770 and was the birthplace of assyriologist and crown director of the East India Company, Sir Henry Rawlinson. There are many other buildings in the village from this period, of which The Tite Inn is one.

The village itself seems to have evolved from five hamlets, known locally as “Ends”. Green End, Brook End, Mill End, West End and East End were probably formed around individual farms and gradually merged together to form the village we see today. The village has always been a farming community and Chadlington prospered from sheep farming as the Cotswolds became one of the most important wool producers in Britain from around the 13th century. The Cotswolds also became very wealthy, to which the many manor houses atest, with wool at one time accounting for 50% of the entire English economy.

 

The sheep that roamed the hills here were known as Cotswold Lions, a long haired, shaggy ancient breed introduced by the Romans, of which William Camden wrote in 1610; “In these woulds there feed in great numbers, flockes of sheepe, long necked and square of bulke and bone, by reason of the weally and hilly situation of their pasturage; whose wool being so fine and soft as had in passing great account among all nations.”

The dawn of industrialisation meant wool became less important through the 19th century and Chadlington’s farms were forced to adapt. As the 20th century came and went, farming was still the major land use but increasing mechanisation and falling prices for livestock and dairy saw most of the land set aside for arable farming instead, employing fewer and fewer hands. Despite the thin soil overlying a rocky ‘Cotswold brash’ which results in relatively meagre crop yields when compared with surrounding counties, Chadlington’s farms are now almost exclusively arable.

In the 21st century, the Cotswolds, and Chadlington, still prosper. Small businesses are able to thrive here in a rural idyl thanks to the Internet, and excellent road connections mean we are just an hour from both Heathrow and Birmingham airports. The nearby train line at Charlbury can have you in central London in just over an hour on a good day. Or not at all. It is notoriously unreliable!

Many residents commute to Oxford or London, craft businesses and artists are in abundance, the land flourishes verdantly through hot summers and we sometimes get cut off from the rest of the world during harsh winters.

Both Chadlington and the Cotswolds have a long and rich history which has shaped the beautiful landscape in which we live. What better way to soak up the history and atmosphere than in front of the fire, or out in the beautiful garden, enjoying a pint of beer or a glass of wine at The Tite Inn!


Certificate of Excellence:
2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017

The Tite Inn is a Dog Friendly Pub

Doggies Welcome