The Oak (beerhouse), Oakdene


There was a beerhouse called ‘The Oak’ out along Ashfield Road, in this house now called ‘Oakdene’, next to the Organ Store. A cattle drover Charles Rudland met mentioned staying at The Oak pub when he drove down to Elmswell; it had a side shed along Oak Lane used as a stable etc for guests. See Publican List.

In 1933 Ball & Gibson had ‘Oakdene Garage’ here.

In March 2011 the proprietor of both the Organ Store and Oakdene, Paule Wise, told me that the house was built in 1830 by same builder (he thinks) as did the front of Whitehouse Farm and maybe East View – Woolpit whites and very fine pointing. The Oak was originally owned by the squire of the Lord of the Manor (Tavistock); sold to a lady in 1870 and enlarged by 50% at the north end; two men bought it in 1890, and opened the north end as a beerhouse, later acquired by Greene King. The latter sold it in 1919 with a covenant that it could not be used to sell beer without their permission.

In a barn bordering Oak Lane, Mr Williams started his egg business, moving after a year or so to the New Road site. There was another barn on the Ashfield Road / Oak Lane corner which housed a blacksmithy – Paule pulled it down as unsafe.

The Organ Store itself is a fine building (better seen inside) like a 1920s church hall. Originally a cycle shop (whose? – could have been Herbert Armstrong), later a garage (Balls) until the 1950s. When Paule came in 1977 he used it as a warehouse until 1989.