The Cock Inn Headley

Sue, Joe and Isabella welcome you to The Cock at Headley

Church Lane, Headley, Surrey, KT18 6LE
Telephone 01372 377258

Why not visit their website for details of coming events specimen menus etc.

The Cock Inn Website

The History of the Cock Inn

By Peter Denyer

This old public house has been known over the years both as the Cock Inn and the Cock Hotel. For a time up to 2004 when new landlords took over, the brewery had renamed it The Cock Horse for reasons best known to themselves, the new landlords after pressure from the village renamed it The Cock.

It is not known exactly when the Cock was first built but it is thought that the original part of the building dates from between 1700 and 1750. We know that for a long time in the early part of the 19th century the landlord was a William Matthews who is buried with his first and second wives just inside the churchyard. His great great great grandson lives in Australia and I have been able to supply him with a lot of information. There are two sale documents known dated 1858 when it was sold for £700 to Sir JB Muggeridge, and then sold again in 1867 for an undisclosed sum. By this time it was leased by Neale, Mellersh and Neale the brewers who still owned the property until around the 1960’s

In 1897 the Cock was the scene of a coroners inquest into the death of the housekeeper at Headley Park who was killed in the disastrous fire as Christmas 1896. In the early 20 th century the landlord was a man called Firmin, when he died his wife took over the running of the pub and later married a man called Booth who was a very secretive man and was a government agent during the 1st world war and got involved in some very shady dealings and court cases.

From 1846 until the 1960’s Headley had two public houses the other being The Clermont on Tot Hill this pub was named after a famous racehorse there are also several ale houses recorded including one run by the Evelyns of Wotton.

The Cock was very much the centre of the village situated close to the Church, Post Office and Village shops. In around 1970 the brewery decided to change the style of the pub from a village pub to a pub restaurant to attract passing trade. Since then it has had many landlords and managers and has been from very good to very bad, most people in the village hope that it will now again become the centre of the village.

The pictures below show a watercolour by “Pordon” dated 1825 and the well known advertising slogan of the Cock that beer is sold by the pound. This refers to the manorial animal pound on the other side of the road where the electricity transformer now stands and the interior of the public bar around 1910 including the parrot who had a very large and colourful vocabulary.

Drawing 1825 by Pordon Advert beer by the Pound
Drawing of The Cock in 1825 by Pordon. Advertising card with slogan.
Public bar with the parrot 1920's group outside
Inside the Public Bar with the vocal parrot. 1920's group outside The Cock.

Go to the top

© Peter Denyer, Headley Village Website 2006