It is not known when this establishment first became a pub - or beer house as it may have been referred to. But we can trace its use as a pub back to 1851. Doubtless it served a similar purpose before that but it is unlikely that any records remain to prove this.
Various explanations have been offered for the name of our village pub.
Some older residents of Eye are firmly convinced that it was the name of the pub on the corner of Wellington Road & Lambseth Street, and the owner took the name with him when he closed and moved to Occold. Given that it was formerly a house owned by the Bedingfield Alms Houses this seemed unlikely, and sure enough it was the Bedingfield Arms.
More recently it has been assumed that it was something to do with there being a beacon on the adjacent (playing) field. But that is a very modern addition with no evidence of an earlier beacon.
It is originally known in the censuses as simply The Beer House. It appears as the Beaconsfield Arms in 1881 (the year of the death of Disraeli the 1st - and only - Earl of Beaconsfield) but reverts to just The Beer House in 1891.
The coat-of-arms of Benjamin D'Israeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield. The practice of bearing coats of arms by influential Jews came about at the mass compulsory conversion of the Moors in Spain in the 15th C. A favourite motif was the triple-turreted castle of Castile. Benjamin Disraeli borrowed this feature when he created his own coat-of-arms.
There are other pubs called the Beaconsfield Arms in Bridlington, High Wycombe and Southall (what a pub crawl that would make!). The former Beaconsfield Arms in Norwich is now ingloriously named ‘The Shed' - what a come down!
An earlier version of the Beaconsfield Arms sign, taken around 1980. The pub sign was tarted up in recent times and no longer bears much resemblance to the original except the two rampant lions and an oak wreath. The pint of beer looks like it could derive from the castle motif.
The anniversary of the Earl of Beaconsfield's death is known as Primrose Day, in Disraeli's honour. I trust that we will see a Primrose in every button-hole in The Beaconsfield Arms come next April 19th.
The Carlton Club Banquet at the Riding-School, Knightsbridge, London showing a toast to Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), 1st Earl of Beaconsfield.
The Carlton Club was founded in 1832 in the aftermath of the victory of the reforming party which passed the great Reform Act in that year. Membership of the Club was both a token of adherence to the Conservative party and, to the outside world, a badge of allegiance.
The coat-of-arms in the background appears to be that of Disraeli and we believe may have been the orgin of the original pub sign and the name of the pub - unless anyone knows otherwise?
Names and details derived from the Census Returns, Pigots, Whites and Kelly's Directories. We're not exactly sure when the pub first took the name Beaconsfield Arms - the first reference to it by name is in the 1901 census return but it could have been in 1881 upon the death of the Earl of Beaconsfield.
|1844||Eli HUNT||Beer house keeper|
|1851||Eli HUNT||1783||Occold||Beer house keeper||Elizabeth HARVEY|
|1854||Eli HUNT||Beer retailer|
|1855||Eli HUNT||1783||Occold||Beer house keeper||Elizabeth HARVEY|
|1861||James Erastus CAPON||1833||Occold||Farmer (5 acres) & beer house keeper||Eliza Charlotte PRING|
|1865||James Erastus CAPON||Beer retailer, tailor and farmer|
|1869||James Erastus CAPON||Beer retailer, tailor and farmer|
|1871||James Erastus CAPON||1833||Occold||Tailor & beer house keeper||Eliza Charlotte PRING|
|1881||Edwin Benjamin CAPON||1845||Occold||Farmer & innkeeper||Martha PALMER|
|1883||Edwin Benjamin CAPON||Beer retailer|
|1888||Edwin Benjamin CAPON||Beer retailer, assistant overseer and tax collector|
|1891||Edwin Benjamin CAPON||1845||Occold||Farmer & beer house keeper||Martha PALMER|
|1892||Edwin Benjamin CAPON||Beer retailer, miller (wind & steam), assistant overseer, tax collector & clerk to the Parish Council|
|1900||Edwin Benhamin CAPON||Beer retailer, assistant overseer and tax collector|
|1901||Edwin Benjamin CAPON||1845||Occold||Farmer, corn miller & beer house keeper||Martha PALMER|
|1911||William Samuel MILLS||1864||Eye||Publican||Fanny CHAMBERS|
|1912||William Samuel MILLS||Beer retailer|
|1916||William Samuel MILLS||Beer retailer|
|1925||William Samuel MILLS||Beer retailer|
|1933||William Samuel MILLS||Beer retailer|
|1938||Frederick William MILLS||1885||Eye||Landlord||Rose Winifred CANHAM|
New Sign (2010)
|1973||Charles Sidney TUCKER|
|1977||Charles Sidney TUCKER|
|~1985 onwards||Alan JONES|
|John NEWMAN (ex-boxer) from London area|
|TUCKWELL & Kim - fully refurbished after a fire|
|Lena HOYLE, lived in Ash Tree Close|
|2000||Terry & Chris WHEAL|
|2001||Gerald & Wendy TURNER|
|2006||Andy & Terri TANSER|
|2010||Charles & Chris APPLETON|
|2012||Marc & Sophie PRESCOTT|
|Sep 2015||Bryn JONES|
|May 2016||Danny & Wanwalee Botterill|
|Sep 2017||Peter McSloy & Leigh Linnett|