Cock Inn, Little Thurlow

The building today gives the appearance of a two-storied late Georgian establishment, with hood-moulded windows and other details in the gothic style. In fact, this all results from a drastic remodelling of a rather low building which had a centre range and two cross wings, with first floor rooms in the roof space. The south (left hand) cross wing has features of circa 1550-1580, and within it two parlours are separated by large back-to-back fireplaces. The north (right hand) wing is of a slightly later construction. A stud now plastered over is said to have the date 1614, which is consistent with its building style. Some of the rafters and other timbers in the present roof come from a medieval structure and may indicate that the hall is earlier. However, the walls were raised and the roof over most of The Cock was rebuilt in the eighteenth century.

The earliest documentation concerning The Cock dates from 1674, when on the May 8th of that year William Soame esquire agreed to lease the messuage called the Cock Inn to Robert Butcher of Little Thurlow. Included with the inn were a close on the back side of the house, and two little pightles lying in the Westfield. The lease was to run for twelve months from Michaelmas 1674 at a rent of £11. An addition to this document extends the lease to 9 years. Robert Butcher did not live to see out his lease as he was buried in 1681. It seems likely that he was succeeded at the Cock by John Millington and thereafter by Mary Millington. Her probate inventory lists 20 hogsheads full of beer valued at £35, another 20 empty hogsheads and malt to use for brewing.

The next known tenant occurs in 1784 when the Reverend Henry Soame let it for 9 years to a baker called William Osborne. The next reference appears in 1841 when Thomas Sparrow was shown in the census return as living at the Cock with his wife Ann and two children and two servants. Ten years later the innkeeper was 34-year old William Sparrow, son of Thomas. By 1852 the tenancy had transferred to Thomas Rowling, thereafter to Ambrose Rowling in 1869 until 1888 when it was leased to the brewery of Greene King with the right to sub-let. Subsequent landlords included George Brown, Charles Nelson, Albert Bradnam, and Frank Rayner. In 1912 the innkeeper was John Rowlinson and three members of his family followed him into the trade, the last leaving in 1971. The inn was sold to Greene King Breweries in 1934 and reverted to private hands in 2004. 

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