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Home > Berkshire > Winkfield Row > The Fox

The Fox


The Fox was situated on Winkfield Row. The Fox closed in the late 1950s following the acquisition of Simonds brewery by Courage. This pub wasstarted by an independent brewer, Robert Rose, in the 1850s. He brewed beer in what were the outbuildings to a private house (the pub never had a cellar). The original house was built in 1836 on a half acre plot sold off by the Crown in 1784 as part of an attempt to raise funds to pay for the medical treatment of George III.
At some point in the 1860ís the owner/brewer got into financial difficulties and tried to mortgage the property several times to different institutions, as a result of which he lost it. The pub was acquired by Simonds of Reading who ran it as a beer house. Iím not sure the pub ever had a licence for spirits. Simonds ran the pub until the late 1960ís when the brewery was acquired by Courage. As I understand it, Courage did a deal with Bass Charrington, who owned the White Horse opposite (q.v.) whereby each closed 25 pubs standing in direct competition. In Winkfield Row The Fox was the one to close.
The last weekís takings for The Fox amounted to a little over £40. However, the pub must at one time sported a reasonable clientele, playing host to, among other groups, the local rat catching society. Various photographs exist, including one showing the fish merchantís horse drawn cart, a local event c. 1910 and one taken in the 1950ís showing the Simondsí tea leaf logo boldly painted on the front of the building.
Some of the older people in the village have memories of drinking at The Fox and we occasionally get people coming to the door who lived or were even born in the pub. The building is much changed, however, and very little remains of the original. In completing extensive building works we have unearthed an intact hock bottle, a port bottle (hand blown) and the bakelite frames from a pair of glasses - when did he or she lose those? Little else, other than shards of pottery and the odd piece of clay pipe, have emerged.
Source: Lee Taylor

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Name Dates Comments
Lee Taylor   We have a large number of documents relating to the property, passed to the previous owners when the local Post Office closed down. I would be very interested to correspond with anyone who remembers The Fox or has any additional information about it.