The Brownlow Arms | Rectory Lane Cemetery, Berkhamsted

Rectory Lane Cemetery, Berkhamsted

The Brownlow Arms

The Brownlow Arms
Ravens Lane, Berkhamsted

This red brick building on the corner of Ravens Lane and Chapel Street was once the Brownlow Arms pub.

The building does not appear on 1839 maps, so it was probably built c.1859, and possibly by its first owner, the noted Berkhamsted entrepreneur John Edward Lane senior (1808 –1889). The bar was kept by Thomas Morgan. A small cluster of pubs sprang up in this part of town in the mid-19th century, reflecting the shift of demand from the High Street coaching inns to the new footfall generated by the construction of the railway station.

The pub is named after the local landowner at Ashridge, John Egerton-Cust, Lord Brownlow. His agent, William Paxton (nephew of Joseph Paxton) lived nearby, and was associated with Lane.

Lane was well-known nationally as a horticulturalist, and the family firm John Lane Nurseries supplied plants to parks and gardens all over the country. He expanded his business interests into beer brewing and acquired several pubs. The Swan is one of a chain of former John Lane pubs in Berkhamsted – the others are The Swan, the Greyhound in Dunstable, The Crystal Palace and The George.

Lane owned The Brownlow Arms until 1871, when he sold it, along with The Swan and The George, to Henry James Foster. Lane died in 1889 and was buried in Rectory Lane Cemetery.

The Brownlow Arms was later acquired by the Aylesbury Brewery. In more recent times it was in use as offices of the Peter Davidson consultancy, and is now a private house.

  • Whitaker, Allan: Brewers in Hertfordshire, University of Hertfordshire Press 2006, pp77-78
  • Hertfordshire Inns
  • Branch Johnson, William: A Handbook of Old Hertfordshire Inns and Beerhouses Volume 2, Hertfordshire Countryside 1963

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