Blencowe Beer Bottle Found Near Abthorpe

Blencowe Beer Bottle

Northamptonshire/Towcester News 12th April 2010

Rob Capurro from Abthorpe was walking towards Bucknell's Wood using Brackley Lane - a wonderfully scenic rural by-way that stretches from the centre of the village into the countryside. Just before the first gate across the lane Rob saw a piece of glass sticking out of the mud underfoot. As it was potentially dangerous for his dog and other animals that frequently traverse that way he picked it up

To his surprise he extracted a whole beer bottle and whilst ferreting around found another that was similar. One bottle was embossed with the label W Blencowe & Co Ltd - Brackley and still had a hard stopper inserted into its mouth. Rob was fascinated by his find and determined to discover some of its history. As Blencowe's ceased to exist when it was acquired by Hall's Oxford and West Brewery in 1925 it seems there is a good chance that Rob's bottles are at least 85 years old.

Northampton Records Office documents show that back in 1925 The New Inn here in the village was part of Blencowe's estate with Charles Thomas Smith as the landlord. There is a large photograph in the pub to this day showing the Blencowe's sign over the pub's main entrance with Charles Smith's name prominent. Records show that the Hook Norton Brewery bought five of Blencowe's pubs back in 1925 for a total of £3,175 but it is uncertain whether our pub was one of that five.

Rob Capurro says that he is amazed that unbroken historic bottles were found embedded in a much travelled lane and proves the old adage that one person's junk is another's treasure.

Marilyn Astle

According to my catalogue of the sale on 13 October 1925, Charles Thomas Smith had been letting the premises for 24 years paying a net rental of £13 p.a. The main structure was 2 storeys, stone built with a thatched roof and 2 front entrances. Looking at the photo of the Inn today — nothing much has changed except the rent!