|The King's Head, Great Wigborough, by the turn to Colchester off the Maldon Road. It was rendered and painted white in the 1950s, and is now a private house, known as the Olde Kings Head.
This story of the King's Head is rather incomplete. An inn is recorded as being at the site in the 17th Century. And the date it last opened its doors is not known - if you can help with this, please contact us.
Wigborough Kings Head c1911
1828-29 Pigot's Directory lists Joshua Nunn at the King's Head.
The 1851 Census has William Cause at the King's Head, age 41, and a sadler employing 1 man. Also there are wife Maria aged 30, children William Emily, Maria, Daniel and Abel, brother Abel age 39, sister Caroline age 30, Sadler Journeyman James Cudden, general servant Susannah Cross, and house maid Sarah Kettle. There are two lodgers - William Blyton carpenter and James Pudney agricultural labourer. William Cause had been born at Southchurch, Essex, and Maria at Coggeshall.
William and Maria Cause continue to be listed in 1861 and 1871. By 1881 William is no longer listed and Maria is Innkeeper and Farm Worker. Sons Abel and Frederick, and servant Joseph Barker are listed as Harness Makers. A report on the April 1884 earthquake says Mrs Causes's King's Head was much damaged, several chimneys levelled.
By 1891, the Cause family and associates are living 'Near Kings Head' and George Pettican is listed at the King's Head as Licensed Victualler - also there are his wife Mary, children Arthur and Robert, and mother Charlotte. George was born Fingringhoe and Mary Layer de la Haye.
1899 Kelly's Directory lists John Bell at the King's Head, and the 1901 Census lists him as the 35 year old Inn Keeper - also there are his wife Emma and his sister Ethel, who is a domestic waitress. However, John Bell died and was buried in the Lexden area 21 August 1901. By 1902 Kelly's lists Mrs Emma Bell, King's Head P.H. On 8 June 1902 Percy Christmas, 28, Postman, married Emma Lilian Bell, widow, at Great Wigborough and in the 1908 Kelly's directory Percy Christmas is shown at the Kings Head.
Percy was born 1874 - his father William Christmas had been a carrier in both Wigborough and Peldon, and one of his brothers was William John Christmas, carrier, of Drakes Corner, Great Wigborough.
Percy Christmas was destined to stay at the King's Head for many years. Also there in the 1911 census are his wife Emma age 49 and son Percy William age 8.
In the 1920s Percy was running a small bus from the Kings Head, serving Abberton, Peldon and Wigborough with his son Percy driving the bus. By 1937 the bus and route had been sold to Thorp Brothers of West Mersea, and then in September 1937 Thorp Brothers sold out to Eastern National.
1939 Register - Percy is at King's Head, now a widower. His son is also there, motor driver with PSV and HC license, but working for the Essex Police.
Percy senior died in 1947.
c1981 King's Head closed and became a private house.
1982 Grade II listed building, described as a 17th century timber framed house.
"Old Kings Head" from the top deck of a 176 bus 24 August 2015
Sources and more information
Essex Pub History pubwiki.co.uk/EssexPubs
colchesterheritage.co.uk - details of King's Head.
Report on the East Anglian Earthquake by Meldola and White
Wigborough carriers and buses
On Monday evening Mr P.W. Christmas, of the King's Head, Great Wigborough, was told that four pedal cycles which had been left outside the inn were missing. Mr Percy Christmas, son of the proprietor, drove his 'bus to Peldon police station, and informed P.c. Webb, who boarded the 'bus and was driven along the Mersea road, in which direction a short time previously he had seen four soldiers proceeding on cycles. Arrived at the Rose Hotel, he saw the soldiers throw down the cycles and disappear into a neighbouring garden. The constable jumped the hedge and arrested four band boys from Colchester. The lads were conveyed in the same 'bus to Colchester Borough Police Station, and they were afterwards remanded until Saturday. The cycles were the property of Messrs. G.W. Clark, R.K. Clark, S.G. Clark and W. Johnson, all of Great Wigborough.
Essex Newsman 26 September 1931
26 September 1931