King's Head, Great Wigborough

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

"The Song of the Kings Head" was put together in the 1930s and published on a printed sheet:

We are the boys of Wigboroughshire,
We can drink quarts and quarts of beer,
It makes us sing as you can see,
Oh Boy! You should hear us when we're on the spree,
We have Arctic Ales and Bitter and good old John Bull, too,
So if you want a happy night out, come and join the King's Head crew.

There's Dick and Monz, and Two-Ton Tess,
George, John, Fred, Bob, and all the bloomin' rest.
Mrs "B" behind the bar,
Singing like a lark, and Albert shouts Hurrah,
There's Dot, Phyl, Ruby and Arthure, they all enjoy the fun,
So if you want a happy night out to the King's Head come, come, come.

A game of darts mixed up with song
Puts good players off, and bad players on,
Chaps from the villages far and near
Come and help us sing and play for our beer,
Oh! You don't know what you're missing when you stay away,
So roll up lads and lassies, you're as welcome as the flower in May.

The rain comes down but we don't hear,
We're far too busy knocking back the beer,
The 'phone bell goes ting-a-ling-a-ling,
Nellie goes to answer it, but she can't hear a thing,
Oh! What a happy gathering, I'm sure you will agree,
We're quite all right and we don't get tight on Ind Coope's Double B.

World War 2 - the words revised:

We are the boys of Wigboroughshire
We can drink quarts and pints of beer,
It makes us sing as you will see,
Oh Boy you should hear us when we're on the spree
We have good old Mild and Bitter and good old ThreeX too
So if you want a happy night out come and join the King Head Crew

There's Dick and Sam and Two Ton Tes, George John Fred
Doeby and all the bloomin rest, Mrs B. Behind
the bar. Singing like a lark and farther shouts
Hurrah. There's Ted and his Miss Roberts they
both enjoy the fun, so if you want a happy
night out, to the Kings Head come come come

A game of darts mixed up with song
Puts good payers off and bad players on
Folks from villages far and near
Come and help us sing and play for our beer
Oh you don't know what you're missing when you stay away
So rollup lassies you're as wecome as the flowers in May

The siren goes but we don't hear
Far too busy knocking back the beer
The phone bell goes ting a ling a ling
Nellie goes to answer it but can't hear a thing
Oh what a happy gathering I'm sure you will agree
We're quite all right and don't get tight
on Ind Coope's Double D.

Sources and more information
Kelly's Directories
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
Tony Buckle
Sandra Conway


Related Images

 Kings Head, Wigborough. Photo by T. Hammond, Photo-Artist, Great Totham, Witham.  MMC_P755_115MMC_P755_115
Kings Head, Wigborough. Photo by T. Hammond, Photo-Artist, Great Totham, Witham.
c1911
 CONSTABLES CHASE
 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.


</p><p>Essex Newsman 26 September 1931  GWG_KHD_001GWG_KHD_001
CONSTABLES CHASE
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

 The Song of the King's Head [Great Wigborough]
 We are the boys of Wigboroughshire,
 We can drink quarts and quarts of beer,
 It makes us sing as you can see,
 Oh Boy! You should hear us when we're on the spree,
 We have Arctic Ales and Bitter and good old John Bull, too,
 So if you want a happy night out, come and join the King's Head crew.
</p><p>
There's Dick and Monz, and Two-Ton Tess,
 George, John, Fred, Bob, and all the bloomin' rest.
 Mrs B behind the bar,
 Singing like a lark, and Albert shouts Hurrah,
 There's Dot, Phyl, Ruby and Arthure, they all enjoy the fun,
 So if you want a happy night out to the King's Head come, come, come.
</p><p>A game of darts mixed up with song
 Puts good players off, and bad players on,
 Chaps from the villages far and near
 Come and help us sing and play for our beer,
 Oh! You don't know what you're missing when you stay away,
 So roll up lads and lassies, you're as welcome as the flower in May.
</p><p>
The rain comes down but we don't hear,
 We're far too busy knocking back the beer,
 The 'phone bell goes ting-a-ling-a-ling,
 Nellie goes to answer it, but she can't hear a thing,
 Oh! What a happy gathering, I'm sure you will agree,
 We're quite all right and we don't get tight on Ind Coope's Double B.

</p>
<p>This version is from the 1930s. There is also a WW2 version of this with some of the beers and people brought up to date.  SD04_001_001SD04_001_001
The Song of the King's Head [Great Wigborough]
We are the boys of Wigboroughshire,
We can drink quarts and quarts of beer,
It makes us sing as you can see,
Oh Boy! You should hear us when we're on the spree,
We have Arctic Ales and Bitter and good old John Bull, too,
So if you want a happy night out, come and join the King's Head crew.

There's Dick and Monz, and Two-Ton Tess,
George, John, Fred, Bob, and all the bloomin' rest.
Mrs "B" behind the bar,
Singing like a lark, and Albert shouts Hurrah,
There's Dot, Phyl, Ruby and Arthure, they all enjoy the fun,
So if you want a happy night out to the King's Head come, come, come.

A game of darts mixed up with song
Puts good players off, and bad players on,
Chaps from the villages far and near
Come and help us sing and play for our beer,
Oh! You don't know what you're missing when you stay away,
So roll up lads and lassies, you're as welcome as the flower in May.

The rain comes down but we don't hear,
We're far too busy knocking back the beer,
The 'phone bell goes ting-a-ling-a-ling,
Nellie goes to answer it, but she can't hear a thing,
Oh! What a happy gathering, I'm sure you will agree,
We're quite all right and we don't get tight on Ind Coope's Double B.

This version is from the 1930s. There is also a WW2 version of this with some of the beers and people brought up to date.
1930s

 The former King's Head at Great Wigborough from the top deck of a 176 bus.  GWG_KHD_005GWG_KHD_005
The former King's Head at Great Wigborough from the top deck of a 176 bus.
24 August 2015
ID: GWG_KHD
Source: Mersea Museum