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The Duke of York

High Street

Public House


Early History

The Duke of York public house can be traced to the early 19th century but there is evidence for a maltings and an inn on the site from the 18th century. Presently, research shows that the Bacon family of Markfield held the premises before 1812. However, existing deeds do not make it clear whether the site in 1812 was an amalgamation of two properties, held by the Parsons and Dawson/Sharp families, or if one of those families owned the site outright. 

When Joseph Knight, a bricklayer purchased a property on High Street in 1812, the deeds describe the premises as newly built and that the building was an Inn known as the 'Duke of York'. Knight had bought the property from the Bacon family mentioned above.


Although Joseph Knight is revealed as the new owner in 1812, he also appears to be occupying a building called the Duke of York in newspaper adverts before this time (in 1808), and his name appears in Sileby victuallers lists from 1795. Therefore it is likely that he had purchased the property as the sitting tenant in 1812. As a bricklayer, he may also have been responsible for part or all of the new build around 1812 or before. Another possibility is that the old building was modernised, and a brick shell was added around the existing building making it 'newly built.' Stone walls uncovered in the 1950s and more recently in 2016 may be from the original building.

Joseph held the inn until his death in 1824 when ownership passed to his widow Sarah who subsequently died in 1833 giving possession to her son William. From then on William leased the inn to a number of tenants. An advert of 1855 shows the inn 'For Let' and described the premises as the main inn building itself, a garden and orchard along with a butchers shop, with an annual turnover of £160. William Knight eventually sold the inn in 1862 to John Brown of Leicester who, in turn, sold it to William Sharpe of Sileby, a cordwainer, in 1868.

The Sharpe family Legacy

When William Sharpe and his wife Mary took on the Duke of York, the property also included an existing maltings building at the rear. This was later to become the heart of the W. Sharpe and Sons brewing business. In 1876 a family settlement saw their sons William Henry and Frederic take over William's brewing enterprise when they became equal partners in the brewery. After William and Mary's deaths the brewery took over ownership of the pub. Thereafter, Sharpes brewery leased the premises to tenants up until the voluntary liquidation of the brewery and malting business in 1920-1 and its subsequent transfer to Strettons Brewery. 

​Strettons and Beyond

Following Sharpes demise, the history and destiny of the Duke of York pub became linked with its tied pub business owners. Strettons of Derby held the pub until it was acquired by Samuel Allsopp & Sons in 1927, and then they merged with Ind Coope in 1934. The Ind Coope and Allsopp company were later incorporated into Allied Breweries in 1961. This group continued with mergers and take overs and changed names to reflect this. It was as Allied Domecq that they sold the 'Duke,' to Pubmaster in 1994. Nine years later in 2003 the Pubmaster business was purchased by Punch Taverns, heralding a new direction for the pub. The 'Duke' had a major rebranding which included a change of name, when it became 'The Malt House'. However, the fortunes of the pub did not improve and it had closed down by 2009. The building was then used as a Thai restaurant for a short time before being converted into three houses in 2016.

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The Malt House in 2004

Description in Sales Notice - 1867 

(Loughborough Monitor - 7th November 1867)


Duke of York

Long established Spirit Licenced Public House

Bar, Two Parlours, two club rooms, good tap room

Suitable bedrooms, kitchen and cellar

With brewhouse, Blacksmith's shop, Slaughter house, piggeries and large productive garden.


A Wheelwright's shop and stabling at the back of the Public House with a useful yard and outbuildings

Description - About 1914 

(Valuation Act : National Archives IR 58/51166/206)


Brick and Slate, old, fair condition, part Stone

a) Basement – Beer Cellar

b) Ground Floor – Smoke room, Tap room, Long room, Bar Parlour, Serving Bar with 5 pulls, K(itchen) and P(arlour)

c) 1st Floor – Club Room, 4 Bedrooms

d) 2nd Floor – Lumber Room (hipped roof)

Gross Value : £2500

Annual Rent : £38.0.0.


Small Yard with :


Brick and slated 2 water closets


Brick and slated Cart shed (for 2)

Stable (for 4 horses)

1 loose box

Owners, Licensees and Publicans



Parsons and/or Dawson/Sharp

Bacon family

Joseph Knight

Sarah Knight

William Knight

John Brown, Leicester

William Sharpe

Mary Sharpe, widow

Mary Sharpe's Trustees

W. Sharpe and Sons, Sileby

Stretton's Brewery, Derby

Samuel Allsopp & Sons

Ind Coope

Allied Breweries (and subsequent groups)


Punch Taverns




 17?? - 1812

​​ 1812 - 1824

 1824 - 1833

 1833 - 1862

 1862 - 1868

 1868 - 1876

 1876 - 1878

 1878 - 1881

 1881 - 1921

 1921 - 1927

 1927 - 1934

​ 1934 - 1961

 1961 - 1994

 1994 - 2003

 2003 - 2009


Joseph Knight

Sarah Knight

Henry Smith

William Henson​​

James Nash

William Sharpe

Mary Sharpe, widow

George Willcocks

John Thomas Addison

John Collington

James Leach

Job Cobley

Thomas Boot

Herbert James Reedman

George Udall Clarke

Percival Prince Jibson

William Henry Baugham

William Henry Perkins

Gertie Perkins*/Powell

   *married John Powell in 1941

William Gordon Yates



 ?1795 - 1824

 1824 - 1833

 c1846 - c1849

 c1854 - c1855

 c1861 - 1868

 1868 - 1876

 1876 - 1878

 1878 - 1881

 1881 - 1895

 1895 - 1897

 1897 - 1905

 1905 - 1910

 1910 - 1921

 1922 - 1925

 1925 - 1927

 1927 - 1932

 1932 - 1934

 1934 - 1940

 1940 - 1954


 1954 - post 1960

Notes on the listings

The dates are accurate to within a year of that given due to licencing records often starting part way through a year. Also, when electoral electoral rolls and trade directories are used the names quite often reflect the previous years occupiers. Due to privacy and data protection a decision was made to have a listing cut off date of about 1960.

Internal Pictures 2010

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Cellar and Stores 2008
Transformation 2006 - 2017

The Malt House

July 2006


When work to insert new windows took place partial stone walls were found.

November 2016


Three new houses , 16 High Street, Sileby.

January 2017


Work continued with the stonework incorporated into the design.

January 2017

The Grand Old Duke of York

The pub name 'The Duke of York' refers to Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany (1763-1827), the second son of George III. He was commander-in-chief of the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars, a role in which saw him introduce a large number of military reforms which would enable Britain to defeat the French empire. Despite his competence, he has been attributed to be the subject of the well known popular nursery rhyme 'The Grand Old Duke of York', a sly ditty about his apparent indecision when controlling his troops.

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