Back from Scotland to a rare post about my home county (ish).

You’ll be thinking that’s a spelling mistake at the top, particularly if you’re Pub Curmudgeon and know to expect them.

Not so.  The Three Horseshoes in Graveley is owned by tiny J.Wadsworth wine merchants of St. Ives in Huntingdonshire, perhaps our most low-key pub operator.

I have a vague recollection of “What’s Brewing” visiting the Wadsworth estate 20 years ago, but since then their pubs have managed to stay further off the radar than the keg pubs of Dalkeith, and well clear of the Beer Guide.

They own two pubs, one of which I’ve passed most Thursdays without venturing in.


But eventually, the many charms of St.Neots have been exhausted, so I popped in to Graveley for a slice of the flat rural East Anglian beauty that folk rave about.

A circular walk between Graveley and Yelling isn’t going to compete with, say, Leigh to Tyldesley for interest, but does at least have well sign-posted footpaths, pheasants, and those wind turbines we all love.

An unexpectedly poignant war memorial, unmarked on the OS map, comes halfway through the hour’s walk.

Graveley is a real backwater, notable only for turbines, dairies and panel beaters on the way in. You might consider it bucolic if you’ve just come from the Bedfordshire side of the A1, though.

The village pub serves a population of 200, plus the residents of Papworth who need a traditional pub.

Astonishingly, the bar is open all day.


Entering at 5pm, I didn’t quite get the old boys pub I’d hoped for, and any architectural character had long been knocked out of it.


Instead, two locals in their 30s sat at the bar chatting to the pleasant barmaid.  They shot me a suspicious look as I entered.

I’ve seen worse beer ranges; Greene King IPA and the very local tawny Papworth beer (£3.50).  It was, as they say, well presented (see top) and well kept (NBSS 3), though I’ll bet the next six hours wouldn’t add greatly to turnover.

The pub hasn’t changed much since 1981, which coincidentally was the year the classics you could have heard in the Three Horseshoes were released.

Native New Yorker“, “Muscles“, “New York eyes” – beats Ed Sheeran, but played at an irritatingly low volume.


Decent beer, and decent village banter about the local who fled the village owing Lenny £40.  They made it sound like 1857 but I suspect it was last week.

The Yorkshire chap at the bar took us on a case-by-case character assassination of the drunken locals that would make Simon look like Mother Theresa.

When he was sober he was nice as pie. But give him seven pints…”

I guessed they were on Stella, and I was right.

7 thoughts on “WADSWORTH IN HUNTS

  1. I had to do a double-take there before I spotted the non-spelling error. At first I thought you were referring to the final word 😮

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you reviewed this pub – I drive past it fairly often and keep promising myself I’ll stop for a drink next time, but haven’t yet. I too expected an old boys pub, so am disappointed it looks a bit characterless inside. Good to see the local Papworth beer on, haven’t come across it much. Until studying your photo I’d never noticed how ugly and unnecessarily large that GK East Coast IPA draught font is!

    Which is their other pub then?


    1. I was hoping their blog would reveal their second pub, but just tells me they sold two others (inc. Dolphin St Ives and the Hollywell pubs) recently. A bit of detective work needed on What Pub !

      Wonder what impact the relocation of Papworth Hospital will have on village ?


  3. Can we have more pictures of windmills please? I love juxtapositions of the man made artefact on the natural landscape, the alien subject in the familiar setting, the architected streamlined curves superimposed into the random flow of nature.

    Unless of course you can photograph the microscopic, and sub microscopic, residue of our current energy sources?

    Liked by 1 person

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