The Magpie Inn, now known as Magpie Farmhouse, is on the east border of the parish facing the Sulgrave road junction on the Thorpe Mandeville to Moreton Pinkney road. The building has been part of the manor’s estate for many years, at least back to 1774.
One of the earliest references to the inn’s activities is an advert for wrestling and the game of singlestick in the Northampton Mercury in September 1746 (see below). Singlestick was a martial art related to fencing and stick-fighting using a wooden sword-like rod.
An earlier report in the same newspaper regarding an escape from recruiting officers on 27 April 1744 also refers to “the Magpye” in Thorpe Mandeville but it does not provide any indication of an inn.
The Golby family occupied the inn for at least four generations. The 1762 Militia List refers to: “Edward Golby, grazier and ale seller”.
The last trade directory entry found for the Magpie is in 1876: Harrod & Co’s directory refers to John Golby “Magpie Inn”. But the 1891 census shows George Belcher, farmer and inn keeper, occupying the “Magpie Inn”. The date of the inn’s closure is not clear but it was probably before 1901 as the 1901 census has no reference to an inn or landlord. The building subsequently provided accommodation for the manor’s bailiff.
To be DANCED for,
At the Magpye in Thorpe Mandeville, on Tuefday, the 31ft of this Inftant July, by Young Women (bringing their Partners) fix Couple, each Couple to call their Country Dance, a handfome laced Cap, a free Gift, to be given to the beft Dancer, as adjudged by the Gentlemen prefent, and her Partner to have a Pair of white Gloves: To begin dancing at Ten o’Clock.
Alfo te to have the Prize, a Gold-laced Hat of a Guinea Value, a free Gift: To begin playing at Two o’Clock precifely.
Likewife the fame Day, and at the fame Place, fix Pair of Gloves to be wreftled for, being a free Gift.
(Main photograph: The Magpie, 2008)