Today the Hand and Spear is no more. The site of the old beer house (Surgery on map) is opposite the White Hart, at the entrance to St Peter’s Road. Occupation Road still exists at the rear of the present Surgery and Car Park. St Peter’s Road follows very roughly the original footpath shown on the 1870, 1896 and 1914 OS maps. The building had disappeared by the time of the 1934 map. The original barn and stables on the same site would have been on the east side of the map.
The history of the site during the 19th century can be traced from the Woking Tithe Map of 1841, the Census Returns 1841-1901 and the records of the Manor of Woking Rectory, all to be found at the Surrey History Centre.
The Tithe Map shows the Hand and Spear site as No.280 house, yard and garden owned by Ellen Harris and occupied by Thomas Jaques. The next door site No.279 house and garden is owned by Thomas man, probably Thomas Newman who owned the brewery opposite, the occupier being John Hooper. This site is almost certainly the White Horse.
In 1841, Henry Bullen, probably a future landlord of the Hand and Spear, and his family were living in Shackleford.
Apart from Martha Jones at the White Hart, John Hooper was the only other publican shown as living in Town Street in the census. As the Hand and Spear was not in existence then, it is reasonable to conclude that John Hooper was the landlord of the White Horse.
John Hooper died in 1844 and his wife Elizabeth remarried in 1850, her new husband being William Pendill Rason a tailor of Woking. Her son John was a witness and the entry shows her father to have been James Fenn, labourer.
The Hand and Spear site was occupied by Thomas Jaques in 1841. Earlier his children had been baptised at St Peter’s and he was described as a shopkeeper and once as a baker. His surname more often was spelt Jacques. The premises were not used as a beer house then.
Thomas then aged 64 was buried at St Peter’s on 13th September 1855.
In the 1851 census apart from Philip Penfold at the White Hart and Richard Stilwell at the White Horse, there are no other publicans shown who might have been at the Hand and Spear.
Alfred Bullen was buried at St Peter’s on 23 December 1874 aged 38 years so his widow Martha must have remarried some time after then given that she had a son, John Gunton and was a widow once more according to the 1881 census returns below.
George Webber having bought the barn, stable and other land adjacent to the Hand and Spear in 1892, that he and the Corbett family were almost certainly neighbours in 1901. George and his family appear in the 1861 and 1871 censuses at the Old House then called Coziers. The 1881-1891 census show him and his sister living in High Street after leaving that house. George is a blacksmith in 1881 and this is not altogether surprising as this was his fathers occupation when the family were living at Coziers.