The building certainly pre-dates the canal, constructed circa 1730, before the introduction of the Enclosures Act 1773.
Over the bridge runs the Jurassic Way, an old sheep droving route. In the top field, signs of medieval ridge & furrow farming can be seen, best viewed early in the morning or at sundown.
In a book entitled ‘A Tour of the Grand Junction Canal’ written in 1819 by John Hassall, he referred to the upper part of the village as
‘Great Braunston’ & the lower area as ‘Little or Lower Braunston’. Referring to the latter, he describes Little Braunston as being of “picturesque character & one of the sweetest scenes in nature with a soft & delicate touch”.
He also writes “Lower Braunston stands most conveniently for the accommodation of the navigation & persons having connection with it, & there is a respectable house for travellers”.
Little is known & even less documented about the history of The Admiral Nelson, with only rumours hinting at the origin of the name. Some suggest that it was a member of Nelson’s crew who first opened the pub with the proceeds from services under ‘The Admiral’, naming the pub in honour of his former employer.
It is also known that at some stage, possibly during the construction of the Braunston Tunnel (completed in 1796), the room at the far end of the pub served as a morgue.
At one time, Brewers Campbell, Praed & co LTD of High Street Wellingborough owned the pub but sold it, along with two cottages, for the princely sum of six hundred pounds. That brewery was later acquired in 1954 by Phipps & co, with brewing ceasing in 1956.
For a period in the 1970’s & 1980’s the pub was owned and operated by Watney’s. It is unknown as to when the pub was then sold or to whom, but it had traded as a freehouse for some years before closing its doors for a period of around three years in 2010.
Recently acquired by Everards of Leicestershire in 2019 & tenanted by the current Business Owners, The Admiral Nelson continues to provide rest & sustenance to canal users & villagers alike.