Do you remember Harpenden's lost pubs?
PUBLISHED: 10:04 03 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:04 03 September 2018
It’s amazing to think that at the start of the 20th century there were 31 pubs in Harpenden.
This total had dropped to 21 within the following hundred years, and today there are even fewer.
The oldest recorded pub is The George, which was mentioned in a will dating from 1507, although it may not have been on the same site.
Many old pubs now only survive as names in records, with a vast number having found a new lease of life as private residences.
Some of those which have passed into history include The First and Last, The Whip and The Harrow in Kinsbourne Green, the Leather Bottle in East Hyde, and in the town itself The Quiet Woman, The Foresters Arms, The Leather Bottle, The White Lion, The Old Red Lion, The Rose & Crown, The Royal Oak, The Bull, The Woodman, The Cricketers, The Fishmongers Arms, the George IV and The Crown. Further out on the way to St Albans were the Horse & Jockey and The Three Horseshoes.
The Foresters Arms, for example, gave its name to the estate of new homes just off the High Street, with the building itself now occupied by Strutt & Parker estate agents.
The soon-to-open Mad Squirrel Tap and Bottle Shop, previously Harry’s and Billy’s Bar, is on the site of The Old Red Lion, which closed in 1920.
The White Lion premises is now occupied by Papa John’s Pizza, Café Jeera is on the site of The Junction and later The Quiet Woman, and The Horse & Jockey is now Foxwood Lodge, at the end of what was Harpenden Race Course.
Probably the last pub to close was The Three Horseshoes, East Common, at the start of this decade. The Grade II listed building, which was built in the 1700s as a semi-detached pair of cottages, was the subject of several planning appeals as efforts were made to turn it into homes, and a campaign from local residents opposing the plan, which eventually went ahead in 2013.
How many of these old pubs do you remember? Do you have any pictures of them you’d like to share?
Thanks to Harpenden History Society for their research on this subject - www.harpenden-history.org.uk